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INSIDE THE NFL

Dispatches

by Peter King

Posted: Wed November 19, 1997

Sports Illustrated Eagles quarterback Bobby Hoying was terrific in his first NFL start, a 10-10 tie against the Ravens. Despite being sacked nine times, he completed 26 of 38 passes for 276 yards and looked like a leader. "I was amazed that a guy that we've been talking about as the quarterback of the future could be such a great quarterback of the present," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said. ... Playing for Philadelphia, defensive end William Fuller had more sacks (35 1/2) from 1994 to '96 than Bruce Smith or Reggie White. The Chargers thought they had a steal when they signed Fuller to a two-year, $5.6 million deal in the off-season. But Fuller has only two sacks in 11 games, and he thinks the slump may be because AFC West teams focus on pass protection while NFC East teams are obsessed with run blocking.... One AFC scouting director says Florida State's Andre Wadsworth is the best pass rusher he has seen this decade. Wadsworth could fall in behind two quarterbacks—Tennessee's Peyton Manning and Washington State's Ryan Leaf—atop the 1998 draft.

The End Zone

Five days before the Jets played the Bears, oft-beaten New York cornerback Otis Smith said he was being benched. Two days later he reearned the starting job, which led reporters to ask him about his earlier statement. "I don't believe I said that," Smith replied. "If I said that, I misquoted myself."

Issue date: November 24, 1997

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