Lohmiller makes himself right at home


MINNEAPOLIS -- For Chip Lohmiller, the trip to the Super Bowl is just like going home -- primarily because he is home.

"I just went to my house and sat on the couch and watched TV," the Washington Redskins place-kicker said yesterday.

Lohmiller, who grew up in Minneapolis and kicked at the Metrodome for the University of Minnesota, had a few players, including Russ Grimm and Jeff Bostic, to his house to play pool Tuesday night.

Lohmiller isn't going downtown to any of the nightspots during Super Bowl week. "I can do that when I come back after the Pro Bowl," he said.

Lohmiller does plan to take Earnest Byner, Monte Coleman and Art Monk ice fishing tomorrow.

"They're anglers and they want to see what it's like to ice fish," he said.

Lohmiller doesn't think they'll like it. "It's too boring for me, and I think they'll agree. It's not like bass fishing, where you're always casting. You just sit there," he said.

Lohmiller bought 47 tickets for friends and relatives, though he hopes to be reimbursed for about half of them.

Lohmiller seems to have an advantage over Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood because he's accustomed to the dome and doesn't have to cope with the memory of having missed the potential game-winning field-goal try in last year's Super Bowl.

Lohmiller, though, thinks the dome's ideal conditions will help both kickers.

While Norwood was surrounded by reporters getting his reaction to last year's miss, few reporters stopped by Lohmiller's table.

Most asked about Norwood. Lohmiller said he rooted for Norwood to make it last year because he doesn't like the New York Giants, a division rival of the Redskins.

"I think I felt bad for him just the same way anybody would feel bad for him. You don't like to see people going through that. I think he's handled the whole situation very well," Lohmiller said.

* The Redskins moved closer to activating safety Terry Hoage. Hoage, who has been on injured reserve since Oct. 26, returned to practice yesterday. To make room for him, they deleted rookie defensive back James Jenkins from the practice squad. The Redskins will wait until later in the week to decide whether to add Hoage to the squad.

* Coach Joe Gibbs seemed pleased with his team's two-hour workout at the Minnesota Vikings' facility.

"The players seemed to be focused and got in some good work," he said.

Gibbs had the Redskins wear the jersey numbers of different players even though practice is closed to the media except for one pool reporter.

"The last time we went to the Super Bowl in San Diego, we did that," Gibbs said. "We don't worry about security here, but we decided to do the same thing as we did then. I don't think it ever hurt to do things the same way."

* Second-year quarterback Cary Conklin, who spent the year on injured reserve, even though he played the final quarter of the final exhibition game before the Redskins announced he had a knee injury, suffered a real injury off the field Tuesday.

He bruised his shoulder when he slipped on some ice leaving a restaurant Tuesday night. At first, there was some fear he had broken his shoulder. "He was wearing cowboy boots and went down pretty hard," Gibbs said.

Since Conklin wasn't expected to be activated, he'll have until next year for the injury to heal.

* Conklin is expected to replace Stan Humphries as the team's backup quarterback next year.

Humphries, who's expected to dress as the third quarterback but could play only if Mark Rypien and Jeff Rutledge are injured, is expected to be traded.

"I'll talk about it after the game. I know basically what's probably going to happen, but we'll wait until after the game to see what happens," Humphries said.

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