Brunell Can Still Play

The Redskins insist quarterback Mark Brunell can still play, saying he still has enough mobility to be successful. They point to his getting a few first downs every game because of his mobility, usually running, or sliding, from pressure and throwing the ball.

''You need someone who can help you in that way in this league because of the blitz-crazy defenses,'' Redskins offensive line coach Joe Bugel said. ''When you're strong and a quarterback, and if there's nothing there rather than throw it down there and get a first down. That's a new dimension in pro football.''

And, Bugel said, the classic dropback passer is in danger these days.

Which brings us to the new starter, Patrick Ramsey, not known for his legs. But Bugel said not to worry, even though Ramsey has offered little proof that he can escape the rush.

''If you can run a 4.8 40, you can run away from a lot of people and Patrick ran a 4.8 in the 40,'' Bugel said.

. . .Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin didn't practice again today, but is listed as probably on the injury report. Receiver Rod Gardner returned to practice after missing time Wednesday with a sprained ankle. He, too, is listed as probable.

Others on the list: linebacker LaVar Arrington (knee), end Phillip Daniels (groin) and kicker John Hall (groin) are out; linebacker Mike Barrow (knee) is questionable and corner Fred Smoot (shoulder) is probable.

For the Eagles: RB Reno Mahe (ankle) and end Jerome McDougle (knee) are out; LB Nate Wayne (hamstring) is doubtful; LB Keith Adams (ankle), G Jermane Mayberry (calf), DT Corey Simon (groin) and LB Mark Simoneau (concussion) are questionable; K David Akers (left hip), S Quintin Mikell (ankle), WR Todd Pinkston (knee), S J.R. Reed (hamstring), TE L.J. Smith (hamstring) are probable.

. . . Earnest Byner does not consider himself in the running for the vacant position at his alma mater, East Carolina University. Doesn't think he's ready for such a job yet.

. . . Few Redskins seemed surprised to learn that Steve Spurrier has agreed in principal to become South Carolina's next coach, once Lou Holtz steps down. But some, if not most of the players, clearly felt that Spurrier was better served staying in college. His non-confrontational style was ill-suited for the NFL player. In college, coaches aren't questioned -- at least not to their face.


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