DARRELL GREEN/Redskins cornerback


January 24, 1992|By Ken Murray

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's not so much that Darrell Green, at 31, is older. It's that he is faster.

The Redskins cornerback won the NFL's Fastest Man title for the third time last spring. Experience counts for something, but it's Green's speed that makes him arguably the league's best cornerback.

And the way he figures it, he'll be in Canton, Ohio, someday.

"The great receivers of the league are going to send me to the Hall of Fame," Green said this week. "I'll be there on my own, or I'll be on their [highlight] films when they go."

Green figures to play a key role in Super Bowl XXVI Sunday as the Redskins attempt to defuse Buffalo's no-huddle offense and contain receivers Andre Reed and James Lofton.

This is Green's third Super Bowl in nine NFL seasons. The Redskins got whomped by the Raiders, 38-9, in his rookie season of 1983 and beat the Broncos, 42-10, in 1987. He appreciates the chance at a third.

"My rookie year I played as hard as I could and lost," Green said. "I was probably the happiest loser on the field. It was a dream for me. I don't care if I did lose. Now I have moved beyond that stage. I've won a Super Bowl, too, and I understand what it's all about."

There are bigger implications for Green than the outcome of Sunday's game. He is in the final year of his contract, and it has been perhaps his best year with five interceptions. Green made $825,000 in base salary this season, but figures to double that in the offseason.

Does he feel he should be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, surpassing Cleveland's Eric Turner, who makes $1.5 million?

"In my opinion, yes I do," Green said.

He will take his case to the Bills Sunday, and the no-huddle offense will provide the acid test.

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