Babe Laufenberg, who led the Washington Redskins' wild last-second victory over New England Friday night, gave Coach Joe Gibbs something to ponder in deciding who will back up Joe Theismann in 1985.
Laufenberg's heart-stopping pre-season performance Friday night also opened the possibility that the Redskins will keep three quarterbacks on the roster this year.
Laufenberg, a second-year pro from Indiana, is battling former UCLA quarterback Jay Schroeder for the No. 2 passing job. Before the New England game, Schroeder--coming off solid efforts against Atlanta and the Raiders--had all but clinched the post.
Against the Patriots, though, Laufenberg engineered a furious comeback, marching the Redskins 80 yards in the final 1:07. The drive culminated with a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clint Didier that produced a 37-36 victory. He also connected on a 75-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Gary Clark earlier in the final quarter.
Taking over for Theismann in the second half, Laufenberg was 12-of-21 for 200 yards, with the two touchdowns and one interception.
Gibbs said, "We've got three guys here at quarterback and all three of them have looked good in preseason."
On tying up three spots on the 45-man roster with quarterbacks, Gibbs added: "I'll say this, it's really going to hurt. You're going to be making a decision to keep a spot open for a guy who's not going to play that much. That's tough. It's a tough decision to make, but it may be one we think is best for us."
Laufenberg, who said before the game nothing less than a miraculous performance would keep him on the team, said afterward, "I'll tell you what--they can do what they want now."
His gutsy effort drew praise from Theismann.
"He's the kind of guy who can really come up with it," said Theismann, also 12-of-21 Friday for 249 yards. "You never know what's going to happen when Babe's on the field. It's like, spin the wheel and let's see where it winds up."