The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 1, 1997 · Page 37
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 37

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, December 1, 1997
Page 37
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7C C s c THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1997 Dolphins 34, I " : ; n I " f1'- 1 " , . " - . - . . . - . ,-)- 3 ..v v ' '.,"'" ' t"" - ' ' ' 3 Dolphins end their misery against the Raiders on the West Coast with '.1 Raiders 16 a fourth-quarter sack of Jeff George SUf us) 1fVf?l,7l"il'fl'"'lB i Johnson was not amused and talked to Jordan when he came to the bench. I "He's lucky he scored," McDuffie said. "I started showboating a little bit and it could have cost us," Jordan said. "I shouldn't have done it. But I'm still learning." The Raiders' Tim Brown, who worked with him while they were teammates, is the model for what Jordan hopes to become. "He's my mentor and I look up to him," Jordan said. "I still learn from him, even though we're on different teams." Jordan began this season as helps, do it were capable of getting into all sorts of trouble after he left town. Jimmy Johnson built his reputation, as a coach by winning a national title with the Miami Hurricanes. No one knows more about the risky business of embracing upside potential and ignoring downside baggage than he does. But in Lawrence Phillips, John -son will look across the table and see a remarkable talent who no one has been able to reach not Osborne, not Vermeil, not counselors, not the judicial system and not his teammates. In a perverse way, this makes him all the more attractive to Johnson, a coach whose confidence in his ability to lead and motivate is unsurpassed. Should Johnson give Phillips a chance? Probably,, because Johnson may be tk only man who can save him. 7W. I J rJ, best of a r4 The former Raiders receiver is awarded the game ball with five catches fori 106 yards and two touchdowns. ByDanMoffett j Palm Beach Post Sports Editor OAKLAND,! Calif. In the past two weeks, Charles Jordan has caught mor6 passes for more yards and as many touchdowns than in any of his previous four seasons as a professional. Sunday his five receptions for 106 yards and two scores were the impetus for the Dolphins' 34-16 victory, and also vindicatioalfor Jimmy Johnson, who has stayed with Jordan when some thought it unwise. 1 "Charles Jordan has had a, lot . of disappointments," Johnson said. "Some of the people wondered if we wanted him back (this season). But today he played a great game. He's come a long, long, way and-I'm happy for him." J Consider that last December when the Dolphins played here ' and lost, Jordan missed the team bus from the hotel and contributed nothing. Afterj his performance Sunday and after making five receptions, for 78 yards the week before at New England, Jordan suddenly look? like the reliable receiver Miami has sought to complement O.J. McDuffie. "I've changed a lot and I've matured a lot," Jordan said. "Today I felt like I was in the zone. I felt that all the learning experiences were going to be paying off." Jordan's touchdown receptions of 8 and 44 yards came in the second quarter. Besides looking for him near the end zone, quarterback Dan Marino also sought him out on third downs. Twice in the third quarter, Marino hit Jor- . dan for gains fo 23 and 17 yards on third-and-10 situations to keep a touchdown drive alive. "Dan told me he was coming to me," Jordan said. "We made eye contact real well all afternoon. I felt like we were clicking together whatever we tried to do. When GREG LOVETTStaff Photographer HIGH Who... might never lose again here to the Dolphins? Joe Bugel, the Raiders coach, whose job is hanging by a thread. What... will the Dolphins be keeping? ... A seventh-round draft , . ,1( choice they would have had to give it to Green Bay as compensation for Qadry ; Ismail, had the receiver been active for six games this season. But Ismail was ; ' , , inactive Sunday, meaning he can be active in no more than five this season. nit ti'r When... did the always unusual, sometimes totally bizarre, Raiders crowd show the most emotion? The instant the final score of the San Francisco game , was announced. The 49ers lost 44-9 to Kansas City. Where... does Karim Abdul-Jabbar rank among the league's most sure-handed ballcarriers? , Near the top. In 280 touches as a professional, Abdul-Jabbar has fumbled only three times. 4 Why. did the Dolphins' visit to the Bay Area get off to a bad start? The team's jet was met by personnel from the fire department upon landing at Oakland Airport. The plane was leaking hydraulic fluid. No one was injured. Dan Moffett O 0 ' :., Charles Jordan heads for the end zone - and on the way to the on a 44-yard scoring pass in the second quarter. End. Trace Armstrong helps the 11 to meet Hth JJ. By Ed Price Palm Beach Post Staff Writer . J'he Miami Dolnhins will imedt this week with Lawrence Philips, the controversial run-.lingback recently released by thet. Louis Reims. ; JWe're going to bring him in, $)ut just to; talk to him," Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson iaidj "Np otjjer decisions have )eea made whether we do ionlething after that. I just want 4 to meet face-to-face and get a feel 'for,, things.", I , Johnson ' did not say , when the meeting :, would take. ' place, but Phillips is expected to 4JH 1 :Jhiflips 'isic Tuesday, jMiami js very high on bur ist! We'll meet with them and ijo fom tnere, rnmips agent, Stele Feldman, said. S'wo television commenta-;orireported Sunday that Phil-ipsjwould be offered a mini-num salalry contract through he1998 season, provided that .. le Jneet certain conditions of he! off-season workout pro-;rai. Feldman said no terms lad been discussed. Phillips, the No. 6 pick of !he draft in 1996, was released )y the Rams on Nov. 20 after kiDDine team meetings and iradtice the day before. He also ad failed to show up at Rams iJark for a meeting on Oct. 13 tfie day after the Rams were lefeated 30-10 in San Francisco - M was fined $2,000 for nising work, according to earn sources. Phillips had led the Rams by usHing for 633 yards and eight oucjhdowns tied for most in he NFC at the time of his elease in 11 games. But he also had been fined ibout 20 times this season by he Jeam, more than any other ilayer. About half of the fines vere for failure to make weight. ut the rest of the fines vere for being tardy or missing earn duties, mainly weight-rairiine sessions. In a grading JLvstem by the team's strength jfand conditioning department, J ,., mi- ij "u" c u: OlUlipS was giaueu r iui ma participation in weight training. Phillips also failed an NFL drug test, according to The St. puis Post-Dispatch. All players must undergo random drug testing, but only in the case of a second positive test is a player Isuspended from regular-season games. In college at Nebraska, Phil-Bps was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay $359 in restitution for assaulting Nebraska basketball player Kate McEwen. . D Staff writer Ethan J. Skol-mck Contributed to thB story. Phillips . SCOn WISEMANStaff Photographer game of his NFL career the antithesis of a third-down receiver. Marino looked for him only in desperate moments. Sunday, the two found each other consistently when it mattered most. "Jordan played a great game," Marino said. Johnson awarded him with a game ball. Not bad for a player who could not be located here a year ago a player who dropped out of football from 1988-92 after one year at Long Beach City College and worked at his aunt's hair salon and his' uncle's soul-food restaurant. Not bad at all. . "I just need to build on this and keep getting better," Jordan said. 000 0 I Johnson's approach: If it someone like Dan Marino says he's coming to you, it makes you work hard because you know you'll have to make plays when you get the chance." Four years ago Jordan was released by the Raiders after spending a season on injured reserve. To be able to star in a game against them was heady stuff almost too much so. After he had broken free of the Raiders secondary on his 44-yard score, Jordan started high-stepping at the 8-yard line, taunting safety James Trapp, who threw him to the ground as he crossed the goal line. stark as the contrast in the reputations they carry. Phillips has size and power to go' with his speed. Abdul-Jabbar must twist, squirm and fake to gain his yards. Since his college days Phillips has been either in trouble or trying to rehabilitate himself from it. Abdul-Jab-bar's record is spotless, preferring quiet time with his family to the nightclub tours Phillips has been known to fancy. Johnson is considering putting this troubled runner on his roster because of an inherent affection for something called "upside potential." He believes that building a championship team often requires accepting the risk that some extraordinary talents bring with them. Johnson accepted that risk when he made Daryl Gardner, a reputed loafer at Baylor, his very first draft choice as the new Dolphins' coach. Johnson accepted it when he was at Dallas by assembling a group of Cowboys that O o 0" 0 MOFFETT From 1C player on your roster, I don't think it affects the chemistry. I take care of the chemistry, and I don't think anybody's going to be upset by my decision." j Abdul-Jabbar fought hard for 85 yards in 23 carries against the Raiders, and his third-quarter touchdown: was his 14th of the season. It was Johnson, after all, who said, "I thought we ran the ball well today and that was a key for us." ! But Phillips is still coming, and Abdul-Jabbar insists he doesn't mind. ' "I know Lawrence Phillips and I know he's a great athlete," he said. "Anyone who can help us I'd be happy to see. He has the type of capability to do that. It's a coach's decision, j I'll just keep working hard." i ' The contrast in runners is as SEAN TEVISStaff Artist SCORE: Dolphins 17-10. TIME: 4:31 left, third quarter. DOWN: Third-and-10, Raiders 29 yard-line. WHAT HAPPENED: The Dolphins lined up with Bernie Parmalee and Jerris McPhail in the backfield, along with three WRs, and Dan Marino threw behind McPhail. But the ball was thrown so hard that its flight pattern hardly altered on its way from McPhail's fingertips, into the arms WR Charles Jordan who was running a crossing pattern behind him. Jordan's 19-yari catch wasn't his longest gain of the day, but it extended drive that enaed two plays later in a Karim Abdul-Jabbar TD. .

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