`Surprised' Green says he's not retiring yet

Longtime 'Skins player says reports are untrue

September 02, 2001|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. - Displaying some of the world-class sprinter's speed that has marked his tenure, Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green yesterday ran through a pack of reporters, issuing a terse statement regarding reports of his decision to retire at season's end.

Green, 41, rushed off the practice field at Redskin Park, pausing just long enough to say that he was caught off guard by reports that he is on the verge of announcing his retirement.

"I haven't told anybody about that," Green said. "I was very surprised by that. However, I kind of appreciated the honor, watching it on the news."

Sources with knowledge of the situation told The Washington Post on Friday that Green was about "98 percent" sure he would retire after this season.

Green, who is entering his 19th season (all with the Redskins), said he hadn't talked to the Washington all-sports radio station that he is contracted to speak with, and then dashed off to leave the practice facility.

Talk of Green's retirement comes as he faces his strongest challenge to date for a starting job. Second-round pick Fred Smoot is pushing to move ahead of Green. A source told the Post that Green left open just a slight possibility of a last-minute reversal if he plays well this season.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer has not tipped his hand as to whom will start in the season opener next Sunday in San Diego, and said he won't announce his choice until Tuesday.

Schottenheimer was anticipating a late night last night to decide which 14 players would be cut by this afternoon to reduce the roster to the league limit of 53. Schottenheimer said he and the coaching staff were at Redskin Park until 12:30 a.m. yesterday looking at different scenarios for cuts, and had identified most of the roster.

"This is hard. There's no fun in this, this part of it. But it's part of the job," Schottenheimer said.

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