San Diego Chargers Coach Dan Henning would like all of his players to be like Eric Yarber.
But as much as Henning liked Yarber's effort, he knew that a 152-pound wide receiver slowed by a knee injury suffered in 1988 couldn't make the Chargers. So Henning said good-bye to Yarber before the start of training camp Sunday.
"It's tough to let a person like that go because he's really a good person," Henning said. "He's what we'd like to have in all of our players, that heart and effort."
Yarber, formerly with the Washington Redskins, signed with the Chargers in 1988 as a Plan B free agent but underwent knee surgery before training camp and didn't play.
Since then, Yarber hasn't been able to regain the quickness he had when he was with the Redskins.
Henning, a former assistant coach with Washington, began his second season at the helm of the Chargers Sunday when the team opened drills for rookies, free agents and selected veterans at its University of California-San Diego camp.
The Chargers had 16 of their 17 draft choices on the field at La Jolla, Calif. Junior Seau, the team's No. 1 pick, remains unsigned.
Perennial all-pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor and former all-pro defensive end Leonard Marshall yesterday failed to report to the opening of training camp in Madison, N.J.
Both players are in the option year of contracts and both want to at least double their salaries. Taylor wants a three-year package that would pay him $2 million a year. Marshall is seeking $1 million, a big increase over his $425,000 salary in 1989 when he had 9 1/2 sacks.
"We just need to get back together," Joe Courrage, Taylor's Dallas-based agent, said in a telephone call. "We'll get it done."
But recent Giants' history says it could be a while.
General Manager George Young tries to get all his rookies signed before turning his attention to the veterans and there are still three unsigned draft choices -- top pick Rodney Hampton, second-round choice Mike Fox and seventh-round selection Aaron Emanuel.
Courrage said he plans to visit Young next week, and hoped to have Taylor in camp by mid-August.
Peter Johnson, the IMG agent who represents Marshall, refused to comment on negotiations.
Besides Taylor and Marshall, the Giants also have six unsigned veterans -- defensive end Eric Dorsey, nose tackle Erik Howard, linebacker Gary Reasons, cornerback Mark Collins, halfback Lee Rouson and fullback Maurice Carthon.
The team conducted its first full day of training camp at Wilmington (Ohio) College. Rookies reported Sunday night, along with some veterans, including running backs Ickey Woods and Eric Ball, defensive back Rickey Dixon, linebacker Kevin Walker, starting quarterback Boomer Esiason and reserve quarterback Erik Wilhelm.
Chris Chandler, the team's unhappy quarterback, filed a lawsuit seeking a $50,000 workout bonus he says the team owes him.
The suit, filed in Marion County Court, also seeks to have his contract with the NFL team rescinded.
Chandler, who was the starter before being injured last season, reported for training camp Thursday at Anderson University but walked out the next day after the Colts refused to give him the bonus.
Chandler's suit also seeks $5,000 for each day the bonus is unpaid, and attorneys fees.
Clarence Kay met with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to discuss an alcohol-related driving conviction that could lead to a lifetime suspension as a third-time substance abuse violator.
League spokesman Greg Aiello said Tagliabue and Kay met for 45 minutes but that the commissioner made no decision on the case. The league had no other comment.
Kay, a tight end, was arrested Sept. 8 in Edgewater, Colo. and a test of his breath afterward revealed a blood-alcohol level of .083 percent. Under Colorado law, a person is considered to be driving while impaired if his blood-alcohol level is between .05 percent and .10 percent. Last month, Kay was convicted of driving while impaired.
A starter for the Broncos since his rookie year in 1984, Kay is a two-time offender of the NFL's policy. He twice had tested positive for cocaine and underwent rehabilitation in 1986.