The mysterious death during preseason workouts of Tight End J. V. Cain sent shock waves through the Cardinals, and once again left St. Louis with a hole it failed to fill when Cain was benched by a snapped Achilles tendon last year. The good news in camp was the play of first-round draft choice Ottis Anderson, who may be the Cards' new Terry Metcalf.
The offensive line is a high-class unit that kept Hart upright all but 22 times last year, tops in the NFC, but the defense was very soft against inside runs. The Cardinals thought Calvin Favron, their second pick in Round 2, might be the answer at linebacker, but he's not ready to start yet.
It must have been tough for WASHINGTON Coach Jack Pardee, one of George Allen's original Ramskins, to break up the old Allen gang, but when you start a season at 6-0, as the Redskins did in '78, only to see it go down the drain with a 2-8 finish, the hard facts must be faced. So away went Billy Kilmer, Ron McDole and Bill Brundige, Jake Scott, Mike Curtis, Chris Hanburger and Mike Thomas. But now there are a lot of questions—too many, in fact—at a lot of positions.
Quarterback: Joe Theismann is finally all alone, having neither Kilmer to compete with for playing time nor any quality wide receivers to throw to. In drills, 230-pound Tight End Jean Fugett was lining up on the outside, a shift that might be seen in games if the highest draft, fourth-rounder Don Warren, shows anything at tight end.
Offensive line: Not great, but at least it's experienced. Starters must stay healthy.
Fullback: John Riggins can run, if he gets any blocking.
Halfback: The oft-injured Benny Malone, and that's it.
Defensive line: The only surviving Ramskin, Diron Talbert, is making an inspirational recovery from knee surgery. Should get better pass rush now that former Brown Turkey Jones is around to gobble up quarterbacks.
Linebacking: Brad Dusek on the left side, and after four years of wedge-busting on the special teams, Pete Wysocki is the new Hanburger. "I want to be a dancer, dazzling them with my footwork," he says.
Secondary: Three out of the four have made the trip before. No problems here.