Fans give Shuler the boos in Redskins' 17-14 loss to Chiefs

August 13, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Heath Shuler had his rite of passage as a Washington Redskins quarterbacks last night: He was booed.

The $19.25 million rookie had never been booed in his life -- not in high school and not in college at Tennessee.

It took only 13 offensive plays for the Washington fans to boo him in a 17-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at RFK Stadium.

The first booing by 40,778 came after back-to-back incomplete passes on his third series.

Brushing it off, Shuler said, "I thought it was pretty funny."

Shuler said in college, "I had probably the best fans in America" and he assumed it would be the same way when he got to Washington.

"I think they're probably just a little disappointed at the way we played. Let's find out what a real fan is when we start winning again. I'm not going to concern myself with it," he said.

Shuler shouldn't have been surprised.

The Redskins fans, spoiled by success of the past decade, are quick to boo. They booed Mark Rypien in his first home game after he held out in 1992 even though he was coming off a Super Bowl year.

Last night, they booed again after a bad pass in the fourt period.

The only consolation for Shuler was that there were 15,000 empty seats, so the booing wasn't as loud as when the stadium is full.

The only place that was filled was owner Jack Kent Cooke's private box. Among the guests in the first row was Maryland Senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller, a strong supporter of Cooke's bid to build a stadium in Laurel.

Shuler completed nine of 22 for 61 yards and was blanked in the second half. He has played three quarters in two exhibition games and produced three points. He hasn't overcome the work he lost during his 13-day holdout.

But he's not down, even though the team is 0-2 in exhibition games.

"Losing is something I'm not accustomed to, and I don't like the sounds of it. We're going to get back on the right road. It's going to be a long road, but we've got to improve every practice,"

Shuler said.

Shuler thought he played better than he did Monday night in Buffalo.

"I think I did much better tonight," he said.

The Redskins led 14-11 at the end of the first half when John Friesz dueled Joe Montana.

The Chiefs won the game on a freak 42-yard touchdown play on a first-and-15 call at the Washington 42 on the last play of the third quarter.

Steve Bono, who played quarterback in the second half, was under pressure when he flipped the ball to fullback Donnell Bennett, who went for the touchdown.

John Stevens then tried to run for a two-point conversion, but was stacked up short, and the Chiefs took a 17-14 lead into the final period.

When neither team scored in the final period -- Chip Lohmiller missed a 44-yard field-goal attempt that would have tied it with 2:58 left in the game -- that score held up.

Only one of Shuler's completions went to a wide receiver, an 18-yard catch by rookie Tydus Winans.

Shuler threw two incomplete passes after having a third-and-four at the Chiefs' 39 with about eight minutes left and then missed three straight when the Redskins had a first down on the Chiefs' 26. Lohmiller then missed his field-goal attempt.

Coach Norv Turner gave Shuler mild praise.

"It's not like he was horrible. He was just a little bit off," he said.

But Turner wasn't pleased with the team's overall effort. He said the team "did a million stupid things."

He also wasn't pleased with Friesz, even thought he completed eight of 16 passes for 149 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown pass to Desmond Howard and a 65-yard throw over the middle to Brian Mitchell that set up another touchdown.

"I was very disappointed in his inconsistency," Turner said.

It was Turner's first game as a head coach at RFK Stadium, but it wasn't a night to remember.

"I forgot it was my first game," he said.

The Chiefs got their first touchdown with 1:43 left in the first half with the help of a pair of mistakes by the Redskins.

Charles Mincy intercepted a pass that bounced off Ron Middleton's arms, and Darrell Green was then called for a pass interference penalty on J. J. Birden in the end zone on a third-and-six play at the Redskins' 23 to give the Chiefs a first down on the Redskins' 1.

Kimble Anders then ran it into the end zone for the touchdow and caught a Montana pass for a two-point conversion as the Chiefs cut the deficit to 14-11 at halftime.

Montana, who had thrown only four incomplete passes in th first two exhibition games, was 11-for-20 for 118 yards but was sacked three times.

Kansas City .. 3 .. 8 .. 6 .. 0 .. 17

Washington ... 7 .. 7 .. 0 .. 0 .. 14

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