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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Marinovich Says He Earned Start

December 25, 1991|CHRIS DUFRESNE

Mum was still the word on the starting quarterback situation when the Raiders held a closed practice Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's wild-card playoff game against Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.

Todd Marinovich, however, said he felt he earned the right to start against the Chiefs based on last week's debut performance in which he threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns.

And if the Raiders decide to go with Jay Schroeder?

"I couldn't honestly say I wouldn't be disappointed," Marinovich said.

Coach Art Shell said he won't make a decision until the end of the week.

"I don't know myself yet," Shell said. "I have an idea."

Shell said Schroeder's sprained ankles were much improved this week.

There is no quarterback controversy in Kansas City. Chief Coach Marty Schottenheimer said Steve DeBerg will start against the Raiders.

DeBerg lost his starting job to Mark Vlasic three weeks ago, but was forced back into the lineup when Vlasic suffered an injured knee.

Against the Raiders, DeBerg completed 14 of 20 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

"I thought he played as well as he's played in the three years that we've been here together," Schottenheimer said.

Schottenheimer also said Barry Word will start at tailback ahead of Christian Okoye, who made the Pro Bowl. Word gained 152 yards in 35 carries against the Raiders. . . . Rookie back Harvey Williams, who had eye surgery last week, might also be available.

Shell said Howie Long expects to play more this week than last, when strained knee ligaments limited the defensive end to spot duty against the Chiefs. . . . The Raiders might make a roster move this week to find a replacement for backup corner Garry Lewis, who has a sprained ankle.

Raider nose tackle Bob Golic, who played for Schottenheimer while both were employed by the Cleveland Browns, thinks he knows how the Kansas City coach will celebrate Christmas.

"I don't imagine Christmas at his house is going to be the merriest of places," Golic said. "He's probably got little X's and O's hanging up on the tree."

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