"[Leaving practice] was just something done on the spur of the moment," Gibbs said later. "I didn't feel like there was anything I could do to get us going. We've been hard workers in the past, and I think that would be the single thing to end up getting us—if we lost our work habits."
Preston Dennard, traded by the Rams, reported to the Bills' camp even though his agent, Joe Sweet, said Buffalo was the last place the wide receiver wanted to be. Dennard must be kicking himself. Last April, Dallas had agreed to send Butch Johnson and a No. 2 pick to L.A. for Dennard and the Rams' No. 2, plus a No. 5 in '85. But Dennard, an unsigned free agent, turned down a Cowboy offer of $190,000 for 1984. Dallas turned around and made the same deal with Houston for Mike Renfro, and Los Angeles subsequently signed Dennard for $180,000, then dealt him to Buffalo.
When Les Steckel walked past Charles Bradley, the ex- Seattle SuperSonic who is trying to catch on in pro football with the Vikings, on his first day in Minnesota's training camp, Bradley asked, "Is Steckel the head coach?"
"Yeah," Steckel said.
"Where's Bud Grant?" Bradley asked.
"He retired in January."
Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson couldn't wait to introduce New York Governor Mario Cuomo to nose tackle Fred Smerlas when Cuomo visited the Bills' Fredonia (N.Y.) training camp. "Fred signed a new contract [worth $2 million over four years] that makes him one of the richest people in the state," Wilson boasted. Said Cuomo to Smerlas, "We have special taxes for guys like you."
A Green Bay sportscaster recently asked Packer players for a one-word description of coach Forrest Gregg, who's a taskmaster. Said James Lofton, "Is cream puff one word or two?"
Last year, on the afternoon Lofton agreed to a reported five-year, $4.6 million contract, assistant to the president Bob Harlan asked the wide receiver how he wanted to announce the signing. Lofton walked to a window, looked out at a wet, gray Green Bay day, and said, "I guess it's too cold to have a parade."
America's Team honored America's team of Olympic medalists at its game against Pittsburgh last Thursday, and the Cowboys' Tony Dorsett was asked afterward what he thought of gold medal-winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton. Said Dorsett, "You know if somebody looks short next to me, then she's short."