Mann's status latest worry for Redskins' Gibbs


CARLISLE, Pa. -- For one night, Joe Gibbs could enjoy football.

The Washington Redskins' coach was in Hershey, Pa., Saturday night watching his son, Coy, play linebacker on the Maryland team that beat Pennsylvania, 17-9, in the Big 33 game.

"That was fun. I had a real good time sitting up in the stands with everybody else. It was a great way to see our son finish his high school career," he said.

The fun was over yesterday. Gibbs was back to looking at videotape yesterday of the Redskins' 25-16 victory over the New York Jets in a scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Lehigh University.

He also was back to worrying, which he does a lot of during the football season.

His biggest concern right now seems to be the status of defensive end Charles Mann, who sat out the first week of camp with a knee ailment.

Mann underwent arthroscopic surgery in February on his left knee and was supposed to be ready for camp. The Redskins seem puzzled that he's not.

Mann has declined to talk to reporters since he arrived at camp, presumably to avoid questions answering questions about his knee.

But he may have to answer questions from Gibbs about it soon.

"I'm concerned about it," Gibbs said yesterday. "I think it affects our football team and everything else. I'm probably going to try to get a little bit of a bead from Charles there on what we're thinking there, too, along with what we're doing with the training department."

When Gibbs was asked if there's a possibility Mann might need more surgery, he said, "I really don't know. I think you'd have to talk to Charles. Sure that's [surgery] a possibility. I'm disappointed he wasn't taking a few shots in one of those drills. I think if he doesn't start taking some pretty quick, we're going to get in trouble."

Trainer Bubba Tyer said that Mann still needs time and said, "We're slowly building the confidence in his knee."

Tyer said the work Mann would see this week would be limited at best although players usually rebound from arthroscopic surgery weeks, not months.

Fred Stokes has been playing at left end in Mann's absence.

NOTES: Practices will be closed to fans the final three weeks of training camp starting today. . . . The players like that because it cuts down on the number autograph seekers. Last week, Gibbs ordered a back gate from the training facility locked so the players couldn't duck out and avoid the fans. They had to mingle with the fans at the front of the facility when they left.

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