Dan Lloyd will sign with the Michigan Panthers, after asking to be waived by the Federals earlier in the week, and said yesterday he is determined to make a "full comeback" from the seeming end of his football career three years ago. That was when doctors discovered the linebacker then with the New York Giants had lymphatic cancer.
"I want things to work out," Lloyd said. "I really don't want to keep on moving like this anymore."
Lloyd, 29, tried unsuccessfully to rejoin the NFL Giants last season and now joins his third USFL team.
Lloyd cleared waivers yesterday and received a call from Michigan Coach Jim Stanley, the Giants' former defensive line coach. "We told Dan to come on up here as soon as he could," Stanley said.
Lloyd prefers the inside linebacker position, while the Federals generally play a 4-3 defense and have shown a desire all season to stay with middle linebacker Ed Baxley--a decision that left Lloyd only periodic opportunities to play.
Lloyd decided to leave the Federals the day after General Manager Dick Myers obtained Kevin McLain, a first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams in 1976.
"Dan asked me about McLain," said Federals Coach Ray Jauch. "So I said, 'Dan, it's not that we think you're doing a bad job, it's just that I'm not going to stop looking at interesting players. Any time you have a first-round draft choice out there, you look at him.' "
"I couldn't really concentrate when I was playing (for Washington), because you never knew when they would jerk you out of there," Lloyd said. "I knew I wasn't the fastest guy in the world playing outside, but that's not my natural position."
The Panthers play a 3-4 defense, a situation that may give Lloyd more playing time.
"We'll use Dan at inside linebacker and special teams," Stanley said. "If he deserves it he'll start."
The Federals also announced yesterday that they had traded a future draft choice for Sandro Vitiello, a kicker from the Boston Breakers. "When I was with the Redskins, we had Vitiello ranked as the top-rated kicker in the country in 1980," Myers said. The Redskins cut Vitiello in training camp.
Vitiello, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts, played behind Tim Mazzetti, the U.S. Football League's second-leading scorer, in Boston. Vitiello is a left-footed soccer-style kicker.
Jauch said Dale Castro again will kick for the Federals in Sunday's game here against the Birmingham Stallions. When Vitiello joins the team next week, he and Castro will compete. If Vitiello wins the job, he will be the team's fifth starting kicker this year.
"I understand the situation," said Castro, who made one of two field goal tries against Tampa Bay last Sunday. "We'll kick it out next week and see who wins. It's only fair. If anything, it'll help my concentration in practice."
Jauch said he would continue to start Brian Musselman at center, after all, after considering Tony Loia at the position, and would play Bubba Diggs at tight end.