Rypien responds to early call QB lifts Redskins by Jets in scrimmage 25-16


BETHLEHEM, PA. -- It didn't take long for quarterback Mark Cypien to scrape off the rust after his 10-day holdout.

In only his third day in training camp, Rypien -- who wasn't even scheduled to play -- directed the Washington Redskins on a nine-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in a scrimmage against the New York Jets at Lehigh University yesterday.

Rypien's 8-yard touchdown pass to Earnest Byner and four field goals by Chip Lohmiller were enough to give the Redskins a 25-16 victory.

Coach Joe Gibbs decided to give Rypien a series in the scrimmage after he threw well in the seven-on-seven passing drill.

"I started thinking about it. If he looked OK in the seven-on-seven and didn't looked real rusty, [I thought] I'd play him," Gibbs said.

Rypien was used only in the first of five series. He completed four of five passes for 44 yards.

Rypien had no idea he was going to play, and said he was somewhat rusty after signing his new one-year contract Thursday. He said he made a "real awful" read on one incomplete pass, but Gibbs said he had a "real good drive."

Rypien said: "I was pretty excited about getting out and playing. I wasn't going to say anything either way if I didn't or I did [play]. Once I did get in there, I was pleasantly surprised at the opportunity. There's room for improvement, but I felt overall very satisfied about the way things went."

Rypien said he should get only better with more practice time.

"I still feel a little bit, I wouldn't say sluggish, but not in tempo with some of my throws. It's just something you have to work on," Rypien said.

Gibbs used all four quarterbacks in the scrimmage, but Rypien seems intent on keeping the No. 1 job.

Stan Humphries, who played with a second-string offensive line while completing four of seven passes, and Jeff Rutledge (5-for-13, one interception), struggled, but second-year quarterback Cary Conklin had another good showing.

Conklin completed four of seven passes for 68 yards. He got a touchdown on the final play of the scrimmage when he dumped off a short pass to Ricky Ervins, his third receiver, who ran 25 yards into the end zone.

"I was pretty happy about the way I played," Conklin said. "I've felt I had a good camp."

Gibbs left the field while the post-scrimmage punting drill was going on because he was heading for Hershey, Pa., where his son, Coy, was to play in last night's Big 33 game. The coach said the Redskins played better than they did in the 19-19 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday night.

But he was far from satisfied.

"We weren't very smooth. We didn't block things very well. We didn't tackle very well. Other than that, they were great," he said, tongue in cheek.

As usual, Gibbs praised the opposing team.

"They're well-coached. They've got a good tempo about them," he said. "They're tough. They wanted to get after things. They got a good deal going."

Lohmiller made four of five field-goal attempts, including a 57-yarder that was his longest as a pro (he made a 62-yarder in college). He has made eight of nine attempts in two scrimmages.

"Maybe we should just bring him in for the regular-season game because he's in such a good groove," special-teams coach Wayne Sevier said jokingly.

Lohmiller said he just wants to keep kicking the way he is now. "I don't want to change anything," he said.

On defense, the Redskins intercepted rookie quarterback Browning Nagle three times, although one interception was called back by a penalty.

Kurt Gouveia, who was switched from inside to outside linebacker so that second-year linebacker Jon Leverenz could step into the backup middle linebacker spot behind Matt Millen, got one of the interceptions. He said he likes the new position.

"You've got more freedom on the outside," he said.

Gouveia said he was surprised he got an interception on the play.

"I was going to make a hit, and all of a sudden the ball was there in hands. I was more surprised than he was," he said. "Sometimes things happen and you're amazed. You're not ready for it."

Gouveia, though, was ready enough to make the interception.

NOTES: CB Martin Mayhew suffered a mild concussion, and DL Tim Johnson went down with a sprained ankle in the scrimmage, but neither injury was believed serious. . . . G Mark Schlereth was held out of the scrimmage with a tender knee after fluid was drained out of it Friday, but it shouldn't keep him out long.

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