Joe Theismann bounded into the Washington Redskins' locker room, his slight limp barely noticeable, jumping over and around players to get to his locker to find his car keys.
He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Everyone else was in uniform. Minicamp went on without him.
"I watched a little of practice and I realized you really are not a part of it anymore," Theismann said the other day at Redskin Park.
"You stop and say hello to some of the players and they have time to say hello, but that's all. When you're not around, it's cut and dried. You're not a stranger, but you're certainly not part of the team.
"You feel like a boy whose father doesn't have time for him."
While Theismann continued to try to recover from his broken right leg in time for the 1986 season, the rest of the Redskins last week practiced for the first time.
Their top priority was the passing game, which in 1985 didn't begin to click until the season was more than half over.
At times last week, four coaches, including head coach Joe Gibbs, worked with the 12 wide receivers on the roster. Particular attention was paid to Walter Murray, the second-round draft choice with the Art Monk build (6 feet 3, 200 pounds) and the promising future.
"It's no secret we were disappointed with our results last season," Gibbs said. "We've got a lot of [wide receivers] to look at here. This is our biggest concern. We're doing more in the passing game than we've ever done before."
The Redskins plan to give another chance to Calvin Muhammad, their 1984 phenomenon and 1985 flop, but likely in a role backing up Monk and Gary Clark.
They also want to keep three quarterbacks this season. If Theismann does not return, they would be Jay Schroeder, Babe Laufenberg and a rookie, either sixth-round draft choice Mark Rypien or free agent Stan Yagiello.
Rypien, who is 6-4 and weighs 230 pounds, was impressive last week, although the Redskins want him to lose about 10 pounds.
Quarterback coach Jerry Rhome said he would feel "very comfortable" with Schroeder, Laufenberg and a rookie as the team's three quarterbacks.
"I know they're young, but Jay's already proven what he can do," Rhome said. "It would worry a lot of people if he hadn't played in six games and won five of them. If Joe Theismann had been hurt in the last game of the season, things would be different."
Rhome said he was not counting on having Theismann around this season, "but you never know."
Theismann still isn't saying what he will do, because he says he doesn't know. He did say he was "four or five months behind" in his work and preparation with the receivers. Yet he continues to work out with a summer deadline for a decision in mind.
Theismann was not the only veteran missing from minicamp. Running back John Riggins, who was waived in March, was gone, too.
But minicamp usually isn't for veterans anyway. As defensive end Dexter Manley said yesterday, "I didn't learn anything out here. . . . What am I supposed to learn in shorts and a T-shirt?"
Gibbs said he was pleased that every veteran showed up.
"Guys could have used the contract thing to stay away, but they didn't," he said. Manley is the Redskins' most prominent player without a contract.
The most serious competition was at kicker, where veteran Mark Moseley and former Maryland standout Jess Atkinson were tied at the top of the pack after four days of field-goal kicking.
Moseley and Atkinson both made 53 of 70 field goals. Free agent Rocky Costello made 51 and veteran punter Steve Cox made 50. Free agents Jim Asmus (48), Paul Woodside (45) and Steve Willis (35) rounded things out.
But special teams coach Wayne Sevier said decisions won't be made solely by the numbers.
"Trajectory, leg strength, kickoffs . . . these things are as important or more important than the numbers," Sevier said. "The numbers are an indication, but not necessarily everything."
The Redskins are likely to cut two or three kickers next week. The rest will go to Carlisle, Pa., for training camp, which opens July 20.