Grammar least worry for Turner


August 14, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

When coach Norv Turner was discussing the Washington Redskins' sloppy performance in a 17-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night, he was asked whether the short practice week after the Monday night game in Buffalo was a factor.

"I'm not even going to consider that. We came in here and played good for most of the first half -- I think I'm supposed to

say, 'played well;' my wife will be upset with my grammar -- and then we just did a million stupid things," Turner said.

Add one more problem the Redskins have to work on -- the coach's grammar.

The Redskins have to work on almost everything this year.

Turner, who was smiling on the sidelines in Buffalo on Monday night, had a different demeanor Friday night. He was visibly angry and was chewing out players on the sidelines.

"We're not going to be a stupid football team," Turner said. "We had some guys doing stupid things and we've got to get that straightened out."

There was plenty of blame to go around as they misfired on offense, missed tackles on defense and were called for 10 penalties.

After viewing the tapes yesterday, Turner was somewhat more upbeat, saying the team played better than it did in Buffalo, but he wasn't pleased.

Even the home fans were a problem. They used to give the Redskins quite an advantage at RFK Stadium when the team was winning.

Now that there's not that much to cheer, they're quick to boo. Heath Shuler, the $19.25 million rookie quarterback, got booed on his third series after throwing two straight incomplete passes.

Only 40,788 attended the game -- just 3,000 more than the Baltimore CFLs drew earlier in the week.

Even some of the usual team's strengths are a problem. Chip Lohmiller, still adjusting to new holder Brian Mitchell, missed field-goal attempts from 45 and 44 yards.

But the quarterback problem remains the biggest quandary. John Friesz was supposed to be a stopgap if Shuler wasn't ready. After holding out 13 days, Shuler's not ready. Turner, though, isn't happy with Friesz, either.

"He wasn't firm in the pocket, he didn't step up and get the ball delivered properly," Turner said.

So where does that leave the quarterback position?

"If I was disappointed in him [Friesz], and Heath's not ready and we didn't play Gus [Frerotte], it's not very good," Turner said.

Turner now has to decide whether to have Shuler work with the first unit and start Thursday night against the New England Patriots?

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Turner has a lot of them to make.


Joe Montana, the quarterback of the Chiefs, hasn't had to endure much booing during his career, but he could sympathize with rookie Shuler.

"Most people don't get booed when they go to work," Montana said. "It's tough on any player."

Montana also thought Shuler had to endure some difficult circumstances.

"He played pretty well. It was a slick ball. The mist is tough on the ball. On a few passes, you could see the ball slip. [He should] hang in there, it takes a long time," he said.

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