Lots of questions with: Joe Theismann

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann spoke to the current Redskins--and even addressed the man who now wears his number, Danny Wuerffel. Then, after watching 45 minutes of practice, Theismann discussed jerseygate and the new-look Redskins, coached by his golfing buddy, Steve Spurrier. Five questions just isn't enough for Theismann.

Q: What do you think of your number being used?

A: Heck, it hasn't been used in so many years so there will be a lot of clean ones. It's part of the business. You can put a number on anybody. It's the player that makes the number, not the number that makes the player.

Q: Guess a Super Bowl didn't protect you?

A: I don't think anything protects anything nowadays. John's probably will stay protected, I would hope. I would hate to see anyone wear 44. Art Monk should be in the Hall of Fame so those two may get protected. I just don't know.

Q: Would they ever give up Sonny's number?

A: I guess certain things are protected.

Q: Were you surprised by the controversy?

A: I was out of town and my secretary called me about it yesterday and I talked to my wife and she asked me what did I think. We talked about it for a while. I hope I did the number proud and that's the important thing in my mind. I wore it with a great amount of pride and it symbolized success here in the organization. Hopefully Danny will have a similar result with it.

Q: Did you give Danny a pep talk?

A: I did. The last thing I said when I talked to the team, I looked at Danny and said, 'That thing has been very good so don't go messing this thing up.'

Q: How curious are you to see this offense?

A: I'm real curious to see what the offense can do. I'm like everyone else. Steve will have to prove that it works. The timing was right for Steve to come to this level. People misunderstood what I said when he first got the job. I think it's great that Steve is the head coach, but I didn't agree with the constant changes we were going through to fire Marty. But the situation is perfect for Steve. He has Joe and Vinny in the front office and he has Marvin to handle the defense. Things could not have been set up more perfectly. It should be a fun year. It should be exciting, interesting and new. I was talking to some of the guys and the energy level is different. The enthusiasm is different.

Q: Have the Redskins ever really replaced you?

A: I don't think they have. There's been a lot of guys come in and played for a short period of time. In the last 17 years no one has been able to hold the job for more than two years I guess. So I don't think they have replaced me in that regards. God knows they tried to replace me when I was here.

Q: How much can the system make a player in the NFL, or is it about more than that?

A: It's about more. The NFL is about personnel. Without Marshall Faulk, St. Louis is not the offense they are. This business is about players, the talent. If you got talent you've got a chance to be successful.

Q: Do you think Danny or even Shane, if they trade for him, can be that guy?

A: I don't think you can say it. It still has to be a proven entity here. Danny has to prove he can play at this level and play 16 games, playing five or six games is nothing anymore. Shane has to prove he can stay healthy and play 16 games.

Q: How competitive are you and Steve in golf?

A: It's unbelievable. We're both the same. Both of us want to win at all costs. There's not a whole lot of conversation when we play except for, 'Nice shot.' Everything you see on the sidelines from him when he was at Florida, that's what you see on a golf course. He almost changes balls as much as he changes quarterbacks.

Q: Who usually wins?

A: We split it up pretty good. No one has a distinctive edge. I know I'll probably do better because I have a lot more time to play than he does.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers.

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