It may be hard to remember, but Washington Redskins kicker Chip Lohmiller hasn't always been perfect. For instance, two years ago, during his rookie season, he was only average, making just seven of his first 12 field goal attempts in the NFL.
But he got hot that year and made nine of his last 10, and has been almost perfect since then.
His 29-yard field goal against the Phoenix Cardinals Sunday gave him at least one in 21 straight games. More impressive is that from 40 yards and in, the territory in which Coach Joe Gibbs emphasizes that points must be scored, Lohmiller has hit 27 of his last 29.
"What do I think about?" Lohmiller asked. "Nothing. You just go out there and kick each one. You just work during the week to kick the ball solidly and you know you'll kick it well on Sunday. It's no big secret."
The only negative to his game last season was that he was only three of 11 in the 40- to 49-yard range and his stated goal this season is to get better with those kicks. "You want to make them all count," he said. "The offense puts together a good drive, there ought to be some points come out of it."Gibbs to Go?
Gibbs denied a report by NBC's Will McDonough that he had decided to quit after this season. McDonough reported that Gibbs, New York Giants Coach Bill Parcells and Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka all would be stepping down.
"That's not right," Gibbs said. "I got into enough trouble with that stuff last year and I'm not going to say anything more. I'm going to coach here forever. I don't have any plans to quit this season or next season."Hands Off Minnifield
The Redskins were notified by letter from the Cleveland Browns yesterday that they're no longer permitted to negotiate with holdout cornerback Frank Minnifield. That's an odd order since the Redskins haven't been involved in the negotiations for about a month anyway.
When the Browns first began shopping Minnifield, they gave the Redskins and Atlanta Falcons permission to negotiate with his agent, former Colt Stan White. But his price for Minnifield was $2.4 million over two years, and the Redskins said no thanks. Trade talks with the Browns never got past the preliminary stage.
It appears the Browns have decided to play hardball with Minnifield and that by sending copies of the letter to White, their message is: Come negotiate with us, or don't play this season. Move To Make
If the Redskins, as expected, re-sign defensive end Alonzo Mitz, it'll mean a roster move. That could be bad news for tight end Terry Orr, who was waived then brought back last week. Orr wasn't activated for Sunday's game and plays a position that the Redskins are carrying one player above their normal limit. Injury Report
Middle linebacker Greg Manusky missed part of Sunday's game with lower back spasms. He was treated yesterday and may practice when work resumes on Wednesday. Wilber Marshall also took treatment for a sore neck suffered in a second-half collision and Monte Coleman has a sore hip. Both probably will practice Wednesday.