Anderson goes from sideline to MVP Notes

January 28, 1991|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

TAMPA,FLA. — TAMPA, Fla. -- The Super Bowl was a lot different this time for Ottis Anderson.

"The last time we won, in '86, I was basically a spectator," Anderson said last night.

He was a lot more than that last night, winning the Most Valuable Player trophy in Super Bowl XXV after rushing for 102 yards in the New York Giants' 20-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

The Giants had obtained Anderson in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986 to be a backup to Joe Morris. He carried 75 times that year and twice in 1987.

"From then until 1989, I was a nominee for 'Where are they now?' " he said.

Anderson, though, never lost confidence in himself.

"I said a long time ago that if I got to play in a Super Bowl, I'd be the Most Valuable Player," he said.

Of feelings on the victory, he said: "We had won on a field goal in San Francisco. We've been underdogs for the last few weeks. We weren't given a hell of a chance to win the Super Bowl. It's a happy ending to a long story for myself and my teammates."

Giants center Bart Oates said: "He's a tremendous role model. I think in five or six more years, he might be ready to retire."

Offensive tackle Jumbo Elliott said: "He's still a very tough runner, very heady. He knows what he's doing. He looks for little things such as defensive-line stunts."

Anderson, 33, wasn't protected by the Giants on Plan B the past two years, but nobody bothered to sign him.

Coach Bill Parcells said of Anderson: "He's going to Canton. I don't see how they can keep the kid out. He's got too many pelts on his horse. More than 10,000 yards on his career and anyone who watched him today knows he can still do it. The mettle is the test of time, and he's met it."

* The Giants used a different defensive-line alignment for the third straight week in the playoffs. They used four linemen against the Chicago Bears, used their usual three-man front against the San Francisco 49ers last week and switched to a two-man front against the Bills to counteract their no-huddle offense.

"We have to match up the best way we can. It worked real well. We had a couple of packages, actually three packages. We mixed it up, and I think we kept them off-balance," linebacker Gary Reasons said.

* There was lot of emotion in the Giants locker room after the game.

Owner Wellington Mara was choked up when commissioner Paul Tagliabue presented him with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

"I could cry very easily," he said.

Cornerback Everson Walls said, "No doubt about . . . it's great." He then put his head down on the podium and covered his eyes. He lifted his head again and tried to speak, but put his hand over his eyes and walked away from the podium, apparently overcome with emotion.

He came back after he had regained his composure.

* When the Bills took over on their 10 with 2 minutes, 16 seconds left, quarterback Jim Kelly said: "We knew we had only one timeout left. We needed a field goal, and I told the guys that this is what champions are made of. Let's play it. Let's be one. We knew it was just a matter of going down there and taking our time, not trying to make the big play right away. Overall, our goal was to get to the 30-yard line. We got there [to the 29], and it just wasn't meant to be."

* Bills linebacker Shane Conlan said: "I think we played dumb, just plain dumb. You just can't win when you play like that."

* Forget the speculation that coach Bill Parcells might walk away LLTC from the Giants after coaching his team to his second Super Bowl victory in the past five years.

Parcells, who has said all along that he'd wait until after the

season to decide on his future amid much speculation that he might try to go to another team or retire, tried to get permission to leave the Giants two days after the Giants won the Super Bowl after the 1986 season.

That's not going to happen this time, Parcells said after yesterday's game.

"The last time we won one of these, there was a little controversy about me, and it didn't allow my owners and general manager to enjoy this very much. They're going to enjoy this one, I promise you. There's not going to be any controversy," he said.

* Giants tight end Mark Bavaro was asked whether Buffalo's closing rally would take away from his team's accomplishment.

"When we get that ring," he said, "it's not going to say, 'Won on missed field goal.' "

* The safety the Bills scored when Bruce Smith sacked Hostetler in the end zone midway through the second quarter was the fifth in Super Bowl history.

* Place-kicker Matt Bahr is described in the Giants postseason media guide as an aggressive player who was "in on" three tackles during the regular season and one in the playoffs. He made two more kick coverage tackles yesterday, preventing potential long gainers by Don Smith and Al Edwards, who were brought down at the Bills' 34 and 40.

* The opening drive of the game set the tone for Buffalo's #F no-huddle offense, which failed to produce points on the Bills' first possession for only the fourth time in 13 games.

Kelly threw an incompletion on the first play, then hit Andre Reed for gains of 4 and 5 yards on the next two. Eventually, the Giants' ability to control the ball and keep Buffalo's no-huddle offense on the sidelines helped New York wear down the Bills defense.

"If we had it to do all over again, we might have tried to do some things differently," Bills wide receiver James Lofton said. "We tried to run what got us here, and they did a very good job of stopping it. . . . I don't think we should second-guess ourselves."

* Dick Schaap of ESPN got off the first gaffe of Super Bowl Sunday. In an interview with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp, now secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Schaap asked if Kemp had been in touch with President Ford about playing in the Super Bowl.

Kemp pointed out to Schaap that George Bush is now president.

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