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Bo Jackson Says He Still Has It and Gets the Chance to Show It

November 02, 1987|MARK HEISLER

FOXBORO, Mass. — And suddenly there was Bo.

Bo Jackson, the famous Raider and Royal backup, made his pro football debut Sunday. It was brief (8 carries, 37 yards, 1 six-yard reception).

But impressive?

You bet your crowded backfield, he was.

His first carry went for 14 yards, in which the fledgling showed enough explosion to hurtle his 230 pounds through a little hole off left tackle, and enough strength to transport strong safety Roland James for the last few yards. If Jackson never busted loose, he was on the verge several times.

What did he think of that first run?

"I just went back to the huddle for the next play," he said later.

Well, what had he thought during the play?

"Hang on to the freaking ball."

Ever the great star, Jackson took 33 minutes, by actual count, to get back to his locker, by which time the rest of the dressing room had emptied and perhaps 50 press people were dug in to talk to him. Jackson was typically low-key.

Does he still have what he had?

"It's still there," he said. "I wouldn't say I was as sharp as when I was in college, but it's still there."

Had he taken any memorable licks in his first pro game?

"Not really," he said. "Why would you ask?"

Well, it was his first pro game and he hasn't been getting rapped around.

"I got hit a couple weeks ago by my wife," Jackson said.

Is baseball still No. 1?

"During football season, football is No. 1," said Jackson. "Ask me next summer."

It was the most hopeful thing the Raiders had heard all day, or month.

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