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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE AFC / CENTRAL

A Fumbled Opportunity

September 15, 2000|STEVE SPRINGER

On Sunday, Chris Howard got his first start at running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a debut grounded in disaster when he fumbled twice on eight carries against the Baltimore Ravens.

Wednesday, Howard was cut by Coach Tom Coughlin, who insisted that the move was not related to the poor ballhandling.

But, added Coughlin, "When a guy gets an opportunity, he's got to perform. As I look over the squad, I have to evaluate those people who I think have performed under pressure. The message is, every man has to play to the best of his ability all the time. Ball security is an extremely critical factor."

So in other words, coach-speak aside, it was because of the fumbles, one of which led to a Baltimore touchdown in the Ravens' 39-36 victory over Jacksonville.

How good are the Ravens?

"This team is for real for two games," Baltimore receiver Billy Davis said. "If you ask in November, I hope the answer is the same."

In the Pittsburgh Steelers' one game, rookie receiver Plaxico Burress caught four passes and got a first down on all four.

How do you top that?

A touchdown might be nice. The Steelers have yet to score.

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