Turner takes upbeat approach NFL TRAINING CAMP REPORT

August 17, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

CARLISLE, Pa. -- The rookie quarterback who's supposed to be the new Troy Aikman is trying to make up for time lost in a holdout. The tailback who's supposed to the new Emmitt Smith is one of five starters who have missed most of training camp with injuries. The veteran kicker who's supposed to be the old Chip Lohmiller is trying to adjust to a new holder.

Those are some of the problems the Washington Redskins, who have lost their first two exhibition games, are trying to overcome as they ring down the curtain on coach Norv Turner's first training camp today.

But Turner is taking a positive approach as he reviews his first Redskins camp after spending the last three years as the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator. He doesn't take the gloom-and-doom approach that was former coach Joe Gibbs' trademark when he worried about every little problem.

"My tendency is going to always be to look at the positive things we've accomplished," Turner said. "It's been a very good camp. I think we've made great progress. The players know how to practice and they're very, very mentally involved and alert and when you have a guys like that, you get a lot of work done. I think we've improved over the 4 1/2 weeks we've been here," he said.

Even the injuries that have sidelined Brooks, Leonard Marshall, Tim Johnson, John Gesek and Ethan Horton aren't a major concern. He's pleased that the first three are improving, although only Marshall will play tomorrow night against the New England Patriots.

"Three weeks ago, I looked at them as temporary setbacks, and now I look at them as things that are falling our way."

He's also holding out hope that rookie quarterback Heath Shuler can improve fast enough to start the season. He said that Shuler will play the second and third quarters against the Patriots in his first chance to play with the starters. John Friesz will start and play the first quarter, and Gus Frerotte, who didn't play last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, will play the final quarter with the reserves.

He also said that Lohmiller, who missed three field goals in the first two games, should get in a groove now that Friesz has replaced Brian Mitchell as the holder.

The Redskins will be ending their 32nd and possibly final camp at Dickinson College here. If owner Jack Kent Cooke gets the green light to build a stadium in Laurel, he plans to move the training camp to Frostburg.

Comeback

Defensive lineman Steve Emtman of the Indianapolis Colts, who missed most of his first two years with severe knee injuries after being the first player picked in the 1992 draft, has been cleared to begin practice with the team.

But Colts vice president Bill Tobin said that doesn't mean he's ready to play.

"We've taken the rehabilitation and conditioning as far as we can, and it's now on to more strenuous activity," Tobin said.

There's no timetable for his return to the lineup.

He's back

Running back Rodney Hampton and coach Dan Reeves of the New York Giants are from different generations. Hampton believes in electronic mail. Reeves likes personal contact.

Reeves fined Hampton -- he didn't say whether it was the maximum of $4,000 -- for simply leaving a message on Reeves' answering machine that he was missing practice Monday to attend to a family matter in Baton Rouge, La.

Reeves said if he had been contacted by Hampton, he probably would have excused him "if it was a personal thing . . . and I thought it was important enough."

Hampton, who returned to practice yesterday, learned his lesson. He said if it happens again, "I'd make sure I talked to the head man first."

Big brother is watching

Bill Cowher, the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has found a new way to catch curfew violators at camp. He's installed a hidden camera that films the main entrance of the players' dorm.

He didn't tell the players about the camera until he bagged two unidentified players sneaking out after bed check.

Cowher had already put electronic alarms on all doors except the main one.

Somehow, Chuck Noll managed to win four Super Bowls without a hidden camera.

Absent

Guard Carlton Haselrig of the Steelers, who recovering from a dislocated wrist, has left the team's training camp for personal reasons.

The Steelers declined to comment on his absence, but there was no indication it was related to his two 1993 trips to drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

The Steelers said they would have an update on his status in a couple of days.

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