So look for the draft order to be in flux right to the start of the process because teams holding the top five choices are likely to take little in return for moving down a few spots. Any drop in the draft means less payout in signing bonus and salary.
Honeymoon in D.C.
Schottenheimer, Snyder in Synch
Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer raised eyebrows last week when he said, 'T think Philadelphia's the team to beat in the NFC East." The Eagles have lost nine straight to the Giants, the defending division champs who knocked off Philly three times—all by double-digit margins—en route to the Super Bowl last season. Schottenheimer's pronouncement bemused Eagles coach Andy Reid, who said, 'We haven't beaten the Giants, and they haven't lost anyone in free agency."
Word is, Schottenheimer is working peacefully with pugnacious owner Daniel Snyder. Those close to the Redskins say the owner has more trust in the new coach than he did in Schottenheimer's predecessor, Norv Turner, and they hope that means Snyder won't try to micromanage the team as he did with Turner. Schottenheimer is being the good soldier, refusing to criticize the organization for its idiotic free-agent ventures last year, the most conspicuous of which was the $8 million signing bonus given to oft-injured cornerback Deion Sanders. He was mediocre last year and is now back trying to play in the Cincinnati Reds' outfield. He may never play football again. "I don't think what the Redskins did was wrong in 2000," Schottenheimer says. "It just didn't work."
Grbac over Dilfer
Billick Made The Right Move
Ravens coach Brian Billick might be arrogant, but he was right in dumping quarterback Trent Dilfer for former Chief Elvis Grbac. "We have a great defense, obviously?' Billick says, "but we asked it week after week to win games, and that's a lot of pressure. There has to be more balance. Last year we improved in total offense from 24th in the league to 16th, and if we can bring that up to eighth, ninth or 10th, well be helping our defense get better."