"I'm the one who started this whole thing," says Jerry Rhome. "I made the decision that Sam McCullum wasn't good enough to play on our football team."

McCullum, the Seahawks' player representative and four-year starter cut last week, was on his way to Minnesota yesterday -- he signed with the Vikings, the only club to claim him off waivers -- when Rhome, coordinator of the Seattle offense and coach of receivers, spoke up.

McCullum had said he was not sure who specifically was responsible for his release -- Coach Jack Patera, General Manager John Thompson or higher authority -- that nearly precipitated a Seahawk player strike. Rhome says, "It all started with me."

McCullum's release also brought an unfair labor practice charge from the NFL Players Association, and in New York, the NLRB said it might have a decision today . . .

In Washington, opening-game hero Mark Moseley told a Quarterback Club luncheon he wants to disabuse anyone of the notion he was trying to show up the Redskin staff when he was quoted as saying, "I can't believe the coaches ever doubted me." Needled by center Jeff Bostic about Sunday's "great job of kicking by Dan Miller, heh, heh," Moseley said he never felt vindictive under the preseason talk of replacing him with Miller: "Believe me, I'm highly respectful of this coaching staff and know all their decisions are for the best of the team. I was in no way trying to say, 'There, that shows you.' I'm not trying to get back at anybody" . . .

Jeff Hayes lauded the coverage by his special teams cohorts that made his returnable kickoffs at Philadelphia even more effective than his two through the end zone for touchbacks. Effective? After seeing runbacks to the 10, 14, 14 and 17-yard lines, Eagles Coach Dick Vermeil waived Calvin Murray yesterday and recalled Wally Henry. Punt fielder John Sciarra's broken leg further dictated return of the sometimes spectacular, sometimes erratic Henry--a day after Vermeil declared he intends to be a calmer coach this year. Or, if he can't, to give it up . . .

USFL Federals' answer to NFL 49ers' Renaldo Nehemiah: Skeets' former Maryland track colleague, Greg (Fly) Robertson. Others newly signed by Washington's springtime team, bringing roster to 11: Vince Kinney, ex-Terp, Bronco receiver; Jim Corcoran, Georgetown's all-time safety, kicks too, had NFL trials with Buffalo and Miami; Antonio Howard, Winston-Salem State receiver cut by Redskins.