Coach Steve Spurrier said yesterday he will resume being the Washington Redskins' primary offensive play-caller for Sunday night's game at Miami. He had given that duty to offensive coordinator Hue Jackson in the team's last two games.
Jackson likely will be on the sideline during the game and will continue to participate in the play-calling process, Spurrier said. But Spurrier indicated that he, not Jackson, will be hooked up to the quarterback's helmet earpiece.
"I'm just getting involved," Spurrier said. "Hue will be involved also. I just need to be more involved. I need to be talking to the quarterback. Hue will still be very involved in the play-calling. We'll both do it. That's how a lot of teams do it. They have a primary play-caller and then another guy. . . . . I'm going to use the machine."
Spurrier let Jackson stand on the sideline and call the plays for a 27-20 triumph over the Seattle Seahawks 11 days ago at FedEx Field and for last Sunday's 20-17 loss at Carolina. Previously, Jackson had been stationed in the press box during games and had made play-calling suggestions to Spurrier. Spurrier elevated Jackson from running backs coach to offensive coordinator for this season but initially said he would remain the main play-caller.
"I knew at some point in time he might want to get back into it," Jackson said. "I'm not concerned. . . . . This is what Coach does. This is what makes Coach go. I just wanted to take a shot at it one week. I feel good about what I've done to help this organization win football games."
It was clear all week that Spurrier would switch back. He said on Monday that he would discuss the issue with Jackson, and indicated Tuesday he had told Jackson that he would be more involved but the final details had not been worked out at that point.
"Hue will still be very involved," Spurrier said yesterday. "He did an excellent job, and he'll probably call a whole bunch of them through me."
Betts Still Not Ready
Tailback Ladell Betts will remain sidelined for at least another week after being told by doctors that the fracture in his left forearm still had not healed. Betts, who underwent an X-ray on Tuesday, said yesterday that he hoped to be cleared to play by his doctors next week. He has missed the Redskins' last three games since being hurt during the team's loss at Buffalo on Oct. 19.
"Maybe next week," Betts said. "They said it's showing signs of healing finally. But as long as there's still a fracture in there, they're not going to let me play. I want to get back as soon as possible. They told me it would take four to six weeks, so I'm really not off schedule. I was hoping I would heal faster, but it's not working out. Everything happens for a reason. I'll be back out there soon."
Spurrier said that Trung Canidate likely will start at tailback Sunday night, backed up by Rock Cartwright and John Simon. Cartwright suffered a sprained ankle last Sunday and didn't practice yesterday. But he said he plans to test his ankle by doing some running today, then will practice some on Friday and likely play Sunday.
"I know for sure I'll go Sunday," said Cartwright, who was wearing a protective boot on his left foot for a second day in a row. . . . .
The Redskins expect to have Lennie Friedman in the starting lineup at center for a third straight game. Larry Moore remains sidelined by a sprained foot. "I thought I would be back so much quicker," said Moore, who is scheduled to be reexamined by doctors today. "But I lost strength in the foot, and now I'm trying to build the strength back up. It's been a frustrating time." . . .
Reserve cornerback Rashad Bauman, who has missed the last three games because of a sprained ankle, said there's a "good chance'' he'll be ready to play this weekend. David Terrell has been filling in as the Redskins' third cornerback behind starters Champ Bailey and Fred Smoot. . . . .
Observers around the league seem convinced that the Redskins will be one of the offseason suitors for wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, whom the Tampa Bay Buccaneers deactivated for the remainder of the season Tuesday. The Buccaneers intend to trade or release him following the season. But Redskins officials said they would be unlikely to make a strong push to acquire Johnson, especially if the price tag is hefty. They are happy with their current wide receivers, they said, and probably will focus in the offseason on rebuilding a defense that ranks 26th in the league.