Even if it's not for real, Broncos-Pack rings a bell


August 23, 1998|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

Denver Broncos linebacker John Mobley still gets flashbacks.

It's fourth-and-six at the end of last January's Super Bowl, and Brett Favre is down to his last pass for the Green Bay Packers.

The pass is headed toward Mobley. He bats it away, and the Broncos are NFL champions.

"Happens all the time," Mobley said. "Those flashbacks happen all the time."

The Broncos will probably get a few more tomorrow night when they play host to the Packers.

Sure, it's a meaningless preseason game, but the NFL switched it from last night to tomorrow night for national television. It's still an attraction because of the teams involved.

"Yeah, I would imagine we'll be thinking about the last time we played," Broncos guard Mark Schlereth said. "I imagine they'll be trying to kill us. There'll be a little revenge factor there, but it's a preseason game."

Denver safety Tyrone Braxton said, "They can't really redeem themselves in a preseason game. It's going to be an exciting, emotional game, but mainly because it's a Monday night game, not because it's the Packers."

The Packers, meanwhile, just want to look sharper than they did in last week's 27-21 home loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Coach Mike Holmgren was an unhappy camper last week when he went into several tirades at practice. When guard Joe Andruzzi missed a block, Holmgren shouted into the ear hole of his helmet.

"I just want them to make sure they know I'm still watching practice," he said.

Contrasting owners

The Ravens' Art Modell is usually one of the most quotable owners in the league.

By contrast, credit card magnate Al Lerner rarely gives interviews.

But when the seven prospective owners of the new Cleveland Browns made presentations in Atlanta last week, Lerner was downright loquacious as he tried to minimize his role in the old Browns' move to Baltimore, even though the deal was signed on his private plane.

"Did I help? Absolutely, I helped him [Modell]. You can repeat that 4,000 times. But would he have moved if I hadn't helped him? Yes, he would have. Would he have moved if I hadn't given him a ride? Yes, he would have," he said.

Lerner said he's ready to live with the criticism he's getting for trying to get the new Cleveland team after helping the old team move.

"If you're not ready to get hit, then don't get into a situation where people are ready to hit you," he said.

Of the three-year absence of football in Cleveland, he said, "Let's face it: It's not like someone dying. It was like someone going to the Army and you know he'll be coming back."

Modell declined to comment on the Cleveland situation.

The owners will vote Sept. 8 -- probably in Chicago -- to award the franchise. Don't expect Lerner to get Modell's vote.

Last chance for Morris

Former Ravens running back Bam Morris, now with the Chicago Bears, admits he is down to his last chance after serving an 89-day jail sentence for violating his probation.

"If I trip up again, I'll be gone for 10 years. Maximum security. I can't be in the same bed with my wife, I can't go to the park with my daughter. This is my last chance," he said.

Morris also admitted he weighed 293 pounds when he got out of jail.

"The food you get in jail is five or six days old, so I ate ham and cheese every day," he said. "I couldn't work out. The rec center was maybe 20 yards long, and they didn't have weights. When I got out of jail, my face was all bloated. I thought I had to be 280, but I got on the scale and I was 293. I was sick about it."

Morris will now duel Curtis Enis for a starting job with the Bears. Enis, who was cleared of sexual assault charges, signed a

three-year, $5.5 million deal with a $3.6 million signing bonus after rejecting a six-year deal with a $7.2 million signing bonus and a five-year deal with a $5.5 million signing bonus.

Enis is betting he'll play well enough to make up the lost money in his next contract.

Mistake with Mamula

When Philadelphia defensive end Mike Mamula was sidelined for the season with a torn anterior ligament in a preseason game against Pittsburgh, it was probably his last game as an Eagle.

He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and the Eagles aren't likely to keep him. He's a symbol of why coach Ray Rhodes is no longer is charge of personnel and owner Jeff Lurie has brought in former Pittsburgh scout Tom Modrak to run the football operation.

In 1995, Rhodes traded up from the 12th to the seventh spot and bypassed Warren Sapp to take Mamula. Rhodes compared him to Charles Haley, but he never came close to being another Haley and recorded just 17 1/2 sacks in three years.

Armour's commitment

Since so many players get noted for off-the-field problems, Broncos wide receiver Justin Armour should get equal time to espouse the virtues of commitment.

Armour, 25, who was nicknamed "Baywatch" by the players because of his messy blond hair, said last week that he's a virgin.

He said he believes in abstinence because of Christianity and because he believes in liking the person he marries.

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