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EXTRA POINTS
Jill Lieber
September 16, 1985
San Francisco running back Wendell Tyler had a great game—125 yards rushing—against Minnesota Sunday. Unfortunately, there were a couple of major flaws in his performance. Late in the second quarter, Tyler fumbled on the Viking 10. Then, with 3:30 remaining and the 49ers leading 21-14, Tyler fumbled on his own 30 and Viking defensive end Doug Martin ran the ball to the 49ers' one. Running back Alfred Anderson scored two plays later and the game was tied 21-21.
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September 16, 1985

Extra Points

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QUICK COUNT

Of the 336 draft picks in the '85 draft, 201 were under contract-on the active or reserve rosters-on opening day, and 29 of those were starting. Here are the five highest-round draft picks who were cut before opening day:

NAME

Pos.

TEAM

ROUND

NO.

Liffort Hobley

db

Steelers

3rd

74

Ricky Moore

rb

49ers

3rd

75

Emile Harry

wr

Falcons

4th

89

Mike Heaven

db

Buccaneers

4th

92

Doug Allen

wr

Jets

4th

94

The five latest draft picks that made teams:

Dean Hamel

dt

Redskins

12th

309

Ken Whisenhunt

te

Falcons

12th

313

Tony Simmons

de

Chargers

12th

318

Lonnie Young

db

Cardinals

12th

325

Herb Welch

db

Giants

12th

326

San Francisco running back Wendell Tyler had a great game—125 yards rushing—against Minnesota Sunday. Unfortunately, there were a couple of major flaws in his performance. Late in the second quarter, Tyler fumbled on the Viking 10. Then, with 3:30 remaining and the 49ers leading 21-14, Tyler fumbled on his own 30 and Viking defensive end Doug Martin ran the ball to the 49ers' one. Running back Alfred Anderson scored two plays later and the game was tied 21-21.

Tyler was distraught. He dragged himself off the field, plopped himself on the bench away from his teammates and stared at the ground, perhaps trying not to notice the final TD Minnesota scored to upset the defending Super Bowl champions 28-21. In the locker room later, Tyler was doing some blocking of a different sort.

"All I can remember is the great runs I had," he said, "some great blocks." Ah, what about the fumbles, Wendell? "I can remember hitting up into the line," Tyler said, "and after that I don't remember." Probably just as well.

Coach Bill Walsh, however, will make sure that Tyler—and tight end Earl Cooper, who dropped two passes in the 49ers' final, futile drive—don't forget Sunday's mistakes for some time.

"The men who have the privilege to carry the ball and to catch it ought to do their damn jobs, so the rest of the men's efforts are fully warranted," Walsh said. "A man who carries the ball...is an extension of his teammates, and he can't frivolously and recklessly fumble it the way we did today. Our dropped passes on that last drive were unforgivable."

Can it really be so simple? Last Friday, before the Miami game, Houston quarterback Warren Moon called a 20-minute team meeting and, in his best Norman Vincent Peale appeal, convinced the Oilers that if they truly believed in themselves, they could beat the Dolphins. Moon's teammates evidently bought the power of positive thinking because on Sunday they upset Miami 26-23. Moon, who played with a chipped bone in the thumb on his throwing hand, showed a particularly positive attitude, completing 12 of 17 passes for 270 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown to Butch Woolfolk, the former New York Giants back.

"It's time for me to get vocal," Moon said later. Last season he was caught in the middle of a philosophical feud over game strategy between Oiler general manager Ladd Herzeg and rookie coach Hugh Campbell and had to stand by and watch as Houston sputtered to a 3-13 record. Thus the need for the pep talk before the Miami opener. "I don't want to be overbearing," Moon said, "but I want to get my point across."

On the other side of the field, it was evident that Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino was nowhere near the phenom he was last season. For the first time since Nov. 13, 1983—and only the second time in 30 career starts—Marino failed to complete a touchdown pass. And for the first time in his career, he was benched for backup Don Strock.

Marino was tentative. His passes sometimes fluttered. His confident strut was gone. Why, he played as if he had missed 37 days of training camp in a contract dispute.

"I just wasn't stepping up and throwing the ball the way I know I can," Marino said. "I thought I made the right decisions, but...."

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