Backfield or Outfield?
The phone rang in the office of Falcon defensive backfield coach Gummy Carr last Friday, and football hobbyist Deion Sanders was on the other end. Carr, an irascible sort, shouted, "Hey, Deion, will you quit going to the West Coast with that baseball team?"
"Huh?" Sanders said.
"When you go to the coast, I don't get to sleep till one in the morning! Cut it out!"
Carr, like many people in the furrow-browed Falcon organization, is casting a wary eye toward televised baseball games and newspaper box scores this spring. "I'm no baseball fan, but I am following the Braves and the Cardinals," says Carr. "How can I help it?"
Sanders, the Falcons' Pro Bowl cornerback, and Brian Jordan, their starting strong safety, are starting in the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals outfields, respectively. Both Sanders and Jordan say they would like to stay in the big leagues all season, and both say they might leave football altogether. That, of course, leaves the Falcons in a big-time state of flux. "We have to approach the draft as if they'll never be back," said coach Jerry Glanville last Friday. Atlanta didn't get much help for its secondary on Sunday, waiting until the fourth round before picking little-known Frankie Smith of Baylor.
California, Here I Come...
In 1987 the Rams got three first-round picks and three second-rounders from the Colts for running back Eric Dickerson. On Sunday he limped back into town, only 31, for fourth-and eighth-round choices. "It could have been a 10th, I didn't care." Dickerson said. "I just wanted to play for the Raiders."
Dickerson, whose history of contract squabbles started with the Rams and continued after he was shipped to Indianapolis, wanted to return to L.A. so badly that he took a monstrous pay cut (from $2.6 million per year to about $1.2 million) to make the deal acceptable to the Raiders. He'll probably split time with good buddy Marcus Allen, whom Al Davis is forever looking to replace, and Nick Bell. "I've never understood what the Raiders" problem has been with Marcus." said Dickerson. "He's always played hurt, and he's always played hard. I'm not here to take Marcus Allen's job."
The Bleeding Finally Stops