- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 31, 2002

Defensive end Marco Coleman said veteran receiver Jimmy Smith's endorsement of the Jacksonville organization was a big factor in signing with the Jaguars in June.
"I didn't want to go someplace and waste my time," said the 32-year-old Coleman, still seeking his first Super Bowl appearance after 11 seasons in Miami, San Diego and Washington. "I wanted to be someplace [where] there was potential to do well. He had nothing but good things to say about the organization and the direction that they were going in."
Coleman, one of the NFL's true leaders, wasn't just speaking platitudes. But Smith, the only remaining original Jaguar besides quarterback Mark Brunell, must have been. He's entrenched in a holdout with no end in sight. Meanwhile, the Jaguars had scored just 37 points in three preseason games before last night's finale against Dallas.
Trivia time Who's the oldest non-kicker or punter in the NFL after 42-year-old Redskins cornerback Darrell Green? (Answer below.)
R-Kal returns Memorably named defensive end R-Kal Truluck, who survived family tragedy, his own stabbing and the obscurity of Division III Cortland (N.Y.) State to earn an invitation to Washington's training camp (and, briefly, a spot on the practice squad) in 1997, has resurfaced with Kansas City and just might make the team.
Truluck, who led the Arena League with nine sacks this spring, showed that pass-rushing ability with two sacks, two quarterback pressures and a forced fumble as Kansas City beat Houston on Aug.17. Truluck, who turns 28 next month, also forced left tackle Jelani Hawkins into a holding penalty while nearly recording a third sack.
"For a minute there, I was like, 'This can't be happening,'" said Truluck, still undersized at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds. "It has been five long years. They put me in some good pass-rushing situations, and I was able to take advantage of them."
Lynn Stiles, Kansas City's vice president of football operations, was with St. Louis when Kurt Warner metamorphosed from Arena League nobody to Super Bowl MVP. Stiles believes the speed of Arena ball, which helped Warner develop his quick release, may earn Truluck a job.
"In that league, everything is so fast," Stiles said. "The ball is out of the quarterback's hand in two steps, so as a rusher you really have to get there quickly. Here the quarterback is holding onto it one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three and it has to feel like slow motion to R-Kal."
Randall's farewell Randall Cunningham, who set the stage for current multidimensional quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, officially retired before last Friday's Eagles-Ravens game in Philadelphia, where he played the first 11 of his 16 seasons. Cunningham, 39, was the backup in Baltimore last season.
"I had to grow up quickly, and I did that," Cunningham said of his early years with the Eagles (including 1986, when he was sacked an NFL-record 72 times). "The previous three years, I had lost my mother and father. To be lonely and to come to this town and become a man I couldn't go off as a Viking. I couldn't go off as a Raven. I couldn't go off as a Cowboy. I know where my roots began, and they began here."
Cunningham, who finished just 21 yards short of 30,000 passing and 72 yards short of 5,000 yards rushing, averaged 6.36 yards a carry for his career, easily the highest for anyone with at least 750 attempts. In 1990, Cunningham passed for 3,466 yards and 30 touchdowns while running for 942 yards and five scores. He initially retired in 1996 but returned the next season. In 1998, he was the NFL's top passer while leading Minnesota to a 16-1 record before a stunning loss to visiting Atlanta in the NFC Championship game.
History repeating? Future New York All-Pro tight end Mark Bavaro scored a touchdown in his preseason debut against the Houston Oilers in the 1985 Hall of Fame game. Giants top draft choice Jeremy Shockey, a tight end out of Miami, scored a touchdown in his preseason debut against the Houston Texans in last month's Hall of Fame game.
"The environment was different," said Bavaro, a fourth-round draft choice. "There was no pressure on me. For him to do it with the pressure, it shows he has signs of greatness."
Quote of the week Former Baltimore defensive tackle Sam Adams had been coaching a semipro team until he signed with Oakland last week, so his always-wide body got a little wider because he missed those training camp two-a-days. When asked how much he weighed when he joined the Raiders, Adams said, "I'm a Diet Coke away from 300 pounds. How much do you think I weigh? Do you ask your wife how much she weighs? Same principle."
Trivia answer Mark Rypien, who quarterbacked the Redskins to their last Super Bowl title 11 seasons ago, recently signed with Seattle. Rypien turns 40 on Oct.2.

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