Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs worked with Phoenix Cardinals Coach Joe Bugel for nine years in Washington, but he said yesterday that Bugel's broadside at new Redskins quarterback Gary Hogeboom Thursday was a case of "a coach saying something that wasn't true."

Hogeboom, one of the Cardinals' final cuts before the season, was signed by the Redskins Monday because starting quarterback Mark Rypien injured his left knee in last Sunday's game against the Cowboys.

The controversy started Tuesday. Early in a news conference at Redskin Park, Hogeboom said: "It's good to be here with a class organization because once you've been in the league 11 years, you find out what the class organizations are and the ones that are a little different." Later, he said the Cardinals had cut him after he believed they had assured him he would make the team.

Bugel took Hogeboom's remark as a slap at the Cardinals. On Thursday, he said: "You better be ready to fight me at the 50-yard line if you say we don't have any class. . . . We never did nothing ugly to him. If you call us classless, you better have something behind it."

Yesterday, Gibbs stepped to the plate and took his swing.

"What we have here is a coach saying something that wasn't true," Gibbs said. "I mean, we need to clear the air on it. . . . All the things I saw and all the things that were printed were positive things about Phoenix. {Hogeboom} said he was glad to be in this class organization, but I don't think he said anything at any point derogatory about the Cardinals."

Gibbs acknowledged that Hogeboom's comment about the circumstances behind his departure from the Cardinals was not positive, but Gibbs said he discussed the matter with Hogeboom, and, "Unless somebody said something some other place, they need to point it out to me. I didn't see anything else that was said other than that."

Asked if he planned to raise the issue with Bugel while the Redskins are in Phoenix for their game Sunday night, Gibbs said, "No. But I don't mind saying that because I think that's what's happened."

Hogeboom brushed off Bugel's comments, saying, "It's nothing."

Injury Update

Rypien, who skipped a Thursday appointment with team physician Charles Jackson so he could catch up on sleep, seemed in much better spirits yesterday. Rypien said he slept soundly Thursday night, and will see Jackson today as a follow-up to the arthroscopic surgery he underwent on his left knee.

"He's doing much better today than he did yesterday," trainer Bubba Tyer said. "The swelling from the surgery is already subsiding." . . . Defensive tackle Eric Williams, initially listed as questionable because of an injured left shoulder, practiced yesterday and likely will play Sunday.