NFL news of October 25, 2002

The artificial surface at the University of Illinois, where the Bears are playing their home games this season, is getting less than flattering reviews from players. The turf is called AstroPlay. Two Bears players – wide receiver David Terrell and defensive end Phillip Daniels – have blamed recent injuries on the surface. Terrell is out for the year with a broken foot. Daniels missed four games with an ankle injury. The Eagles play the Bears there next week.

How about this for a cheap trick? The Jaguars sent kicker Aaron Epstein out for a team-sponsored autograph session on Tuesday, then cut him a few hours later.

So much for the Quincy Carter era. The Dallas quarterback has been replaced by rookie Chad Hutchinson this week and for the foreseeable future. Hutchinson has been told he will start the final nine games. Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson acknowledged that attitude had as much to do with Carter’s demotion as performance. “His attitude was different this year,” Wilson said. “He was on edge. I told him he could have his issues as long as it didn’t affect his performance. I think it did at times. He wasn’t as eager to accept coaching this year as he was last year. That was disappointing.”

While the Bears elected to play elsewhere this season while Soldier Field is being renovated, the Packers opted to stay put during the $295 million remodeling of Lambeau Field. No one has been more inconvenienced by the situation than visiting teams. The renovation is about 70 percent complete, but one of the things still not finished is the visitor’s locker room. As a temporary solution, the Packers constructed a trailer to serve as the visitor’s locker room. The players’ toilet facilities include just two commodes and three urinals. There is no urinal and just one open commode in the coaches’ locker room. Shower facilities: a rectangular room with 10 nozzles for the players and two separate showers with curtains for the coaches. Said Packers president Bob Harlan: “We admit it’s not a perfect solution. But it could be worse. We could have taken everybody across the state (to Madison) and played in a college stadium. We did the best we could . . . I’ve been in worse.”

Jeers – To the NFL for its ludicrous fining system. This week, it fined Titans cornerback Samari Rolle $7,500 for a concussion-causing hit on Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell. It also fined him $15,000 for wearing a towel on his uniform the last to weeks that apparently was too long. That’s what happens when you give the commissioner’s job to a lawyer.

— Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News “Around the League”

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