PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 16 -- The Minnesota Vikings can start making vacation plans. They allowed Philadelphia to score 17 points in four minutes during the fourth quarter of their 32-24 Monday night disaster to drop their record to 1-5. A lot of the blame is being directed at running back Herschel Walker.
At the least, Walker must share in the blame for the Vikings' offensive problems. He has been averaging three yards a carry, and his problems continued with a three-carry, three-yard performance against the Eagles. On kickoff returns, it seemed Walker didn't want to get hit. Once, he fumbled the ball while looking up to see which player was coming at him. He was benched early in the second half.
"I thought he was a little shaky in there," Coach Jerry Burns said.
Said Walker: "I had some troubles. A cold has been bothering me the last couple of days. It just wasn't my night."
It has been postulated that the coaching staff doesn't know how to use the 226-pound back. They have tried everything from the I-formation to making him a wide receiver, but nothing has worked. The Vikings are 8-9 (including postseason) since acquiring Walker in the megatrade with Dallas last October. Vikings General Manager Mike Lynn gave up five players and seven draft picks to get Walker. The team was 11-6 in the 17 games before the trade.
It hasn't been his or the Vikings' season. New Drug Plan
Witt Stewart, the former agent for Tony Dorsett who has spent the last several months with former great Jim Brown promoting their drug plan to the NFL, said yesterday the league is seriously considering adopting such a proposal.
Stewart and Brown met last month with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, league counsel Jay Moyer, and drug counselor Lawrence Brown to discuss Jim Brown's plan, used throughout the California penal system. The plan emphasizes building an individual's sense of self-worth.
Then, Joe Browne, the league's vice president of communications and development, played down the meeting, saying the league listens to many ideas regarding its drug policy. But Stewart said yesterday he met for a second time with Moyer on Friday and again recently with Lawrence Brown.
"I'm telling you the league is very interested," Stewart added. "Why would I meet with them for a second time?"The Hits Keep Coming
The Pittsburgh Steelers have finally found the promised land -- the end zone. And it now seems the Steelers can't get there too much. Only three weeks ago Pittsburgh was national joke material. In their first four games the Steelers' offense didn't score a touchdown. Fans began chanting, "Joe must go! Joe must go!" expressing dissatisfaction with offensive coordinator Joe Walton.
But in its last two games, Pittsburgh has scored nine touchdowns, six passing and three rushing. The offense has scored almost twice as many points (63) in its last two games as it did in the first four (32). Tight end Eric Green, who missed all of training camp, has caught five of the six touchdown passes.
Quarterback Bubby Brister is more comfortable with the offense. But one would think he was quarterbacking the 49ers when he said, "When they send in a formation and say 'Call what you want' it's like, 'Oh man, this is cool.' " From the Defensive Stance
Giants quarterback Phil Simms, when told that Joe Montana threw six touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday: "That's pitiful. What does that say about Atlanta?" . . .
Former New England Patriots defensive end and University of Texas all-American Ken Sims, released from the team earlier this year after being charged with possession of cocaine, this month finished 30 days of drug rehabilitation in Arizona and is looking for a team. Sims's agent met with New England General Manager Patrick Sullivan on Friday to discuss matters, but Sullivan isn't interested. "His chances of playing here again are slim and none," said Sullivan. . . .
Even though New Orleans Saints quarterback Steve Walsh threw three touchdowns on Sunday, Coach Jim Mora still hasn't decided if Walsh or John Fourcade will start this week against Houston. Walsh must be wondering how many touchdown passes it takes. . . .
New York Jets Coach Bruce Coslet must have thought of Dave Cadigan after his team scored just three points against San Diego on Sunday. One of the team's best offensive linemen, Cadigan is out for the season after surgery on his right knee ligaments. Before Cadigan's injury, the Jets led the AFC in total offense per game with 358.8 yards. Last week they gained 150 yards. . . .
The Indianapolis Colts have reached an agreement with veteran quarterback Joe Ferguson as a backup to Jack Trudeau, Coach Ron Meyer said. The move was prompted by injuries to rookie Jeff George, the previous starter, and veteran Mark Herrmann. Rookie Gene Benhart will be released once Ferguson signs.