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Neal Olkewicz on the Randy Edsall Hiring and Lockout

Neal Olkewicz walking the line.
Neal Olkewicz walking the line.

On our weekly podcast with, we had Redskins legend Neal Olkewicz join us. 

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.