Eyeing QB, Turner seeing double NFL REPORT

August 30, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

ASHBURN, Va. -- Coach Norv Turner apparently doesn't want to have a loser in the Washington Redskins' quarterback derby.

Turner will announce his starter today for the regular-season opener against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, but said both John Friesz and rookie Heath Shuler likely will play regardless of which one starts.

"I would anticipate no matter who we start, both guys would play," he said.

When asked for an explanation of this unusual strategy, he said "I think we have a unique situation. I'm not saying absolutely 100 percent both would [play], but I could see that happening. You've got a rookie who's had three weeks of camp and you've got a veteran who's played a lot. I think that's unique."

He added: "I don't think if you took a poll in Washington, you'd find a unanimous choice on who the quarterback should be."

All this would seem to indicate Turner would start Friesz and then bring in Shuler at some point.

That way, Shuler would get playing time, but wouldn't have to deal with the pressure of starting.

Turner said he didn't think playing both quarterbacks would be an awkward situation.

"I think they're both very eager to play and would love to have an opportunity to play," he said. "I want both of those guys ready to play and if they know they both have an opportunity to play, they're both going to get ready."

Both Friesz and Shuler said they had no problems with sharing time.

Friesz said he expected both of them to play a lot this year and Shuler said he shared time in his first two years at Tennessee. "We basically did that during the preseason," Shuler said. "I've been in that situation before. It's not a big transition."

Roster maneuvers

One former Redskin got a job yesterday and another lost one.

Tight end Ron Middleton, who was waived last week, was signed by the Los Angeles Rams. Their tight ends coach, Rene Simmons, had that job in Washington under Joe Gibbs.

"I have tremendous confidence in his ability," Simmons said of Middleton. "We needed help there and he can give it to us."

Coach Chuck Knox said: "He is a solid blocker. That's why we got him."

Meanwhile, guard Darryl Moore, who was traded to the Green Bay Packers Sunday for a conditional seventh-round pick, was waived yesterday. That means the Redskins won't get the draft choice.

The Redskins also claimed four players off waivers from other teams -- wide receiver Olanda Truitt of the Minnesota Vikings, defensive tackle Marc Boutte and defensive back Deral Boykin of the Rams and rookie guard Alia Kalaniuvalu of the Atlanta Falcons.

To make room for them, they released wide receiver Stephen Hobbs and defensive tackle Jeff Faulkner and waived two rookies, running back William Bell and defensive tackle Anthony Abrams. The rookies may be added to the practice squad.

The Redskins didn't announce it, but they also released defensive back A. J. Johnson. A team source said he'll be re-signed today at a cut in his $400,000 salary.

Schroeder departs

Jay Schroeder, who was once the Redskins quarterback of the future, was released by the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday.

The Bengals decided to go with former New York Jets backup Jeff Blake behind David Klinger.

Schroeder replaced Joe Theismann after he broke his leg in 1985 and led the team to the 1986 NFC title game. But in 1987, he lost his job in the playoffs to Doug Williams, who took the team to the Super Bowl. Schroeder then was traded to the Los Angeles Raiders.

Montana-Bono again

Steve Bono, who played behind Joe Montana and Steve Young in San Francisco, has beaten out Matt Blundin for the backup job in Kansas City behind Montana.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer announced that Bono will be the backup behind the injury-prone Montana.

Labor strife

NFL owners will meet the representatives of the game officials tomorrow in New York in hopes of getting a new contract before the season starts Sunday.

Although the officials, who are part-time employees, aren't threatening to strike now, they could walk out in midseason. They want their salaries, which now range from $1,350 to $2,700 a game, doubled and their pension payments increased by 30 percent.

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