Rob Johnson may fit the new Buffalo Bills’ look

Feb 13, 2001 7:34 AM

Before the next mini-camp opens, the Buffalo Bills will have settled their quarterback controversy. Either Rob Johnson or Doug Flutie will be cut loose, if for no other reason than salary cap considerations…

Gregg Williams, the Bills’ new coach, is installing the heavily pass-oriented West Coast offense, an indication that perhaps the younger Johnson (the more talented passer of the pair) will be his quarterback. But weighing against Johnson are his seemingly lackadaisical approach to the game, his absence of leadership qualities and Flutie’s competitive fire and immense popularity with the Buffalo fans. The latter factor is in the equation because the Bills have an 80,000-seat stadium to fill…

More central to the Bills’ future than the designation of their No. 1 quarterback is the re-signing of free agent wide receiver Eric Moulds. That’s because the chief task of whoever is the quarterback will be to get the ball into Moulds’ hands. The Bills are reportedly close to reaching an agreement with him on a contract that will pay him between $58 million and $60 million over the next six years, thus making him the highest paid wide receiver in the league.

That contract involves considerable juggling to stay within the salary cap and underscores the reality that in the NFL these days, the most important member of a club’s hierarchy may not necessarily be the general manager or the coach but instead be the guy who manages the salary cap.

Regardless of what happens in Buffalo, Flutie will be gainfully employed this coming season, possibly with Tampa Bay. Buccaneer coach Tony Dungy and his staff have doubts as to whether Shaun King (at least at this stage of his career) can lead the Bucs to a championship. They’d prefer to have a more experienced quarterback and feel Flutie would fit well into their offense.

Second thoughts

The St. Louis Rams are having second thoughts about trading back-up quarterback Trent Green. That’s because Kurt Warner is still feeling the effects of the concussion he suffered during the season. Although cleared by the doctors to play in the Pro Bowl, Warner stayed out of the game as a precaution. So unless the Rams get an offer for Green they can’t refuse, they’ll keep him. The only other signal-caller on the Rams’ roster is little-used former Ohio State QB Joe Germaine.

Wall Street Journal late

The Wall Street Journal, hardly a source for sports information, made a splash by claiming the home run that Bobby Thomson hit in 1951 — "The shot heard ’round the world" that won the National League pennant for the New York Giants — was the result of the Giants stealing the Dodgers’ signs and knowing every pitch that was coming…

The story is strictly cow manure not borne out by the surrounding circumstances. If the Giants were as adept at sign stealing as the paper alleges, how come the previous day, Brooklyn’s Clem Labine pitched a shutout against them at the Polo Grounds? And Thomson hitting a home run off Ralph Branca was nothing new. He’d won the first game of the series, played at Ebbets Field, with a two-run homer off Branca. Just why the Journal, 50 years after the fact, decided to tarnish the most dramatic moment in baseball history is something only the skunks at the paper can answer. I guess it’s part of today’s culture that seems to put the knock on everything that’s gone before — sort of like offbeat historians telling us George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln weren’t really good guys…

NCAA notebook

The NCAA Executive Committee projects the organ-ization’s total revenues will increase from more that $345 million in 2001-2002 to more than $870 million in 2012-2013. The keystone is the $6.2 billion deal with CBS for television rights to the NCAA basketball tournament… Those figures may be of some interest to the Collegiate Athletes Coalition, a group of current and former UCLA athletes who seek to have the NCAA increase the room and board allowances and offer full health care coverage in the off-season for student athletes.