DeBerg will probably keep the spot warm for Testaverde for a while, and in 20 years he might be the answer to a terrific trivia question: Name the man who started ahead of three Hall of Fame quarterbacks? And which three? Why, Joe Montana, John Elway and Vinny Testaverde. All right, we're pushing it. Testaverde is about 30,000 passes away from Canton. But here is the book on him for the moment: He can beat a team physically. He did this to Oklahoma last year; he broke too many tackles and ran too many pursuers into the ground before firing those darts, and the Sooners wore out. But a cerebral opponent, Penn State, stopped him with those crazy linebacker drops.
Perkins is expecting great things from his No. 2 pick, linebacker Winston Moss, who was a teammate of Testaverde's at Miami. The offensive line has a few good teeth-gritting types—right tackle Ron Heller and left guard George Yarno—but it's still not big league. Last year the mileage started to show on tailback James Wilder, who was overused far too long. After running for 1,544 yards in '84 and 1,300 in '85, he slipped to 704 last season. It will be a slow process down there by the bay, and the record might not show much improvement. But Vinnie T is in good hands.
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