By locking out the media, Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs is hoping to lock in his players' concentration. The Redskins might be coming off a victory, but that Lions game last Sunday seems like a zillion years ago.

Yesterday, Gibbs said the Redskins have had a strong week of practice, and you'll have to take his word for it because nobody else got to watch.

"I wanted us to get settled down and play good," Gibbs said after closing practice yesterday for the third straight day. "I want us to play a solid game {Monday night} against the Rams."

The change at quarterback from Jay Schroeder to Doug Williams had everything to do with this. In the interest of tranquility, Gibbs thought it best that nobody watch, except for maybe Jack Kent Cooke.

So, yesterday, Gibbs gave a progress report:


None of alarm. Running back Kelvin Bryant skipped yesterday's and Friday's workouts with what Gibbs called a "puffy" knee, but trainer Bubba Tyer said, "It's nothing, absolutely nothing."

Doug Williams:

Gibbs said he took every snap this week, while Schroeder worked on an alternate field. "I thought Doug had a good week, and I think Jay did, too," Gibbs said. "I know it was a very tough week for Jay, but he handled it well."

Schroeder and Williams both have agreed to do interviews on CBS' "The NFL Today," which might make for interesting viewing. In the meantime, Gibbs acknowledged the situation could get even more fanatical Monday night if Williams doesn't do well. Then, the RFK Stadium crowd will inevitably scream for Schroeder.

Darrick Brilz:

A free agent out of Oregon State, Brilz will start at left guard Monday night, and Gibbs doesn't appear worried. Brilz -- 6 feet 3, 264 pounds -- might be an ex-replacement player, but he made a strong impression on a Monday night five weeks ago. That night, he lassoed Dallas' Randy White, and Gibbs has a long memory.

Rich Milot:

He is ready to start, according to linebackers coach Larry Peccatiello.

"Rich's sore ankle is ready to go," Peccatiello said yesterday, "so we'll start him. But Olky {Neal Olkewicz} will see action in special situations. We're fortunate to have two players of such caliber."

Steve Cox:

Gibbs, who nearly removed Cox as the Redskins' punter this week, raved about his work habits.

Dexter Manley:

His face and facemask appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. Gibbs said he doesn't believe in jinxes.