Redskins open new era with difficult schedule

April 29, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

If the Los Angeles Rams are going to play their final season in Anaheim, Calif., this year, the Washington Redskins will help them say goodbye.

And in the 1994 NFL schedule announced yesterday, the league said goodbye to the Redskins as a Monday night attraction.

The NFL showed that it doesn't have high expectations for the team when it didn't schedule the club for a Monday night game for the first time since 1982. That was coach Joe Gibbs' second year, and they were a surprise Super Bowl winner in the strike-shortened, nine-game season.

The club's only prime-time game will be Sunday night, Oct. 9, at Philadelphia on TNT.

The Redskins will close their regular season on Dec. 24 against the Rams at Anaheim Stadium.

The Rams plan next week to give the city of Anaheim the 15 nTC months' notice that will allow them to move for the 1995 season, although they still could decide to stay put.

If the Rams decide to move and don't make the playoffs, that game against the Redskins would be their final one as the Los Angeles Rams. They moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland in 1946.

The speculation in Anaheim is that owner Georgia Frontiere still hasn't decided whether to move the team, but will go ahead and give the notice to keep all of her options open, including the possibility of moving the team to Baltimore.

For the Redskins, that last game will close what may be a difficult season.

Though they play a fifth-place schedule with two games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one against the Indianapolis Colts, those three games are among the final nine of the season.

After opening the season Sept. 4 against a fifth-place team, the Seattle Seahawks, they play at the New Orleans Saints and at the New York Giants and then come home to play the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.

Against that schedule, the team could well have the same 1-4 start it had last year in Richie Petitbon's only season as coach.

New coach Norv Turner, though, has the security of a five-year contract and knows he'll get more than one year.

In a statement issued by the club, Turner said, "It's a challenging schedule, but that comes with the territory in the NFC East. It is obvious that we will have to be ready from the very start."

It also means that rookie quarterback Heath Shuler, who is expected to get the starting nod over John Friesz at the beginning of the season, will have to be ready early.

The Redskins will start to tutor him today when they start their second weekend minicamp. They'll also get a chance to look at (( their other draftees.

"This in my mind is the starting point for this football team," Turner said of the minicamp. "This is a group of guys coming from a lot of different factions really getting together for the first time. To me, that's the most exciting part of what we do here."

The Redskins also were notified that the amount they'll be able to spend on the seven rookies they drafted is $2,812,219.

The Redskins announced the signing of wide receiver Stephen Hobbs and 11 undrafted free agents. Since the Redskins drafted only one defensive player, seven of the 11 they signed were defensive players. One is a linebacker with a perfect name for the position -- Tyler Lawrence of North Carolina State.

REDSKINS SCHEDULE

Date .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Opponent .. .. .. .. .. .. Time

Sept. 4 .. .. .. .. .. ..Seattle .. .. .. .. .. . 1 p.m.

Sept. 11 . .. .. .. .. ..at New Orleans . .. .. . 4 p.m.

Sept. 18 . .. .. .. .. ..at N.Y. Giants . .. .. . 4 p.m.

Sept. 25 . .. .. .. .. ..Atlanta .. .. .. .. .. . 1 p.m.

Oct. 2 .. .. .. .. .. ...Dallas. .. .. .. .. .. . 1 p.m.

Oct. 9 .. .. .. .. .. .. at Philadelphia .. .. ...8 p.m.

Oct. 16 . .. .. .. .. .. Arizona .. .. .. .. .. ..1 p.m.

Oct. 23 .. .. .. .. .. ..at Indianapolis .. .. ...1 p.m.

Oct. 30 .. .. .. .. .. ..Philadelphia .. .. .. ...1 p.m.

Nov. 6 .. ... .. .. .. ..San Francisco .. .. .. ..1 p.m.

Nov. 13 .. .. .. .. .. ..Bye

Nov. 20 .. .. .. .. .. ..at Dallas .. .. .. .. ...1 p.m.

Nov. 27 .. .. .. .. .. ..New York Giants .. .. ...4 p.m.

Dec. 4 .. .. .. .. .. ...at Tampa Bay .. .. .. ...1 p.m.

Dec. 11 .. .. .. .. .. ..at Arizona .. .. .. .. ..4 p.m.

Dec. 18 .. .. .. .. .. ..Tampa Bay .. .. .. .. ...1 p.m.

Dec. 24 .. .. .. .. .. ..at L.A. Rams .. .. .. ...4 p.m.

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