Redskins' Turner a happy camper

July 21, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

CARLISLE, PA. — *TC CARLISLE, Pa. -- Don't tell Norv Turner training camp is drudgery.

Maybe it's because it's his first training camp as a head coach on any level, but Turner sounded like a kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning yesterday after 80 Washington Redskins reported to camp at Dickinson College.

"This is what we live for. I love training camp. You get up here by yourself with the team, [with] the players, everyone is starting together from scratch. We'll get a lot of work done," he said.

What about the players who say they hate it?

"The guys who tell you they don't [like it] are lying to you. I think the players are looking forward to it. I always think they are. I know about halfway into it, we all wonder what we're doing, but the players really do enjoy it," he said.

If the new coach says so, nobody is going to argue. That all the veterans showed up -- the two top draft picks, Heath Shuler and Tre Johnson, were the only no-shows and the Redskins think they're close to signing Johnson -- was a victory of sorts for Turner.

The Redskins veterans aren't required to report until Sunday, and early reporting dates are an issue in some camps. The NFL Players Association is even filing a grievance because the Cincinnati Bengals opened

camp for veterans Tuesday.

Technically, the Redskins veterans "volunteered" to show up yesterday.

Turner said the reporting date wasn't an issue for the Redskins. "When you start practice, you'd like to have all your players there," he said.

New deal for Shula?

Don Shula is expected to sign a contract extension that will give him the option to coach through the 1996 season or take another job with the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Herald reported. A news conference is tentatively set for today, the newspaper said. The contract is estimated to be worth up to $4 million, depending on whether Shula decides to continue coaching. The Herald said if Shula, 64, decides to leave coaching, he would be guaranteed an executive position that may even include minority ownership.

Cap cuts

The NFL salary cap continues to claim veterans around the league.

Defensive lineman Greg Townsend and his $1.5 million salary were sent packing to give the Los Angeles Raiders the money to sign their top draft pick, Bob Frederickson. Townsend offered to take a 50 percent pay cut, but still couldn't save his job.

In New Orleans, linebacker Vaughn Johnson and his $900,000 salary were cut while he was hospitalized with a thigh infection. Coach Jim Mora said he might be re-signed for less when he recovers.

Money talks

For the players teams don't want to send packing, salary squabbles are alive and well.

Kicker Gary Anderson of the Pittsburgh Steelers says he won't report to camp until the Steelers make good on their promise to make him one of the highest paid kickers in the league. He wants $4.5 million for four years.

In Cleveland, wide receiver Michael Jackson says he may walk out of camp if he doesn't get $1 million or more a year. He's upset the Browns offered Alvin Harper of the Dallas Cowboys $4.7 million for three years.

Craig quits as a 49er

Once a 49er, always a 49er.

That seems to be the philosophy of running back Roger Craig, who spent last year in Minnesota.

Craig has decided to retire, but he wants to do it as a San Francisco 49er. He asked the club to sign him for a day and then he'll retire immediately. The 49ers agreed. "It's a great way to go out," he said.

Ex-Redskin Flaherty dies

Hall of Famer Ray Flaherty, who coached the Redskins to their first title in 1937, died at age 90 in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. He is credited with introducing the screen pass to pro football. He was the losing end of the most lopsided title game ever -- the Redskins' 73-0 loss to the Chicago Bears in 1940.

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