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BO'S NFL DEBUT : Raiders Run a Reverse and Say Jackson May Play Sunday Against Seahawks

October 22, 1987|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

Bo Jackson, the new Raider/old Royal, practiced Wednesday amid speculation that he may make his National Football League debut Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at the Coliseum.

"Every day he gets a little better," Coach Tom Flores said. "Every day he gets the system a little better. There's a chance, sure. There's always a chance."

Watching the practice was current Royal/former El Segundo resident, George Brett, who was seeing Bo play football live for the first time.

"All I've seen before is the Auburn highlights film that he brought in and made us all watch," Brett said.

The prevailing guess among the Royals is that Bo is ultimately football-bound. Brett doesn't exactly quarrel with that theory.

"I think he had an excellent season until he made the announcement (that he was signing with the Raiders)," Brett said. "As soon as he made it, everyone started taking shots at him. Not only in Kansas City but on the road.

"I was stunned. Here they had a chance to have a guy play football and baseball. I thought the town should have gotten behind him. They just turned on him.

"He was hitting .260 (actually .257 at the All-Star break). He struck out a lot, but power hitters strike out a lot. He was leading us in homers. He has the type of power Jose Canseco has. You think any team wouldn't want Canseco? I think Bo can be a better player than Canseco because he's faster. He gets infield hits."

But isn't it natural to assume it would be easier for Jackson to become a football star than a baseball star?

"I think it would be more instant (in football)," Brett said. "To be the same kind of baseball player that he was as a college football player, it might take 10 years--if he can make it at all. . . . I think he can be a true superstar in this sport (football) immediately."

Don't most people in Kansas City think Jackson will wind up in football full time?

"Yeah, but no one really knows," Brett said. "I could say he's not coming back, but that's not right. I don't know. I think only one guy knows--and that's Bo."

Raider Notes Coach Tom Flores said that fullback Frank Hawkins has undergone surgery for a torn triceps muscle. Rookie fullback Steve Smith, who has been out with a knee injury, is practicing again. . . . Notable Raider replacements still around: quarterback Vince Evans; tackle Steve Wright, who has a guaranteed contract; safety Eddie Anderson, probably the player who impressed management most, and linebacker Ronnie Washington, who may have a chance to stick. Also staying are cornerbacks Greg Hill and Rod Hill, halfback Zeph Lee, receivers Carl Aikens and David Williams, and offensive lineman Shawn Regent.

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