Pacific Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Sep 29 1983, Page 27

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - September 29, 1983, Tokyo, JapanThursday september 29, 1983 Pacific stars and stripes sports 27 suspended nil four ready for action new York a the four National football league players who were suspended without pay for the first four games of the season because of their involvement with cocaine Are More than ready to join their teammates. St. Louis cardinals linebacker . Junior said monday he is anxious energetic optimistic and any other word that you can find to describe Happy about the lifting of his sus pension. Defensive end Ross Browner and running Back Pete Johnson of the Cincinnati bengals both were de scribed As eager to get Back to work. And bum Phillips coach of the new Orleans saints said cornerback Greg Stemrick already had under gone his physical examination and other preliminaries in preparation to play even before nil commissioner Pete Rozelle s announcement Mon Day of the reinstatement of the four players. Junior Browner Johnson and Stemrick All missed the entire preseason schedule and the first four games of the regular season because of violations of nil drug policies. Rozelle said after our review which included meetings of each player with our Security director we concluded this punishment was Suffi Junior and Stemrick were arrested on cocaine felony charges in separate incidents. Each pleaded guilty or no contest to the charges and each was convicted Early this year of a felony offence and released on probation. Browner and Johnson acknowledged in Federal criminal court Testi Mony that they had purchased cocaine from a drug dealer. Browner admitted making 12-15 purchases and Johnson about 15. The expected decision by Rozelle Means All four Are eligible to play in sunday s games. There s always a Little bit of pessimism when you re waiting for something like this to end said Junior As he returned to the Cardi nals dressing room monday after his first Day of practice. There s the possibility that it won t go your Way. This has been a valuable experience from the begin Ning until the end. I think it will help me and other players in the nil who May have a drug problem to come out and Tell their teams without it having to get to the Point where they re Junior said he had been receiving weekly out patient medical treat ment for drug problems. And he said that hell continue the rap sessions with his doctors on a twice monthly basis after rejoining the team. The cardinals no. 1 draft pick of 1981 out of the University of Alabama said the hardest part of the suspension was being prohibited from foot Ball. Sitting Back in the stands and watching these Guys struggling at times and thinking you might be Able to do something to help the team really hurts said Junior. Although he expects to play Sun Day when the cardinals play at Kansas City Junior said he does t expect to Start or play the entire game. Johnson and Browner appeared at the bengals offices monday to meet with team officials. Both were de scribed As eager to get Back to work and rejoin their teammates. As far As the bengals Are concerned the incident is closed said general manager Paul Brown. Both players had physical examinations last week. Browner was de scribed As in Good shape but team officials said that Johnson was Over weight and suffering from a pulled calf muscle. Bucs turns clock Back to the Days of lovable losers Forrest Gregg the bengals head coach said that the team would make a decision on wednesday about placing the two players Back on their Active roster but he added that Browner a defensive end probably will see some action sunday on passing Downs when the bengals play the Baltimore Colts at riverfront stadium. Browner was Cincinnati s no. 1 draft Choice in 1978 after starring at notre Dame. He set a record for defensive linemen with 10 unassisted tackles two assists a quarterback sack and a recovered Fumble in the 1982 super bowl against san Francis co. Johnson is the bengals career Rushing Leader with 4,656 Yards in six seasons since being drafted out of Ohio state in the second round in 1977. He gained 622 Yards last season sixth Best in the american Confer ence. Stemrick a cornerback played at Colorado state before joining the Houston oilers in 1975. He was released following his drug problems and was claimed on waivers by the saints. Phillips said Stemrick could see some action sunday when the saints play at Home against the Miami dolphins. Associated press it s just like the Good of Days for the Tampa Bay buccaneers but now the laughter Sticks in John Mckay s Throat. These Days Are very much like the mid-1970s, when every sunday was Good for a Guffaw or two As opposed to a win or two. Through All 14 games of their first season and the first 12 of their second they were the National football league s lovable losers. Mckay was a veritable compendium of self deprecation and the forgiving fans of Tampa St. Petersburg were willing to laugh along with his weekly helping of caustic humor. He was the Casey Stengel of the nil Back then. Just As Casey had gone from the readiness of new York Yankees championships to the foolishness of the Newborn new York mets and had become their humorist philosopher so had Mckay gone from the Campus of four time National Champion South Ern California to the Absurdity of the Sun coast fun factory there to deflect and absorb the jibes aimed at his cast of misfits. I remember when i first took a look at what i had to work with i knew right away we weren t going to be competitive Mckay recalled so i said the hell with it. I might As Well relax and enjoy it " he became the master of the one liner those Days. He could laugh about the mounting losses Only because crying did no Good. When asked one Day about the buccaneers execution he replied i m in favor of when asked about their offence he commented we could t score against a Strong and even Mckay had to smile when some fans seated near the 10-Yard line unfurled a Banner proclaiming the buc stops the 70s were As Long time Tampa sports editor Tom Mcewen said like the Good of Days if you happen to think the depression was just As with the mets the bucs fortunes Rose dramatically. They went from worst to first in 1979, into the playoffs that year and again in 1981. And like the mets they have come full Circle. The depression is Back and no one is More depressed than Mckay. Four games into the season Tampa Bay remains wingless the team s poorest Start since those first two humiliating years. They re laughable again but no longer lovable. The fans stay away by the thousands. And Mckay no longer cracks the quip. Frustration sometimes dissolving into anger or rage is More prevalent. Mistakes Are killing us he said after they were beaten sunday by Cincinnati a previously wingless team. Idiotic plays. They almost bordered on the Lee Roy Selmon the bucs magnificent defensive end has been through the bitter the Sweet and now the bitter again. He was Tampa Bay s first draft Choice Ever. Having gone through it once before i know what it takes to get out of it Selmon said of the bucs current woes. It looks bad but we can t let something like this get us Down. We be lost More games than this in a Row. Eventually Well win. It s got to happen. Hopefully it la happen a lot quicker this time around. Mckay in favor of the bucs execution when we were losing All those games in the 70s, we never really experienced what it was like to be a Winner. Then suddenly we were there. We found out we liked it. And having experienced the winning Side makes us that much hungrier to get Back and what of the change the loss of the sense of humor for the bucs behind Mckay there has been no change. These indeed Are the same As the old Days and like the mid 70s, they re not Good. Maybe other people were laughing at us Selmon said. Maybe coach Mckay kept pm laughing. But the players weren t laughing then and we re not laughing w san Diego a describing an offensive pass interference Call against him As totally pathetic a bitter Kellen Winslow complained that National football league officials were being vindictive toward him because he s one of the nil s top players. Winslow the san Diego Char Gers All pro tight end was flagged for the infraction after making a crucial 19-Yard reception with Little More than two minutes remain ing sunday and san Diego leading 24-21. After the third Down gain to the chargers 38 was nullified Cleve land forced a punt by sacking quarterback Dan Fouts and drove for a tying Field goal by Matt Bahr from 32 Yards with 18 seconds left in the game. The Browns went on to win in overtime 30-24. Winslow said he believes his problem with officials comes from being one of the top players in the league. Before the game the opposing coach always tells the officials to watch me closely. Then it comes Down to a Guy who is a High school principal or who Sells insurance five Days a week and he comes out Here on sunday and decides my life. I will look at the films and i la bet you my House right now that i did t push that Man he added. If i m wrong i la write the league office a letter of apology. If i was to say what i really Felt the commissioner would probably coach Don Coryell still irate about the Call said the controversial play was the turning Point of the game. That was the knockout punch Coryell said. That waste ballgame if we make that play. They were boxing him from either Side. He had to fight his Way through. I Don t think he could run the route he wanted to run said Coryell. The chargers suffered another blow when starting safety Tim Fox sustained a Chip fracture in his ankle. He could be lost three to four weeks. Ken Greene was named to Start in his place sunday against the new York giants. Fouts underwent a rays monday for his sore left wrist but the injury was diagnosed As a Strain

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