Wannstedt is focused on task at hand

January 28, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Dave Wannstedt has one eye on the Buffalo Bills and the other on the Chicago Bears this week.

The Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator finds himself in an unusual situation as he prepares the defensive game plan for the Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII on Sunday. He was named head coach of the Bears last week, but won't begin his duties until after the game.

It's believed to be the first time a coach has found himself in this dual capacity, but it doesn't seem to bother Wannstedt.

"I'm very comfortable with the situation I'm in," he said. "In fact, I'm more comfortable, more relaxed and more focused than I was before the Philadelphia and San Francisco [playoff] games," he said.

Wannstedt insisted he's put no time or energy into the Chicago job yet.

"The only people I've talked on the phone with since I took the Chicago job have been my wife and kids," he said. "My focus has been on the game."

But he said that Ted Tollner, the Rams' quarterback coach, is likely to join him as the Bears' offensive coordinator.

Admitting he would have tried to hire Tollner if he'd gotten the Pittsburgh job last year (he lost out to Bill Cowher), Wannstedt said, "Ted and I have obviously worked together and I think he does an outstanding job. Our philosophies mesh. He's a guy I'm seriously interested in."

Wannstedt was Southern Cal's defensive line coach from 1983-85 under Tollner.

Allen has ally

Steve Beuerlein, the backup quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, is sympathetic to Marcus Allen, who blasted Los Angles Raiders owner Al Davis for trying to ruin his career. Allen is a free agent and will leave the Raiders once the signing period beings on March 1.

Beuerlein was a former Raiders teammate of Allen, and like Allen, had problems with Davis. But Beuerlein was traded a year ago.

"Marcus is one of the guys I have more respect for than anybody in the world. He's kept his mouth shut for a long time. All the guy wants is a chance to play. That's all he's wanted for the last six years. So I was very proud of the way he handled the whole thing. He could have been a lot more vindictive than he was. He could have said things a lot worse than he said. Hopefully, things will work out for him," he said.

Tunnell won't complain

Tight end Derek Tennell, who was signed by the Cowboys at the end of the season, won't get a full Super Bowl share because he didn't play in two regular season games.

He's not complaining, though. He just wants a chance to be a champion.

"If I had to go ahead and play for free, I would go out there and do it. It's not the amount of money, it's the opportunity to call yourself the best," he said.

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