Relations between Jay Schroeder and Doug Williams appear to be intact, judging from their little embrace at midfield yesterday.
Williams had just thrown his first touchdown pass, and Schroeder -- suddenly the NFL's highest-paid holder -- ran on the field with kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh. As their paths crossed, Williams extended his hand and Schroeder extended his, and they slapped a tender little slap.
"What else were we gonna do?" Williams asked later.
In the good old days, when quarterback controversies were in vogue here, Sonny Jurgensen would hobble on and Billy Kilmer would wobble off, and everyone would cheer. But yesterday, Jurgensen remembered it wasn't much fun. There was a game against the Giants when he said he came off the bench, went 11 for 11 with two touchdowns and still didn't start ahead of Kilmer the following week.
"But you know, I don't think there'll be a quarterback controversy with Doug and Jay," Jurgensen said yesterday. "I don't think you'll hear, 'We want Jay!' Or 'We want Doug!' See, it all depends on how the coaches handle it. George Allen did it because he wanted controversy. But I don't think Joe Gibbs does. Or the players."
Definitely not the players, who minded their Ps and Qs following yesterday's game. Receiver Gary Clark was asked who he liked best, "Doug or Jay?" and he begged for a different question. Receiver Ricky Sanders said, "Man, I like 'em both." Running back Kelvin Bryant said: "Man, I love 'em both." And receiver Art Monk wasn't even around to be queried.
"It shocked me," said offensive tackle Mark May. "I was running out for the series and the crowd started cheering madly. I didn't understand it at first. I looked back and saw Doug, and then I looked back again and saw him running in. I was flabbergasted."
As is usually the case, everyone felt sorry yesterday for the Redskins' No. 2 quarterback, which just so happened to be Schroeder. As Williams took his practice snaps and practice throws before going in, several players formed a single-file line in front of Schroeder.
Bryant was the first to pat Schroeder on the head.
"You want to keep him going," Bryant explained later. "He's a great quarterback, and he'll be back."
Soon, Schroeder was standing all by himself, arms crossed and looking cross. Receivers coach Charley Taylor said: "Hey, Jay! Come stand with us."
Later, Taylor explained: "I just thought it would help him to know that it's not the end of the world to be taken out. It happens."
But never before to Schroeder, who had lived a rather charmed life since replacing Theismann in 1985. The question of the day became: "What will this do to Schroeder's ego? Is his psyche shattered now?"
Dan Henning, an offensive assistant, was asked about it, and he had as good a perspective as anyone because his son, Dan Jr., had recently been yanked as the University of Maryland quarterback.
Henning said: "I think Jay will be fine. It's like in baseball. You're the starting pitcher, and if you're not getting 'em out, someone else comes in. But you're still in the rotation, right?"
So Schroeder's still in the rotation?
"He's still one of our quarterbacks, isn't he?" Henning said. "Ah, he'll be fine."
Jerry Rhome, the quarterbacks coach, said: "I don't know how Jay will react. I've got no prediction."
Unfortunately, there were other injuries on offense besides Schroeder's bruised ego. Left guard Ed Simmons -- who was starting for the injured Russ Grimm -- sprained his right knee and says he could be out one to three weeks. And running back George Rogers injured his groin after gaining 56 yards on nine carries.
"I wanted to go back in, but they wouldn't let me," said Rogers, who swears he'll be back next Monday night against the Rams.
And left tackle Joe Jacoby swears the makeshift offensive line will be fine.
"I think we've got people capable of playing the positions up there," said Jacoby, who, in three weeks, has played alongside Raleigh McKenzie, Jeff Bostic, Simmons and Darrick Brilz. "Everyone we've got is capable. I don't think the changes will hurt our continuity."
Probably the happiest Redskins player yesterday was cornerback Darrell Green, not winning quarterback Williams. Green, who supposedly had been in a slump, intercepted three passes, including one that thwarted a last-minute Detroit drive.
"As opposed to the coaches and the owner and the entire world that said I was in a slump, let me say that I wasn't," Green said afterward.
Meanwhile, Williams was as subdued as anyone as he headed out the locker room door. He was on his way to the airport, where he planned to catch a 7:15 p.m. flight to see his family in Zachary, La.
Then, he grew serious.
"Of course, the guys aren't gonna badmouth Jay today," he said. "It's very sensitive here right now. Very sensitive. Believe me."