Ron Erhardt, who took over the New England Patriots in turmoil, left them in tatters yesterday when he was relieved as head coach after guiding them to their worst record ever.
The Patriots said the contracts of Erhardt and his assistants would not be renewed. No successor has been chosen.
"Since I am very fond of Ron personally, I don't know if I want to say where he was lacking," Patriots' owner Billy Sullivan said at a news conference. "What we're looking for in a new man is more of a disciplinarian. I think he was just too nice a guy."
Erhardt, 49, had winning records in two of his three years with the Patriots. He was unavailable for comment.
Gone along with Erhardt are Offensive Coordinator Jim Ringo, Defensive Coordinator Fritz Shurmur and his other assistants -- Raymond Berry, Gino Cappelletti, Bobby Grier, Rick Lantz, Babe Parilli and Dick Roach.
New England's 2-14 record is the club's worst since it joined the American Football League in 1960.
Thought to be the leading candidates to replace Erhardt are John Robinson of Southern California, considered when Erhardt was hired; Don James of Washington, a close friend of General Manager Bucko Kilroy, and Marion Campbell, the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, who got his professional coaching start with the old Boston Patriots in 1962.
Colt quarterback Bert Jones said yesterday he will file a grievance against team owner Robert Irsay charging Irsay reneged on a verbal agreement extending the quarterback's contract.
The grievance was to be filed with the National Football League Players Association today.
The Baltimore Evening Sun reported yesterday the agreement between Jones and Irsay was reached in July and would have made Jones the highest-paid player in the game, with a contract for $750,000 a year for four years.
Bruce Laird, the Colts' player representative, said he understood Jones and Irsay had reached an agreement this summer.
"Everything was okay, all that was left to do was sign the paper. Then, during the season, everything changed. You could see the guy (Jones) was troubled," Laird said.
In Chicago, Irsay responded angrily to Jones' announcement, saying he will personally see to it that Jones leaves the Colts.
"I'll kick (him) right out," Irsay said. "(Newly named coach Frank) Kush doesn't like him, either; doesn't like his attitude.
"I sent Jones a contract by registered mail four, five or six weeks ago, calling for four years with an option year. At the end of the contract was a paragraph which said: 'We will await your immediate reponse or the contract will be voided.' I have heard nothing from him, and there no longer is an offer.' "
Jones was paid about $325,000 during the 1981 season that ended for Baltimore Sunday with a 2-14 record.
Jones told agent Ron Shapiro after Sunday's victory over New England that he wanted to stay in Baltimore.
"Although he's filing the grievance, Bert's desire is to stay here and play," Shapiro said.
A number of actions could result from the grievance, including the possibility that Jones would be declared a free agent. In that case the Colts would get nothing in return for Jones and would be denied compensation and right of first refusal.
NFL rushing champion George Rogers of New Orleans, San Francisco cornerback Ronnie Lott and linebacker Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants, three rookies who made an immediate impact on their team's fortunes, yesterday were named to UPI's NFC all-star team.
No Redskins made the first or second teams.(See complete team list on Page D6.)
The National Football League Players Association said it will file charges today in New York with the National Labor Relations Board claiming the San Diego Chargers ignored the league's bargaining agreement with its players in the handling of a recent dispute involving San Diego quarterback Dan Fouts, a union attorney says.
Dick Bertelson, an attorney for the NFLPA, said the union would file its charges with the NLRB's Region II office in New York, claiming "the Chargers' refusal to comply with the bargaining agreement is a violation of the National Labor Relations Board Act."
The dispute with Fouts centered on the player's year-long refusal to pay union dues. The NFL contract with the NFLPA, which expires in July, requires each player to pay the union assessment.
Oddsmakers in Las Vegas listed the Cincinnati Bengals as 5-to-2 choices for the Super Bowl in Detroit on Jan. 24. Odds for other teams in the playoffs are: Dallas 3 to 1, San Francisco 7 to 2, Miami 4 to 1, Philadelphia 6 to 1, San Diego 8 to 1, New York Jets 10 to 1, Buffalo 20 to 1, Tampa Bay 20 to 1 and the New York Giants 35 to 1.