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Inside Slant On The Pros
September 05, 1984
After finishing all his stories and scouting reports, SI's NFL expert, Paul Zimmerman, still had things he wanted to get off his chest
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September 05, 1984

Inside Slant On The Pros

After finishing all his stories and scouting reports, SI's NFL expert, Paul Zimmerman, still had things he wanted to get off his chest

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MOST SIGNIFICANT '84 LOSS
Ken Herock, director of scouting, Tampa Bay, to the USFL. He was one of the club's few sensible people. Don McCafferty at Baltimore, Nick Skorich at Cleveland, Bum Phillips at Houston, Ray Malavasi with the L.A. Rams and John Madden and Tom Flores with the Raiders. All except Madden and Flores lost their jobs.

ANOTHER DISASTER COURSE
Hire a coach who was a loser elsewhere. Only two have ever gone from being a loser with one club to a winner with another: Forrest Gregg from Cleveland to Cincinnati and Lou Saban from Boston to Buffalo in the early AFL days.

DISASTER COURSE NO. 3
Hire a Vince Lombardi product. Only Gregg has come through. Elsewhere the record's a bummer for former Lombardi players and coaches: Bill Austin, Tom Fears, Norb Hecker, Bart Starr, Phil Bengtson, Willie Wood in Canada, Bill Curry at Georgia Tech, etc. You're much better off with a graduate of the Paul Brown system: Don Shula, Weeb Ewbank, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh and many, many more.

THE ONE USFL PLAYER I'D SIGN IF I WERE AN NFL GENERAL MANAGER WITH A LIMITED BUDGET
Herbert Harris, backup wide receiver and special teams terror for the Philadelphia Stars

...AND THE ONE I'D SIGN IF I HAD A TON OF MONEY
No surprise here. Houston Gambler quarterback Jim Kelly, naturally. Someday he might be the salvation of the Buffalo Bills' franchise. Then I'd go for Gary Zimmerman (no relation), offensive tackle, Los Angeles Express. Herschel Walker? Never did a runner look worse gaining 1, 339 yards, Walker's output this spring. Mike Rozier? He came into the USFL as damaged goods (ankle injury in the Orange Bowl). Kelvin Bryant's a better runner than either of them.

CLEAN HANDS AWARD FOR '84
Ernie Accorsi, assistant to the president, Cleveland Browns. He left the Colts before their move because he wouldn't tell lies for Irsay.

BEST NICKNAME NOT USED
Box Office Billy Johnson. That's what they called White Shoes in college.

MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER IN '83
Dave Logan, noseguard, Tampa Bay.

MAJOR TRENDS FOR '84
On defense, some teams will experiment with five-and even six-man lines, as a change of pace. (Don't laugh. Kansas City used a pure six-man line against the Giants last year.) On offense, there'll be a return to power concepts, i.e., three backs, which Philly and Minnesota used on occasion last year. The jury remains out on the one-back offense. It's not going to sweep the league as predicted last year. Of the 10 playoff teams last season, only two ( Rams, Redskins) were one-back.

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