One day after an electronic malfunction caused difficulties communicating with his team during Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs was still vexed. Gibbs said he detailed the situation in a postgame report to the NFL offices in New York to help the next visiting team at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Sunday before the game, Gibbs was warned by one of his assistants, who had received word from the Browns to brace for problems during the game. Gibbs expressed disbelief Sunday that the Browns couldn't rectify the problem by the opening kickoff since they knew it was an issue.
Gibbs's headset allows communication with his quarterback -- who has a helmet radio -- and several assistants in the booth atop the stadium. Those coaches provide strategic information as part of their game-day duties.
The warning turned into reality for most of the third quarter when Gibbs lost connection to quarterback Mark Brunell while his communication with his assistants intermittently malfunctioned.
"To me, that shouldn't be in the NFL. If you're having trouble with communications, fix it," Gibbs said, his voice still tinged with anger. "It shouldn't be, 'Well this stadium has communication problems.' This is the NFL. Don't throw that on us."
Gibbs -- who was forced to temporarily use hand signals -- said the troubles occurred for two offensive series as Browns officials gave him walkie-talkies and wire sets as a substitute.
Several Redskins players were unaware of the problem until Gibbs spoke after the game.
"Talk about a home-field advantage," said right tackle Ray Brown, shaking his head.
Browns officials were not available for comment last night.
Barrow Sees a Specialist
Mike Barrow yesterday went to see another specialist about a tendon tear in his left knee that has forced the linebacker to miss every game this season.
Gibbs appeared to tone down previous remarks that Barrow would be placed on the injured reserve list if he doesn't heal soon. Yesterday, Gibbs hinted that Gregg Williams, Washington's assistant head coach-defense, would hold sway in a decision on Barrow.
"It's something that's hard to put your finger on," Gibbs said of Barrow's injury. "The more people we have look at it, we figure maybe somebody will come up with it. We think he's a heck of a football player, and we're doing every single thing we can. We're going to go as far and as long as we can with it." . . .
A small group of veterans met following the team's late afternoon workout. One veteran, who declined to comment on the meeting except to acknowledge it, said that the veterans occasionally get together to discuss the state of the team. The Redskins' players and coaches also held their weekly team meeting, which lasted about 15 minutes. . . .
Washington's most significant injury against Cleveland was to Brown, who strained his left hamstring in the second quarter. He intends to practice tomorrow and play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field. "If you don't practice on this team," Brown, 41, said grinning, "you don't play."