- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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In contrast to Art Still, the Washington Redskins' Alvin Garrett was carrying too much weight, but now he's back to being a Smurf. The 5'7" wide receiver ballooned into the Round Mound of Touchdown in '83—he weighed as much as 205, thanks to an off-season-long celebration of the Skins' Super Bowl victory—but reported to camp this summer at a trim 178.
"I went on a strict diet, and I quit drinking." says Garrett, who used to sign autographs J.D./89, the J.D. standing for Jack Daniel's, his favorite libation. "I worked out every day. I decided enough was enough."
There's a quarterback controversy in Detroit. For now Mike Machurek—a No. 6 pick from Idaho State in '82 who has been a third-stringer ever since and has never played in a regular-season game—seems to be No. 1. Eric Hippie, last year's starter, and Gary Danielson are being peddled around the league.
"I'm a wild and crazy guy," coach Monte Clark says. "You never know what I'm going to do. I'm like a riverboat gambler."
Machurek has started the Lions' last two exhibitions and has thrown two TD passes to Mark Nichols, including an 80-yarder against Buffalo last Saturday. That's a big turnaround from last summer, when he had surgery for skin cancer—two malignant moles were discovered during his training camp physical.
Raider tight end Dave Casper detests practice. One recent hot afternoon at the L.A. camp in Santa Rosa, Calif., Casper spotted three policemen walking toward him at the end of a workout. What he didn't know was that the officers were guests of team owner Al Davis.
"Hey," Casper said, out of breath and dripping with sweat, "if you've come for me, come during practice. Not after it."
Rumors surfaced last week that Howard Schnellenberger, who last spring bolted from national-champion Miami to sign a lifetime contract with the USFL's Washington/ Miami Federals, would take over as coach of the Giants. Schnellenberger and Giants G.M. George Young called the talk preposterous. Meanwhile, Schnellenberger is telling friends he'd leave the USFL in a second if the Notre Dame coaching job came up.
Coach Joe Gibbs, who appears mild mannered, showed his Redskins a different side the other day. Gibbs got so disgusted at the players' lackadaisical attitude that he walked off the practice field 45 minutes early, leaving his assistants with their mouths open. At a team meeting that evening, Gibbs, so angry he was shaking, lashed into his players.