Turner, Shuler make home debut NFL TRAINING CAMP REPORT

August 12, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Norv Turner and Heath Shuler are eager to make RFK Stadium their new home, but the Washington Redskins fans aren't yet ready to give them a rousing welcome.

When the Redskins play host to the Kansas City Chiefs tonight, it'll be the first home game for Turner, the new coach, and Shuler, the team's new starting quarterback, but the game isn't sold out and won't be televised live in the Washington area.

The Washington season-ticket holders, who aren't required to buy preseason tickets, are blase about the practice games, but it'll be a night to remember for Turner and Shuler, who'll play the second half.

"When you're in your first year, there are a lot of firsts," Turner said. "This is special because I plan on being here a long time and plan on winning a lot of games in this stadium."

Turner, who visited RFK Stadium the past three years as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys when the stadium was rocking, isn't concerned that the stadium won't be filled. He knows it will be for the regular-season opener Sept. 4 against the Seattle Seahawks.

"I expect to have a frenzied crowd and it's going to help us win that football game," he said.

Shuler, who's never even seen RFK Stadium, much less played in it, said, "It's going to be a first for a lot of things."

He's not worried about the reaction of the fans, who booed Mark Rypien two years ago in his first game at home after he held out. Shuler missed 13 days in a holdout before signing an eight-year, $19.25 million deal that had been on the table about 10 days.

"All I can do is give it 110 percent and everything else will take care of itself," he said.

Shuler is aware of the team's successful tradition at the stadium and is eager to walk out of the tunnel for the first time.

"Each time you step up to a different level, you start your own era. You keep some things that are a tradition, but make things you do a tradition," he said.

For Turner and Shuler, a new era in Washington begins tonight.

Joe's back

Joe Montana, who hasn't seen extensive action since he was knocked out with a concussion in the AFC title game in Buffalo last January, will play most of the first half against the Redskins tonight, according to Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Montana, 38, didn't play in the first exhibition game and played only two series, throwing four incomplete passes, in Tokyo last weekend against the Minnesota Vikings.

"I think Joe's right on target as far as where we are with him at this time," Schottenheimer said.

Schottenheimer said Steve Bono, who is battling Matt Blundin for the backup job, will come in when Montana's stint is over.

It will be Montana's first appearance at RFK Stadium since 1986.

Deion to Philly?

Cornerback Deion Sanders is impressed with the Philadelphia Eagles organization, but was reserving any decision about playing football until at least the middle of September, a source close to Sanders told the Philadelphia Daily News.

The source, who requested anonymity, acknowledged that Sanders met with new Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie in Cincinnati last week.

"He was impressed by what Jeff is trying to do, but until the baseball situation is settled, we can't do anything," the source said.

Sanders, an NFL free agent and a Cincinnati Reds outfielder, could not be reached for comment.

Dynamic duo duel

The first two players selected in the college draft last April, defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Bengals and running back Marshall Faulk of the Indianapolis Colts, will go head-to-head when the two teams meet tomorrow night.

Faulk made his debut last week against the Seahawks and ran 15 times for 38 yards. Wilkinson, meanwhile, is still getting himself into playing shape and is down to 308 pounds, but coach Dave Shula stresses that he hasn't missed a snap in practice.

Faulk and Wilkinson met in the off-season at an awards dinner and have become friends. They downplayed the fact that the top two rookies are going against each other.

"I don't think it's that big a deal," Faulk said. "I'm sure it happened before."

Dilfer's debut

Quarterback Trent Dilfer, who held out for 16 days before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will make his debut tomorrow night against Seattle, but won't start.

Coach Sam Wyche said Dilfer not only missed training camp, but off-season workouts in June when he left because the Bucs' initial contract offer was so low.

"I'm not mad at him for leaving, but I didn't think it was the right thing to do. We are starting in a tremendous hole, and it's a hole we could have avoided," Wyche said.

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