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Rams Just May Pass on Doug Flutie : Robinson Not Sure There's Any Room for New Jersey QB

August 07, 1986|CHRIS DUFRESNE | Times Staff Writer

You get the feeling that the Rams really don't know what to make of this Doug Flutie situation.

It seemed pretty cute back in 1985 when the Rams drafted the Boston College quarterback in the 11th round, even though he was playing for Donald Trump's New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.

The Rams certainly got some publicity out of it, maybe a few laughs.

But, wouldn't you know it, the other league just closed down for a year and now Flutie's sitting outside on the Rams' doorstep.

On Wednesday, Trump said in New York that he's willing to release Flutie, quarterback Jim Kelly and back Herschel Walker from their contracts, freeing them to play in the NFL.

When contacted Wednesday, Flutie's agent, Boston attorney Bob Woolf, said that as soon as he gets written permission from Trump, he will call the Rams.

"Based on what he's saying, I expect to hear from him (Trump) in a couple of days," Woolf said.

But gee, are the Rams ready?

The feeling is that the Rams already have enough quarterbacks and, great as that one pass Flutie threw was, what on earth would they do with him?

Ram Coach John Robinson effectively ducked the Flutie question once more Wednesday.

"When he is released, we will have a comment," Robinson said.

Pressed a little harder, he said: "What I have to be is realistic. In the short run, we've got three quarterbacks. In the long run, we've got two quarterbacks (Dieter Brock and Steve Bartkowksi) who are in their 30s."

But Flutie, a 5-foot-9 running quarterback, doesn't seem to mesh with Robinson's run-oriented offense.

"I think Doug would fit in with what Tampa Bay is doing with Steve Young or Houston and Warren Moon," Robinson said.

The logical option is for the Rams to trade Flutie's rights to another NFL team in exchange for a player or a draft choice.

With four-time All-Pro Gary Green out for the season with a disc problem in the neck, the Rams are in the market for a defensive back who can play both corner and safety.

Flutie signed a six-year, $8 million dollar, personal services contract with Trump, and although the contract is guaranteed, Woolf said that money made from any NFL team could be deducted from the original contract.

"I think that would be a fair resolution," Woolf said.

Ram Notes An update on injuries: Quarterback Dieter Brock, who bruised his left knee in the first quarter of Tuesday's 17-14 loss to the Houston Oilers, probably will miss three or four days of practice. Linebacker Jim Collins, who aggravated an old shoulder injury, should be back at practice today. Ron Brown may practice despite a badly sprained left wrist. Hank Goebel, the free-agent offensive tackle out of Cal State Fullerton, is out indefinitely with knee and elbow injuries. There was some good news, though. Defensive end Reggie Doss (knee) and cornerback LeRoy Irvin (ankle) are expected back at practice today. All-Pro guard Kent Hill, recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, should be back early next week. . . . The Rams Wednesday signed one of their three remaining holdouts, Doug Reed, to a two-year contract believed to be worth about $400,000. The remaining holdouts are wide receiver Henry Ellard and linebacker Mel Owens. . . . The Rams have 86 players in camp and must cut to 60 by Aug. 19. . . . Robinson said the Oilers blitzed the quarterback 11 times Tuesday night, "a phenomenal number for a preseason game." . . . The Rams don't play again until Aug. 18, when they meet the San Francisco 49ers in a Monday night game at Anaheim Stadium. . . . Robinson, on free-agent cornerback Mickey Sutton, who had two long kickoff returns and a fumble recovery in Tuesday's game: "He's kind of like Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo.," Robinson said. "He just came out of nowhere." Robinson was referring the fictional character from the movie, "Damn Yankees."

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