Rough Riders give Miller a break

CFLS NOTEBOOK

September 28, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

Through his pain, but in obvious appreciation, Josh Miller thanked the Ottawa Rough Riders late Sunday afternoon for their charity.

The Baltimore CFLs' punter rolled his right ankle and bruised his knee after chasing a high snap in the second quarter. He expected the Rough Riders to come after him the rest of the day.

When they didn't, he thanked them -- Ottawa kicker Terry Baker specifically and the team in general.

"I did that," Miller said yesterday, "because obviously I was really hurt and they could've sent the whole house. It was genuine."

The CFLs offered no apologies when they blocked two of Baker's punts and cashed in for two touchdowns in a 42-27 win.

Without a rush, the left-footed Miller finished with a flourish. He averaged 45.8 yards for five kicks after the injury -- 2 yards longer than his season average.

Now he's ready for more. If Miller wins the three-man competition to replace deposed Charlie Baumann as place-kicker, he'd handle field goals and kickoffs as well in Saturday's rematch with Ottawa.

"If it could help the team, I'd love to do it," he said.

The competition began yesterday, when coach Don Matthews watched Miller, Don Silvestri of Pittsburgh and Daron Alcorn of Akron kick in a closed workout. Matthews said he will base 90 percent of his decision on this morning's closed workout.

Miller arrived in Baltimore last June wanting a shot at the kicking job. When he saw Donald Igwebuike and Ian Howfield competing, he focused on the punting job. "I had watched them on TV [in the NFL], and I said to myself, 'OK, your little dream will stop here.' "

Now it's revived.

"I'll do the best I can," Miller said. "Both these guys [Silvestri and Alcorn] have been to NFL camps as a place-kicker, so obviously they've done something well. I think they're both real good."

Miscellaneous

Cornerback Irvin Smith sat out most of practice with an ankle bruise. Defensive tackle Robert Presbury was sent home with a sore throat. . . . Nick Subis, recovered from a thigh injury, will start this week at center. . . . The CFLs will induct Orioles Hall of Famers Earl Weaver and Jim Palmer into their Ring of Fame at halftime of Saturday's game.

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