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Spurrier to start Wuerffel

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 6, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Coach Steve Spurrier named Danny Wuerffel the Redskins' starting quarterback for today's game at Tennessee, saying: "I still believe that Danny Wuerffel can play, so we're going to find out Sunday how he does."

Rookie Patrick Ramsey will back up Wuerffel, Spurrier said. Wuerffel replaces Shane Matthews, who started the first three games.

"We are a team that's 1-2," Spurrier said. "We haven't done very well the last two games on offense or defense, really. So we're going to give Danny Wuerffel an opportunity to see if he can play this position a little bit better than what Shane has played. ... Obviously he's much more knowledgeable than Patrick Ramsey and we think he's the best prepared to play right now."

Spurrier became irritated while being questioned by reporters about his decision to start Wuerffel, his former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida who struggled in relief appearances the past two games and will be making his first NFL start since 1998.

"How many times do I have to explain? I'm the head coach," Spurrier said. "I make the decision on who plays quarterback. I'm the quarterback coach. I think he is ready to go play. ... I think this is the best move for our team, and I think Danny is ready to play. It's as simple as that.

"My memory is a lot better than all you guys'. See, I've still got a lot of memories of him playing extremely well. He hasn't proved to me he can't play at this point."

LIONS: Desmond Howard had a 70-yard kickoff return against New Orleans last Sunday, and his teammates got a little too excited.

Defensive end Robert Porcher celebrated by slapping him in the head. Porcher is 6 feet 6 and weighs 266; Howard is 5-10, 188.

"It's the way guys celebrate in the NFL," Howard said. "It just so happened I was coming off a neck injury, so it wasn't the proper way to celebrate at that time. It hurt."

PACKERS: Wide receiver Terry Glenn, who has been suffering from migraine headaches, will play Monday night against the Bears. Glenn practiced Saturday without incident. He was questionable at the start of the week.

Glenn, who hit his head on the ground on multiple occasions during games this season, visited a neurologist Tuesday in New York to confirm the Packers' original diagnosis of head trauma.

"The fact he's out here practicing and has not demonstrated to me or anyone else that's he's suffering from severe migraines he had last week shows he's made a lot of progress," coach Mike Sherman said.

PANTHERS: Owner Jerry Richardson was hospitalized because of chills and a high fever and will not attend today's game against the Cardinals.

The illness is not believed to be serious, but doctors want to identify the cause of the problem before releasing him, said team spokesman Charlie Dayton. Richardson, who was hospitalized Friday night, is expected to be released by Monday.

Richardson has never missed a home game at Ericsson Stadium.

STEELERS: Running back Jerome Bettis has 100 yards on 32 carries after three games. It's the worst three-game start of his 10-year NFL career.

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