?The players strongly favor the NFL's plan to create an international league, because it would mean additional jobs.
?Although the players showed no consensus when asked to name the premier offensive player in the game and which coach they would most like to play for, they cited Eagle end Reggie White by a stunning three-to-one margin as the league's best defensive player.
JUST WIN NOW, BABY
After Sunday's 23-12 defeat of the Bengals, the Colts were 19-14 in the two years since they decided to play for today. In the last 24 months, Indy obtained running back Eric Dickerson from the Rams, linebacker Fredd Young from the Seahawks and linebacker Chip Banks from the Chargers. To get them, the Colts gave up their rights to linebacker Cornelius Bennett; No. 1 draft picks in '88, '89 and '90; and at least two second-rounders. The acquisition of Banks—who came from San Diego on Oct. 17 after missing the first six weeks of the season in drug rehab—is perhaps the strongest indication of Indy's win-now mind-set. Most teams wouldn't have touched Banks, who started Sunday. Here are the particulars of the deal: If he stays drug free until April 10, 1990, and the Colts decide to keep him, Indianapolis will have the choice of sending San Diego a second-round pick in '91 or a third-round pick in '90. If Banks is waived by that date, the Colts will send San Diego a fourth-round pick in '90. "There's no question we're rolling the dice," says Colt general manager Jimmy Irsay. "But to me, the downside isn't that big. If he plays well, it's a great deal for us. If he doesn't, he'll cost us just one of three fourth-round picks we have in 1990."
In Sunday night's conclusion to ESPN's computer-based NFL fantasy series, Dream Season, the 1972 Dolphins will play the '78 Steelers for the mythical title of best team ever. Tight end Jim Mandich is the only guy to have played for both teams. He went to Pittsburgh after Miami waived him in '78. "I have no doubt the Dolphins were superior," says Mandich, now a construction-company executive and sportscaster in Miami. "Those two teams did play, sort of. We went to Pittsburgh in December 1972, and the Steelers' nucleus was in place. They were playing great football. We beat them 21-17." Mandich may think Pittsburgh's nucleus was in place by '72, but Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Mike Webster and Jack Lambert were all two years away from joining the team.... Will Green Bay tackle Tony Mandarich be switched to the defensive line, as some observers have speculated recently? "I don't know where that one came from, but it's absolutely untrue," says Packer coach Lindy Infante.... In 1983, the Broncos obtained the rights to quarterback John Elway from the Colts, but in a sense, the trade still hasn't been completed. Indy received quarterback Mark Herrmann, offensive lineman Chris Hinton and a first-round draft selection in '84 for Elway. The Colts used the pick to get guard Ron Solt, whom they traded last season to Philadelphia for a first-round draft pick in '89—which they used to choose wide receiver Andre Rison—and a fourth-rounder in '90. So it will be at least seven years after the Elway trade before we'll be able to evaluate it fully.... What a Long Strange Season It's Been Dept.: The Dolphins have three guys with more sacks than anyone on the Bears has.
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