Gaining groundMike Pringle, a running back deemed...


June 20, 1994|By Ken Murray

Gaining ground

Mike Pringle, a running back deemed expendable by the Sacramento Gold Miners last month, is beginning to make the Miners look bad.

In camp with the CFL Colts 10 days, Pringle made his biggest move in Saturday's scripted scrimmage when he ran for two touchdowns. One was a 60-yard breakaway after getting a key block from tackle Neal Fort. The other was a 15-yard jaunt behind Karl Nieberlein's block.

Pringle had a shot at another big play, but juggled, then dropped a long pass from quarterback John Congemi. His performance seemingly tightened the competition at running back, where Sheldon Canley has been the clear-cut favorite since camp opened.

"You like to see a back run like that," quarterback Tracy Ham said after Pringle's big day. "He and Sheldon are cut from the same mold."

Iggy's on line

There seems little doubt that Donald Igwebuike will be the team's place-kicker. He was good from 35 and 37 yards out Saturday, while Josh Miller, his potential competition, was 0-for-2 in field-goal attempts. Miller, a left-footer, missed kicks of 33 and 50 yards.

Miller did considerably better punting the ball, his primary job. He and Robert Sims got off several good kicks. Handling place-kicks and punts, Miller said he didn't have time to change shoes during the workout. Since play was scripted, it didn't help to follow the action.

Hot and heavy

The most tested defensive back in the scrimmage was cornerback Irvin Smith, who saw a lot of passes for two reasons: Karl Anthony was the other corner on his defense, and he was lined up most often against Shannon Culver, Congemi's favorite target.

Smith more than held his own, even though he gave up one long pass to Culver and was flagged for interference on another. He stopped five passes and nearly had an interception.

Johnny U. on the mike?

Minority partner Tom Matte said the team has asked John Unitas and Joe Washington to provide TV commentary.


Irvin Smith

Pos: CB

Ht: 5-10

Wt: 185

College: Maryland

Year: Rookie

VTC Outlook: Smith came to camp as a free safety, but won the starting job at right cornerback. Strong bump-and-run cover man with good speed.

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