There might not have been a better way to remind the Pittsburgh Steelers that their No. l draft choice is running around somewhere in Europe.

The Washington Redskins beat the Rod Woodson-less Steelers last night, thanks partly to two touchdown passes, both of which beat cornerbacks.

Art Monk caught a 54-yarder straight down the middle past Chris Sheffield to give the Redskins a quickly erased 13-7 lead in the second quarter, and Ricky Sanders beat Harvey Clayton for a 14-yarder that put Washington up by 23-14 in the third quarter.

Clayton was playing at right cornerback -- a spot that likely would have been manned by Woodson, a Purdue graduate. That is, if he wasn't running track in Europe training for the 1988 Olympics. But Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Tony Dungy, with a bunch of inexperienced cornerbacks, says he can live with that.

"I think our corners have responded to the challenge," he said. "It's tough to go out and play when you're not exactly sure what's going on and that happens to a lot of guys."

For his part, Woodson said he wants to accept the team's offer -- after he sits out the 1987 season and most of the 1988 season to compete in the 1988 Olympics.

"At this point, money's not the issue," Woodson's agent, Marvin Demoff, told news services. "He feels almost unwelcome. He said, 'I don't need to be told I'm a kid who doesn't know what I'm doing.' He really wants a fresh start. He said, 'I'll pursue my dream of the Olympics and start fresh in '88, postpone everything one year,' " Demoff said.

The Steelers have told Demoff that Woodson, a 110-meter hurdler, would not be given time off to compete in the 1988 Summer Olympics Sept. 15 to Oct. 4.

"When he gets here, he'll be welcomed by all of us," said Sheffield, who signed with the Steelers as a free agent last year. "But right now, he's not here, so we've got to improve."