Empty feeling to greet Redskins at RFK tonight NFL TRAINING CAMP REPORT

August 26, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

A lot of Washington Redskins season-ticket holders plan to get their money's worth tonight: They're staying home and skipping the final exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at RFK Stadium.

The Redskins, who don't require their season-ticket holders to buy tickets for exhibition games, drew only 40,778 for their first home exhibition game and aren't expected to do much better for this one.

The Redskins usually sold out preseason games in the Joe Gibbs era, but they're not as much of an attraction now that the team is losing.

Coach Norv Turner also isn't helping to make the game a must-see for the fans. He'll play quarterbacks John Friesz and Heath Shuler only a quarter each and then pull his regulars at halftime. Third-string quarterback Gus Frerotte will play the second half. Steelers coach Bill Cowher also said he'll only play his regulars a half.

By limiting the regulars' time, Turner said, "It keeps them healthy and keeps them fresh and they're really ready to go when you start the season."

The Redskins at least hope the fans who do show up will be more supportive this time. They booed Shuler in his third series after he threw two incomplete passes in the first home exhibition game.

At the team's welcome luncheon yesterday, cornerback Darrell Green joked about the booing and said, "We're asking you to stick with us, else we're going to cut you."

Meanwhile, the Redskins made one roster move to save money under the cap. They waived guard Vernice Smith, who had a $350,000 cap number, and re-signed him for a lower number, probably the $162,000 minimum.

War of words

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he will review the Brad Sham and Dale Hansen radio broadcasts after each game because their tone wasn't positive enough last week.

He said he hasn't considered removing them from the broadcasts.

Hansen replied: "I'm not interested in satisfying Jerry Jones. I'm interested in satisfying the audience."

Sham was fired as the host of Jones' TV show for making remarks the owner didn't appreciate.

Troublesome tagalong

The Los Angeles Rams are considering releasing cornerback Darryl Henley instead of committing to a $1-million bond that would free Henley to travel with the team this season.

Henley's present bail restrictions on an indictment of cocaine possession and distribution prevented him from joining the team in San Diego last night.

A judge's ruling last week granted Henley permission to travel with the Rams with an increase in bail from $200,000 to $1 million, and with the proviso that a probation officer be with him at all times.

The Rams are concerned that the presence of a probation officer on the team plane, in team meetings and along the sideline -- might represent a considerable distraction.

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