ORCHARD PARK, N.Y., AUG. 4 -- While a new stadium may be his top priority, it is not the only construction on the mind of Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke. For more than a year Cooke also has been putting together plans for a new Redskin Park, and various team sources indicate the Redskins could move into it as early as 1992.
Cooke declined to comment on the matter, and he has shared his plans with few, if any, team officials.
But what is known is that Cooke is leaning strongly toward a site near Leesburg, Va., about 15 miles from the current Redskin Park and near the proposed extension of the Dulles Toll Road.
Cooke wants the new facility because while Redskin Park was the first of its kind in the NFL, the Redskins have just about outgrown it. The proposed facility is said to be about twice the size of the current Redskin Park and will contain expanded space for offices, a state-of-the-art fitness center and more space for classrooms and coaches.
Team officials believe Cooke has begun acquiring land for the facility, but it is unclear when construction will begin.
The Redskins had special guests -- a team of NFL game officials -- for three days this week at Dickinson College. The visit was part of a new NFL program by which officials visit every camp to hold on-the-field discussions of rules changes and to clarify some existing rules.
For instance, cornerback Darrell Green had a conference with at least one official after nearly every pass route for a couple of days, saying he wanted to know exactly when he can use his hands and when he will be flagged for interference.
"It's a good thing," Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said. "It gives them a chance to see and talk to us before the heat of battle and it gives us a chance to get some things off our chests."
Referee Leo Miles said: "It gives us a chance for more on-the-field preparation and to explain the rules to the coaches and players. We also show a film and talk about our reasoning behind certain things."
The only major rules changes for 1990 concern the NFL's attempts to shorten games. Halftime will be shortened from 15 to 12 minutes, and the clock will be started more quickly on the field in a few situations.
Coming Up Short
Tonight's scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills originally was planned to give each side 60 offensive plays (five drives of 12 plays each). But Gibbs asked Bills Coach Marv Levy to shorten it to 50 plays (five drives of 10 plays each) because the Redskins have so many injuries.
The list includes quarterback Cary Conklin (knee), receiver Art Monk (knee), tight end Ken Whisenhunt (knee), tight end Ron Middleton (shoulder), cornerback Brian Davis (quadricep) and defensive end Fred Stokes (shoulder).
None of the injuries is considered serious, although the Redskins will watch Stokes closely for the next few days to see how his shoulder responds.
The area went numb and may have slipped momentarily out of place in Wednesday morning's practice. He has not worked since. . . .
Redskins coaches have been more than a little impressed that safety Brad Edwards has not missed a day of work despite breaking his hand on the third day of training camp. Edwards, a Plan B signee who spent his first two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, was acquired to provide depth and serve as a defensive signal-caller.
"He's an extremely bright guy we thought could help us," Gibbs said. "He's shown us he's tough too. He's going to add some stability to the secondary."
Edwards brushed aside the compliments, pointing out he still has to make the team and that it was important to stay on the field. "Even when the hand was sore, I could run and move around," he said. "I can see the offense and the adjustments, and being in a new system, I needed to be out there. I didn't want to miss any time because that's how you fall behind." . . .
Gibbs has given his players Sunday off. Monday morning they begin a week of two-a-days in preparation for next Saturday's preseason opener against Atlanta in Chapel Hill, N.C.