Chapter 5, Page 197

Gus Frerotte New face: Gus Frerotte, the unknown quarterback who surprised everybody in 1994, soon became the people's choice.
(Rich Lipski/The Washington Post)
Shuler was a legendary athlete in tiny Bryson City, North Carolina, attracting the interest of many college coaches. He chose the University of Tennessee and was revered for his athletic skills, his boyish good looks and his Huck Finn personality. As for Frerotte, he was the son of a career worker at Pittsburgh Plate Glass, and his career almost was ended by a serious neck injury in high school. He attended Tulsa University because that was one of his few scholarship offers, and he received barely a look from NFL teams after college.

Both played decently during training camp, but Turner, already leaning heavily toward Frerotte, went with him. He believed that Frerotte would make fewer mistakes. The Redskins were going to win or lose on the strength of their running game and their defense's ability to keep things close. The last thing Turner wanted was a gambling, freewheeling quarterback.

For all practical purposes, Shuler's career in Washington was over. He was in for just one play in 1996, and when the season ended, he exercised an escape clause in his contract. He visited several teams before agreeing to a deal with the New Orleans Saints. When the 1996 season opened, the Redskins suffered an immediate, 14-7 defeat at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. At that point, Turner, with a 9-24 record, was beginning to feel some heat.

Even Cooke, who had backed him for so long, got angry. After three straight seasons of losses, Cooke was running out of patience, especially while he was building a new stadium in a Maryland suburb outside Washington. It wasn't going to be just a stadium but a palace, complete with 78,600 seats, including luxury suites, expensive club seating and other amenities.

Page 197 | Next Page: 198

Other Pages in Chapter 5:
172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Names, Numbers
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