Beathard's job on line next season? Chargers GM keeps post, but owner wanted Seifert

Rumor central

Super Bowl Xxxii

January 22, 1998|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

SAN DIEGO -- Heard at the Super Bowl:

When San Diego played host to its only other Super Bowl, in 1988, Bobby Beathard was general manager of the Washington Redskins. They routed the Denver Broncos, and Sports Illustrated touted him as the smartest man in pro football.

Now Beathard is the San Diego Chargers' general manager, and three years after putting together a Super Bowl team, his job could be in jeopardy.

The word is that owner Alex Spanos was so upset after a 4-12 season in 1997 that he wanted to fire Beathard and bring in former San Francisco 49ers coach George Seifert to run the team. Seifert's price tag was $2 million.

But Spanos has turned over the day-to-day running of the Chargers to his son, Dean, who supports Beathard. Alex Spanos decided not to overrule his son this time, but Beathard may need to rebound this year if he is to survive.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly wants to interview Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis after the Super Bowl.

The speculation had been that Jones, who has former UCLA coach Terry Donahue and Seifert on his list, would interview Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, but Kubiak has been trashed in the Dallas-Fort Worth papers as too young and inexperienced.

That could lead Jones to take a look at Lewis. It would be a popular move because there's been so much attention paid to the NFL's failure to hire minority coaches the past two years.

In the end, though, Jones may lean toward Seifert, who reportedly will meet with the owner today. That theory got more credence when word made the rounds on the coaching grapevine that Jones has decided to hire Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Brian Billick as his offensive coordinator.

Billick is under contract to the Vikings, but the ownership situation there is unsettled. Billick could quit and sign with the Cowboys, and the Vikings probably couldn't do much about it.

Vikings coach Dennis Green, heading into the final year of his contract, is trying to force the chief of the front office, Roger Headrick, to either give him an extension or fire him so he could collect his $900,000 paycheck. Tensions escalated when Green skipped a scheduled meeting with Headrick yesterday.

Headrick hasn't been able to put together a group to buy the team from his partners, so the team's future is in limbo.

Pub Date: 1/22/98

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