They won't miss himVikings coach Jerry Burns said his...

Fumbles and follies

December 15, 1991|By VITO STELLINO

They won't miss him

Vikings coach Jerry Burns said his players didn't seem too concerned when he announced a week ago that he was stepping down at the end of the season.

"I don't think it's any big traumatic deal. Bobby Bonilla's contract was a bigger topic of conversation in the locker room than my announcement," he said.

Keeping busy

Simon Fletcher of the Broncos, talking about looking forward to the playoffs after going 5-11 last year, said: "Last year was a bummer being home early. My wife started making out a list of chores at midseason."

Will he get write-in votes?

Coach Jim Mora, talking about the fans being unhappy with the Saints' slide, said: "They're a little more down on me than they were a few weeks ago. Put it this way: A few weeks ago, they wanted me for governor; now I don't know if I could make street cleaner," he said.

Are the fans calling for his head?

"They might be. I don't know. It's not in the paper. It's not on the TV yet. But I'm sure some people are sitting in their homes and saying, 'Get rid of that jerk.' "

Judging the coach

QB Chris Chandler, who was cut by Tampa Bay, on the differences between Cardinals coach Joe Bugel and Richard Williamson of the Buccaneers: "I think Joe Bugel is a much stronger personality than Richard Williamson. Not that Richard doesn't know his stuff, but Richard was a receivers coach the year before. I think that's about what he is. He's a good receivers coach."

Debating with Mike

Bears coach Mike Ditka on Chicago RB Neal Anderson: "I think Neal is mad at me because he's not speaking to me anymore."

Anderson replied: "Sometimes you might go so far as to say he might want players to maybe kiss a certain part of his anatomy. I could never do that."

Nobody even knows why Anderson and Ditka are squabbling. It's just business as usual with Ditka and the Bears.

Turning down a compliment

Al Davis, managing general partner of the Raiders, has told S Eddie Anderson that he reminds him of Raiders hitters of old.

Remembering that Jack Tatum paralyzed Darryl Stingley with a hit in 1978, Anderson doesn't want to be known that way.

"I want to be known as a hard hitter, the hardest hitter to play, but I never want to hurt anybody seriously or to put them out where they could never play again. I don't want to be known, for instance, like that guy from Philadelphia, Andre Waters. I think that guy can hit, but a lot of the guys don't like him because he's a cheap-shot artist, they say, and he tries to hurt people. I'm not that type of safety. He has his style and I have mine," he said.

Leaving Indianapolis

When Bubba Paris, a former 49ers offensive lineman, was cut by the Colts and signed by the Lions, he was happy to have a new address.

Paris, who hurt 2 Indianapolis teammates by pulling the wrong way, said: "I feel great that I was cut at Indianapolis. It means I didn't have the Indianapolis personality. I had difficulty in Indianapolis. The last 2 years, we [San Francisco] lost 4 games in 2 years. In the first 5 games, I lost more games than in the last 2 years. It was the hardest money I ever made."

Is this the way Knute Rockne did it?

Since the Jets know they have to win their final 2 games to make the playoffs, coach Bruce Coslet dispensed last week with his usual lecture about the keys to victory.

He held up a blank legal pad that usually contains those keys and said: "OK, guys, here is my speech of the day. We know what we have to do."

He then walked out.

He later explained: "It's put-up-or-shut-up time. What is there to say at this point?"

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