Redskins' Collins calls win 'biggest' in 5 years NFL REPORT

September 13, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

1/8 TC At the Washington Redskins' final meeting Saturday night before their game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, linebacker Andre Collins told coach Norv Turner that it was the team's biggest game in five years.

Since the Redskins won the Super Bowl at the end of the 1991 season, Collins seemed to be guilty of some hyperbole.

"He said it after the game, too, so he must have believed it. He approached it that way," Turner said.

Collins apparently did believe it because he said it again yesterday as the Redskins reviewed their 38-24 victory over the Saints.

"We're excited because that's the biggest game we've played here as a team in the past five years, including the Super Bowl," Collins said.

He added, "The state of the franchise was at a crossroads because we had lost so big last year [4-12], and to lose our first game this year [to the Seattle Seahawks] and to come back and lose this game to New Orleans would mean possibly another season of losing. So it was important for us to nip that right at the start."

Turner, though, said things were different at Redskin Park after his first victory as a head coach.

"It's easier on Mondays after a win. You don't tend to over-analyze things quite as much and you spend more time getting ready for the next game," he said.

He also doesn't have to address questions about his quarterback position this week. John Friesz will stay in the starting lineup after he threw four touchdown passes against the Saints.

Turner said he'll continue to give rookie Heath Shuler a lot of work in practice and get him ready to play.

The Redskins also found out that cornerback Alvoid Mays will be sidelined six to eight weeks with a torn knee ligament so they'll have to make changes in their nickel pass defense.

Those fighting Saints

Saints running back Mario Bates, the club's No. 2 draft pick this year, will miss up to six weeks after his jaw was broken by teammate Lorenzo Neal.

Bates and Neal went out after the Saints' loss to the Redskins, ending up at Club 57, a lounge owned by former Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson.

"Neither one of them are quite sure as to exactly what happened," coach Jim Mora said. "Things got out of hand and we've got a player with a broken jaw."

Dent tears knee ligament

Richard Dent, the San Francisco 49ers' most effective pass rusher, tore a medial collateral ligament in his right knee in a fourth-quarter pileup Sunday and probably will miss most of the season.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive end is scheduled for surgery today.

Dent is the fourth 49er starter to go down in two games. San Francisco's decimated offensive line lost a third starter when left guard Jesse Sapolu pulled his right hamstring while blocking on a field goal. He is definitely out of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Sapolu joins tackle Harris Barton (torn triceps) and guard Ralph Tamm (torn arch) on the sidelines. Sapolu and Barton each went to the Pro Bowl last year.

Barton is expected to miss up to 10 weeks, and Tamm is out indefinitely. Both were hurt in San Francisco's opening 44-14 win over the Los Angeles Raiders.

Dirty Cardinals?

After beating Arizona on Sunday night, Giants players say Cardinals defensive players purposely were poking New York's offensive players in the eye while they were on the ground,

pinned underneath a pile of bodies after a tackle was made, and punching them under the chin while they were trying to make a block.

Also, fullback Kenyon Rasheed said before the game that Cardinals linebacker Eric Hill yelled that he was going to knock him out of the game by taking out his knees.

Asked to respond to the cheap-shot charges yesterday, Cardinals coach Buddy Ryan laughed uncontrollably for about 10 seconds. "I don't have a response to that," he finally said. "I saw some hard hitting, if that's what you mean."

Dirty Raiders?

Seahawks coach Tom Flores doesn't like the way the Los Angeles Raiders treated his quarterback.

A television replay showed Raiders linebacker Winston Moss punched Rick Mirer in the chin several times as the quarterback lay on the ground after being tackled by Moss. Moss was not penalized.

"That's uncalled for," Flores said yesterday. "There's no place for that in professional football."

Flores praised Mirer's toughness, comparing him with Ken Stabler and Jim Plunkett.

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