Matthews shakes up CFLs roster, cutting 2 starters

August 15, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

Baltimore CFLs coach Don Matthews won't stand pat. Not with a 4-2 record, not with NFL reinforcements on the way, not with the Toronto Argonauts waiting in the wings.

"Production is everything," the Baltimore CFLs coach said yesterday when he performed roster surgery.

Before yesterday's practice, Matthews cut two starters, wide-out Eddie Britton and guard O'Neil Glenn, and one practice roster player, slotback Jim Guarantano, for lack of production. Britton and Guarantano are gone from the team. Glenn accepted a spot on the practice roster.

Repercussions were felt all around. The new starting receiver is Joe Washington. The new starting guard is Diego London. The new man in town is wide-out Reggie Brown, cut by the Miami Dolphins last week.

The familiar face, meanwhile, belonged to wide receiver Shannon Culver, who began serving a 10-day suspension on the practice roster. Culver practiced yesterday for the first time since July 12, when he quit the team in a huff over his playing status. That was also the day the team signed Britton.

For now, Culver doesn't figure in Matthews' plans. The coach said either Brown or Reggie Perry, a training-camp cut who rejoined the team on the practice roster last week, will take Britton's roster spot.

Curiously, the revolving door at receiver started when Washington dropped five passes in the season opener against Toronto and lost his starting job. Six weeks later, he's back to face the Argos again.

"I wasn't concentrating in the first game," Washington said. "I just dropped the ball. I'm glad that game came out then rather than later, when it could have hurt the team."

Receivers coach Don Hill said Washington wasn't familiar enough with the playbook when the CFLs opened the season. "He put in more time studying plays now, so he's more comfortable," Hill said.

Washington has six catches for 59 yards this season, five of them when the CFLs went to a five-receiver package at Las Vegas.

"Joe needs to stand up and be counted this week," Matthews said. "We have to find out if he can play or not. He has to be a full-time player [starter] or not a player."

In five games, Britton had 13 catches for 125 yards, a 9.6 average gain, and one touchdown. He had only one catch for minus-1 yard in last week's victory over Hamilton.

He's gone -- while Glenn took a practice roster spot -- because of the depth at receivers now, Matthews said. There is no surplus of linemen.

Glenn started, and struggled in, the past five games at right guard. London, who started the first game in Toronto, moves in at left guard, and Keith Ballard shifts to right guard.

Matthews said he was still looking for another offensive and defensive lineman, "but we're not just looking for bodies."

He thought he found help when the Green Bay Packers cut defensive tackle Mike Showell, out of Dunbar High and Delaware State, last week. But the Arizona Cardinals claimed Showell.

NOTES: Trying to shore up the pass rush, the CFLs have moved middle linebacker Earnest Fields to the rush end spot opposite O. J. Brigance. Malcolm Goodwin started there the last two games. "As long as I get to play, it doesn't matter where," said Fields, who lost his starting job to Ricky Andrews. . . . The CFLs will sell $6 children's tickets for 12-and-unders accompanied by a parent, starting this week.

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