Jerry never forgets or forgives
Jerry Glanville, the outspoken coach of the Falcons, never has forgiven Bobby Beathard for predicting his demise as the Oilers coach in 1989. That was the year Beathard spent as an NBC-TV commentator before becoming the Chargers general manager.
Glanville, who noted earlier this year that the Redskins haven't missed a beat since Beathard left, was bragging last week about the trade that brought Billy Joe Tolliver from San Diego to Atlanta for a fifth-round pick.
"That was the best thing we've done," Glanville said. "We've got to thank Bobby Beathard for allowing us to acquire a player like that at that price. I can't believe it. Bobby Beathard's probably done more to help this team than he has San Diego's."
A5 The Falcons are 8-5, and the Chargers are 3-10. When Denver coach Dan Reeves visits Cleveland, which he'll do today, he doesn't think about the 1986 Drive. He thinks about a 1989 game when the officials made his team change directions because the fans in the Dawg Pound were pelting his players with projectiles. The result was that Matt Bahr beat the Broncos with a field goal with the wind at his back.
Talking about Cleveland Stadium, Reeves said: "You go to visit Arlington Cemetery, Andersonville [Ga.] Cemetery, those places don't change. That's kind of the way Cleveland's dressing room is. You've got more bodies [players] than you used to have, but it hasn't changed in size at all."
He then referred to Glanville's comment that he'd pound a nail into the wall to hang his clothes in the Cleveland locker room, "It's not that bad. Jerry exaggerates a little bit. I think they put those nails they have in there with concrete and they haven't been moved for about 50 or 60 years. The nails are getting worn." Without mentioning any names, LB Gary Plummer of the Chargers complained that some of his teammates aren't willing to play hurt.
"You can't tell me in a 9-7 game [loss to the Raiders] that 3 or 4 guys couldn't have made a difference," he said. "You're going to be injured. That's part of your responsibility as a pro football player. If you wanted to play a non-contact sport, you should have played baseball. Go on [injured reserve] if you have a dislocated finger for 6 weeks like they do."
Rookie Stanley Richard, who apparently was one of the players Plummer was referring to, came out of the game with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Richard replied: "If I don't feel like I can contribute to the team, I'm not going to try."
For the defense
Lindy Infante, the embattled Packers coach, started lobbying to retain his job last week.
"This team is a lot closer than people believe it is because of the record [3-10]. You go back and look at the scores, and it's not like we've been getting beat, 35-0. I don't care if anybody believes me or not. This team competes pretty doggone good. With 5 plays changed, we could have won 5 more games," he said.
RB Keith Woodside also spoke up for Infante.
"Lindy Infante is not self-destructing this ballclub. We're doing it ourselves," he said. Mike Ditka, coach of the Bears, has had his differences with coach Jerry Burns of the Minnesota Vikings, but Ditka was sympathetic when Burns announced last week he'll resign at the end of the season.
"You put enough pressure on anybody, and after a while, another type of employment looks much more appetizing than coaching," Ditka said. "It happens to everybody. It could happen to me just like it happened to Jerry."
Mark Rypien of the Washington Redskins has been sacked 4 times this year, prompting coach John Robinson of the Rams to say, "Their quarterback does the job for them, and the way they protect him, he doesn't even have to shower after the game."