Questions about the Washington Redskins' quarterbacks continued to swirl yesterday. Assistant general manager Bobby Mitchell said in a television appearance that some players wanted Doug Williams to replace Jay Schroeder during the team's loss in Philadelphia Sunday, and Williams later acknowledged that teammates said so to him during the game.
Speaking on Home Team Sports' "Redskins Report" Monday night, Mitchell said, "I understand, during the game, some of the players were standing behind the coach and saying, 'Are we going to lose this or are you going to put Doug in?' "
Asked on the show who those players were, Mitchell said, "I just heard there were some players saying this."
Williams said he heard it, too.
"I'd have to be about deaf not to," Williams said. "You've got 45 guys who want to win. Whatever it takes to win is what they want. I had a couple of players come up to me and say, 'Why doesn't Coach Gibbs let you play?' I told them it's Coach Gibbs' decision.
"In the Jets game, I heard it some. In this game, I heard it more. But this happens sometimes in football."
Williams said he would not name the players who spoke with him.
Mitchell, when asked last night to comment on his television statement, said, "There are a lot of things said on the sideline in the heat of the battle. Everything is being said. This is no big deal. It meant nothing. I said on the show 15 times that Jay Schroeder is the quarterback and should be playing."
Mitchell said he did not want to elaborate on his statements.
Several players reached yesterday said they had not heard any of their teammates asking for a change in quarterbacks during the game. Schroeder had his worst day as a Redskin in the team's 31-27 loss to the Eagles, completing only 16 of 46 passes. He had two passes intercepted and threw four others into the hands of defenders who dropped them.
"I didn't hear anyone say that," running back Keith Griffin said yesterday. "Jay threw the bomb and we thought we had won the game. Nobody really said anything."
"I didn't hear anyone say it and I'm standing pretty close to Coach Gibbs," said Mark Rypien, a quarterback who is on injured reserve. "I know Doug was frustrated. He had to be. But no one wanted to point fingers and some of it was not Jay's fault. His reads were right, he just missed some things.
"I didn't sense any of the guys saying we should get Doug in there and Jay out of there. In hindsight, people might say that. Afterward, you might hear some things, but I didn't even hear it then."
Defensive back Vernon Dean and defensive tackle Darryl Grant also said they had not heard any comments.
"I didn't hear anybody saying that. That's funny, though. I'd remember that if I heard it," Grant said. "I guess it's possible someone said it. I just didn't hear it."
Coach Joe Gibbs said Monday that he did not consider replacing Schroeder with Williams, who played well when Schroeder sprained his right shoulder in the season opener and missed two games. Schroeder will start the Redskins' game this Sunday against Detroit at 1 p.m. at RFK Stadium, Gibbs said.
"I'm always reluctant to change the quarterback and, before I change, it will be a good solid reason to do so and I'll go week to week on how I feel," Gibbs said.
"I don't want to be jerking my quarterbacks in and out," he said. "That's the way I've felt in the past, the way I feel now and the way I'll feel in the future."
Meanwhile, center Russ Grimm underwent an arthroscopic examination of his injured left knee yesterday at Arlington Hospital, head trainer Bubba Tyer said. Grimm suffered a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament late in Sunday's game. He will wear a brace or cast for two weeks and then will begin rehabilitation. He is expected to miss at least four weeks.
Rookie Ed Simmons, who started at tackle for the Redskins while Mark May was injured early in the season, is expected to work at left guard with the first team today. Rookie Darrick Brilz, the replacement player who is best known for a devastating block he put on Dallas defensive tackle Randy White in a game last month, will back up Simmons.
Raleigh McKenzie will play center in Grimm's absence, which means veteran Jeff Bostic simply is a backup on the line. Bostic's other duty for the Redskins right now is as the snapper on punts.
Despite Bostic's status as a reserve, Gibbs said it was not accurate to say he was no longer in the Redskins' plans.
"He's in our plans," Gibbs said. "He is backing up both guard positions and he is long-snapping. He could be back in there at any time."