Neal Olkewicz walking the line.
Doug: With this lockout, what's important for you and the retired players?
Neal: Increase our pensions to a normal level because before 1993, a lot of us aren't getting much money. Especially the Hall of Famers before me. They're getting like $200 a month. Real disparity in what the current players are getting and the players that built the league. And more transparency to the disability.
Doug: Being a former player rep, Redskins were the only team to have a player not across the line. Do you have any advice for current players?
Neal: Our deal was stay together as a team. We went through it in '83 and that worked, we won the Super Bowl, so we decided as a team to stick through it together as a team. Both strike years was a big advantage for us.
Kevin: Hard keeping guys on your side of the picket line? I'd imagine Dexter would be handful.
Neal: Oh yea. There were some knock down drag out fights. There was one time with Dexter. We had a meeting and he was jumping up how pro-Union he was and the next day in the paper we're reading how he's ready to cross the picket line (laughing). I said, "Dexter what happened?!" He had a change of heart. A couple guys said he wasn't going to get paid. I don't know. (laughing). But to credit Dexter, he stood with it and we all went back as a group. It's hard seeing someone take your job as you're walking the picket line. That wasn't fun.
Kevin: Like the Replacements movie, which was based off the Redskins, did you guys clash at all with the replacement players as they came to work?
Neal: Yea, it was real tense when we first went back. It was a strange situation. These guys took our jobs, but at the same time they were winning games. Only a couple guys ended up staying around. But we understood it was an opportunity of a lifetime for them. It's hard to turn down.
Kevin: I could see the Hogs giving wedgies to half these guys.
Neal: (laughing) Yea.
Kevin: Being a Terp, what's your take on the Edsall hiring and the handling of Fridge?
Neal: Well, I was sad to see that. I really liked the Fridge and I thought he did a great job the way he brought Maryland football back. I guess he hadn't taken it quite to the level they wanted, but honestly I hate to see that happen, especially after the year they had. He deserved better, but I hope Edsall does great. I'm still a Terp fan, but it just would have been nice to see it done better.
Doug: Who were athletes you saw on the field that played at a different level, where you were in almost awe and would say, "that guy is a freak of nature?"
Neal: I'd probably go with two. John Riggins. People just don't realize what a great athlete he was. He didn't practice real hard, but when game time came he was full speed. Thank God I didn't have to tackle him. And Dexter Manley was the other one. He was just a physical specimen. If you got a chance just to watch him during the Offensive Line drills pass rushing, it was something amazing to see. He was a real, strong weight lifter guy.
Ken: Any LB besides Fletcher that you enjoy watching?
Neal: Fletcher is amazing what he's done . To play that many straight games is the biggest attribute - even at the high level he plays. What a successful person he is and a class guy. You win with those guys and need more of them.