Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 22, 1991 · Page 34
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 34

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 22, 1991
Page 34
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C6 ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL Thursday, August 22, 1991 e FOOTBAUT OB Controversies Way of life in the NFL I Giants Surely ; WiU Face One ;In Coming Weeks By Gary Myers NEW YORK DAILY NEWS v Walt Michaels was ready to end the Jets summer-long Quarterback Controversy of 1979 by announcing that he had selected Matt Robinson Over Richard Todd. As he walked to his press conference following a preseason game against the Giants, Michaels did a quick turnaround into the shower room when he realized he had forgotten to tell Todd and Robinson of his decision. In effect, however, the real controversy was to begin in another week. "Matt dislocated his thumb the Friday night before the opening game with Cleveland and didn't tell Walt," Pat Ryan, the Jets No. 3 'quarterback, recalled recently from his home in Knoxville, Tenn. -"Matt had been out that night and ."had a few pops. We were staying at Jhe Holiday Inn waiting to move into our houses. Matt came back 'feeling feisty and he jumped on 3obby Jones and wrestled with him. Bobby threw him across the room and somehow Matt jammed his thumb." . Two days later, Robinson was 17-of-31 against Cleveland,. "but his thumb swelled up real bad and he had a hard time hanging onto the football," Ryan said. "Matt played , the whole game and it went into rovertime. He dropped back, had Wesley (Walker) down the middle deep and when he got ready to let it go, his thumb came out He threw a ; quacker, Cleveland intercepted and got a field goal to beat us. Walt - couldn't see straight he was so ;mad." ;; It was the controversy to end the ; controversy. Robinson concocted a story that he had jammed his thumb when the door of the hotel room he . shared with Ryan unexpectedly opened. Michaels didn't let Robinson throw another pass all season and he was traded to Denver before the draft ' " "Matt and I talk about it to this day," Ryan said. "He said that one night ruined his career." ! By comparison, the Giants' quarterback controversy this summer ;has been Phil And Jeffs Excellent -Adventure. There has been no dissension, no distractions, not even ;any trade rumors. Still, this might be the most 'compelling quarterback controversy of them alL Never has one team had two quarterbacks on the roster who have won Super Bowls. Phil Simms, Jeff Hostetler and Joe ; Montana are the only Super Bowl winning QBs still playing for their : teams. - And don't expect the controversy -to end when Giants coach Ray lHandley announces bis decision Z which contintually delays. A fum- ble, an interception, a loss, and the fans will be calling for the backup. "It should be a fun season. .1 Quarterback controversies are a way of life in the NFL They can make a coach do wacky things. It's the only position where you can only play one. And lots of times, i teams have two. Z The Rams had the mother of all - quarterback controversies in the 1950s with Bob Waterfield and :Norm Van Brocklin. In '51, Water- field finished first in the league in "passing and Van Brocklin was "second. They alternated during games. Did it work? Well, both are ' in the Hall of Fame. - So is former Cowboys coach Tom ; Landry. As is the quarterback who won two Super Bowls for him, : Roger Staubach. But in 1971, Land-:ry announced that he had two - starting quarterbacks in Staubach and Craig Morton and planned to "" alternate them by game. "We were 4-3 and I played well -two weeks before coming in the second half," recalled Staubach. " "We almost won it at the end against ; the Saints. I started the next game and we beat the Patriots and now the controversy was really stirred up. We're getting ready to play the , Bears and Landry mentions we still ; have two starting quarterbacks and this week Craig and I would alternate plays." 1; His reaction? "I'm sitting there r , -1 - ' " - 7 - 'W i THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Did Former San Francisco coach Bill Walsh consider trading Joe Montana to the Chargers in 1988 so he could play his pet project, Steve Young (8)? Today, Walsh denies ever wanting to deal Montana, who went on to win two more Super Bowls after the rumor. and Craig is sitting there and we just shook our heads," Staubach said. "I thought Tom got Alzheimer's or something. It was incredible. Tom's philosophy was we had a system and mechanically, if you do what you're supposed to do, you win. But football is a game that's very emotional and you need the quarterback to be looked at like a leader. It isn't a mechanical position. That's what Tom didn't recognize. "I played horribly some games for three quarters but in the fourth quarter I played welL The quarterback needs to have the chance to come back." The Cowboys lost that game in Chicago, 23-19. "We literally alternated plays," Staubach said. "We were like two ships passing in the night It was a weird deal and just didn't work." The next week, Landry named Staubach to start the rest of the season. Dallas won 10 straight, including a 24-3 decision over Miami in the Super BowL Landry, to this day, thinks using the quarterbacks as the messenger is "the greatest way to do it," he said. "Why send guards in when you can send quarterbacks? But I didn't do it as a long-time thing. It would be very hard to make it work over the long haul because the quarterback's pride is hurt." Two years later, Landry traded Morton to the Giants for a No. 1 pick, which turned out to be Randy White.1 Landry is somewhat of an authority on quarterback controversies. He picked Don Meredith over Morton in the '60s, Staubach over Morton in the 70s and then was faced with a terrible situation in 1984 in the bitter battle between Danny White and Gary Hogeboom. White had taken the Cowboys to the NFC title game the first three years after Staubach unexpectedly retired following the 1979 season. But White had alienated his teammates and it became cool in Dallas to support Hogeboom. Landry wouldn't budge in 1983, although Hogeboom had played well in the '82 NFC title game in relief of White, who was KO'd by Dexter Manley. But when Dallas lost a wild-card game in 1983 to the Rams, the 'Boom Bandwagon started rolling. The Dallas Morning News ran an offseason player poll which revealed an overwhelming number of Cowboys wanted Hogeboom to start. And Landry later said that influenced his decision. There were some vicious anti-White quotes from Cowboys players. Landry loved White but felt the team would not respond to him. That's why he benched him. Landry was so flustered announcing he bad picked Hogeboom, that he somehow said, "Phil Pozderac will start at quarterback against the Rams." Pozderac was an offensive tackle. "The only way to re-establish him with the team was let him earn the right to start. I knew Danny was a winner," Landry said. "Danny didn't like it. I don't think a quarterback ever accepts the reasoning of Former UNM offensive tackle Ron . Shipley and former Manzano High School all-stater Ricky Staler have been waived from NFL rosters. Shipley was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, who d picked him in . the 12th round of the 1991 draft. Siglar, a - two-year veteran offensive lineman, was let go by the San Francisco 49ers. For Ray Hand ley, Jeff Hostetler's two games In January canceled out Phil Simms' 12 years of experience. Hostetler, who guided the Giants to a Super Bowl title, was named the winner of the team's quarterback contest by Harv -cfley over the man who led the Giants to the 1980 title, setting a Super Bowl record r for passing accuracy in the process. In making the pick, Handley went for youth over experience. Hostetler Is 30, Simms 35. The NFL's random-testing policy has helped cut the use of steroids, but the testing procedures are so often inaccurate that many players are able to keep using the drugs without detection, experts say. Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Bill Frallc, who two years ago told a Senate subcommittee that three of every four NFL players took steroids, said random testing has reduced steroid abuse, the Palm Beach Post reported In Tuesday's editions. the head coach when it's detrimental to them. Danny won his way back. But when you bench a starter, you have to assume you are going to lose him and have to trade him." White became the starter again midway through the 1984 season but it didn't help. Dallas missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. In fact, Dallas has not won a playoff game since '82 and Landry was fired in '89. Quarterback controversies can obviously prompt coaches to do some weird things. How can you explain Bill Parcells picking Scott Brunner over Simms in 1983? Or Bill Walsh considering trading Montana to the Chargers in '88 so he could play his pet project, Steve Young? Today, Walsh denies ever wanting to deal Montana, who went on to win two more Super Bowls after the rumor. "We had conversation with San Diego about two men, but not Joe," Walsh said. "I could never have traded Joe." But in '88, he benched Montana because: It was too hot in Anaheim; it was too cold in Chicago; he appeared fatigued and was losing weight. Walsh seemed to be looking for ways to get Young to No. 1. . "As long as Joe was with us, he was the starter," Walsh said. "It was never a matter of choosing between them because they were never both really 100 percent healthy (at the same time)." Walsh said he benched Montana only once because of poor play: A 1987 playoff loss to the Vikings when the 49ers were clearly the best team in the NFL But how do you know when to make the change for good? "The inability to avoid pass rushers, throwing recklessly, desperately, as they are about to get hit," Walsh said. ' Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgen-sen were great friends but went at it pretty good in Washington. And when Joe Theismann came along, they had a common enemy. "He had an awful lot to say about two old guys playing in front of him," Jurgensen said. "We had a pact between ourselves: One of us had to stay on the field to keep him off." Kilmer was so happy when the Saints traded him to the Redskins in 1971 that he said the annual battles with Jurgensen helped extend his career. Jurgensen retired in 74 but Kilmer kept going. "If it weren't for the quarterback controversy, I don't think I would have lasted so long," Kilmer once said. "It made me play and work Phil Simms vs. Jeff Hostetler may seem like the only quarterback controversy going on. But there's more to watch this season: SAINTS: Bobby Hebert is back from his one-year holdout and pushing Steve Walsh, who can't throw deep. Walsh is starter for now. JETS: Ken O'Brien will start the season, but Troy Taylor could finish up before both move aside for Browning Nagle next year. RAIDERS: Jay Schroeder is No. 1 and Steve Beuerlein will be traded. Rookie Todd Marinovich may well be the QB before long. PATRIOTS: Plan B QB Hugh Millen Is expected to beat out Tommy Hodson. Who cares? CHARGERS: it's Billy Joe Tolliver for now. But John Friesz could push him by mid-season. LIONS: Look for Rodney Peete and Andre Ware to go back-and-forth all year. Ware Is the better player. By Gary Myers NEW YORK DAILY NEWS harder. It kept me in the league another eight years." The Jurgensen-Kilmer friendship helped keep the Redskins together during a time when George Allen kept the controversy alive by playing the hot hand. "We could have split the team," Kilmer said. "But since we both wanted to play for a winner, we didn't. We went out and drank together. We had mutual respect. In the heat of battle, I wanted to play and he wanted to play" BASEBALL CARD SHOW MEET IN PERSON .Boston Celtic's starting guard and 1990-91 SLAM DUNK CHAMPION: DEE BROWN Dee Brown Autograph Session Saturday from 12-3pm Show Hours; Saturday August 24, 10-7pm; Sunday August 25, 10-5pm HOLIDAY INN MIDTOWN 2020 Menaul NE (Menaul at University) Admission: $2.00 per day. Children under "6 admitted FREE with adult. For more information call 505-293-6102 TB i , . , , I " i r . ; - i ''TTrr 4 !- i I . . gQNs cera f 3nF37; IT t- , ; - - l -i II " tltt' I ly - N si I " "" ' '" " 1 " "' - .w,ll,iw'u 1 ...ammmmm - Now; US WEST is helping more people do big business in small towns. Who says you have to be in a big city to do big business? Over the right communications system, any business can look like a Fortune 500 company. That's why u S WEST has accelerated its commitment to providing the best communications system possible. By the end of 1994, all of New Mexico served by US WEST can enjoy helpful services like .US WEST Conference Calling, Speed Calling, Voice Messaging and FAX capabilities. We're also committed to expanding US WEST cellular phone operations and making access to any New Mexico business quick and convenient through our Yellow Pages. These service improvements will not only provide added convenience for customers, but they'll foster growth in businesses and communities. No matter how big they are. Or, more importantly, how big they want to be. C 1991 US WEST, Inc. Making the most of your time.

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