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July 23, 1982 - Image 12

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Michigan Daily, 1982-07-23

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Sports

Page 12

Friday, July 23, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Out of the spotlight
Stan Edwards learns to be second fiddle

By RON POLLACK
Second in an eight-part series
Stan Edwards now knows what it is like to be the
"other" running back.
Two seasons ago, he rushed for 901 yards. But last
year the fullback found himself in Butch Woolfolk's
shadow, and gained only 445 yards since he was
utilized mostly asa blocker.
HE WAS selected by the Houston Oilers in the third
round of this year's draft, and even should he earn a
starting, berth he will probably be viewed as the
Oilers "other" back. The reason is quite simple,
Houston already has one of the best tailbacks in all of
football in the person of Earl Campbell.
"All my life I was the guy the team centered
around, regardless of whether it was little league
baseball, football or any other sport," said Edwards.
"I always wondered what it was like for the guy who
didn't get his name in the paper. Well, I found out last
year-reluctantly. I wanted to carry the ball, any
back does, but I realized that if I wanted to play
beyond college I had to block. But it worked for the
better and made me a better all-around back which
helped when the draft came around."
But there once was a time when he wasn't an all-
around back. A shift from tailback to fullback in his
junior year changed that. "My blocking has im-
proved tremendously, because when I was playing
tailback I didn't want to block anyone," said Edwar-
ds. "But when (Michigan head) coach (Bo) Schem-
bechler asked me to move to fullback, what was I
going to say, no? Fullback is something you have to
want to work on. When I first moved to fullback, I'd
make one good block and then miss two. By the time I
was done, I think I was pretty consistent."
NOTING THAT Houston's leading carrier after
Campbell only rushed the football 31 times last year,
Edwards thinks that his experiences the last two
years were very important. "It's more than likely
that I'll be blocking a lot," he said. "Considering the
team I was drafted by, last year when I wasn't
carrying the ball a lot was probably good for me. Af-
ter all, Earl Campbell isn't paid to block."

Campbell is paid to run the ball, and Edwards says
that he is looking forward to seeing what makes the
former Heisman Trophy winner an annual 1,000-yard
ground gainer.
"I'm eager to work with Earl Campbell to see how
it should be done," said Edwards. "I want to see what
makes him what he is. I may not change my style, but
I want to find out the little things that make him
great."
BUT AS great as Campbell is, he can't be the offen-
se all by himself. Campbell gained 1,376 yards
rushing last year, but after him the next highest out-
put was Adger Armstrong's 146 yards. Needless to
say, the Oilers' coaches would like to get more
production out of the fullback position. Edwards
believes he can fill that role.
"They want another back to compliment Earl, and
I know that if you give me a little hole I can hurt you,"
said Edwards. "I can break it and make a lot of
people take notice."
If Edwards is to get an opportunity to prove this, he
must beat out Armstrong for the starting fullback
spot.
"I hadn't heard of Adger until I was drafted and
heard he was the Oilers' number one fullback," said
Edwards, who may also see some action at tailback
when Campbell is given a rest. "I've seen some films
of him since then, and he's pretty good. If I go to
training camp and get the job done, I think I can start
realistically by mid-season. I know I have no weak
points in my game since I can catch the ball, run and
block. So I'll have to see if Adger has any weak spots
and try to beat him there. If he doesn't, then I'll have
to beat him out by working harder. Right now I'm in
the best shape of my life. I'm about 206 or 207 pounds
and I'm quicker than I've been the last few years."
At Michigan, it was with reluctance that Edwards
became the "other" back. Now, he'd only be too hap-
py to fill such a role for the Oilers.
The attempt of Ben Needham to make the
jump from college to pro football will be
featured tomorrow.

Edwards
... no limelight

Neither side budges in NFL talks

WASHINGTON (AP) - Neither the
players' union or National Football
League team owners made concessions
on items such as individual player
negotiations or drug testing yesterday
as negotiations continued over a new
bargaining agreement.
After an almost five-hour session
neither side could say any progress had
been made nor were they any closer to
an agreement than when they began
sporadic negoiations on Feb. 16.
MEANWHILE, Jack Donlan,
executive director of the NFL
Management Council which represents
the owners, declined commend on a
Washington Post report that a majority
of the owners support locking out the
players just before the start of the
regular season unless contract
negotiations improve dramatically.
"I haven't polled the owners," said
Donlan. "The last time I talked to the
owners there were some who favored a
lockout and some who didn't. There
were others who were wary of what
happened to baseball last year.

Player drug testing
among stumbling blocks

"That is an issue we will have to ad-
dress before we open the season," he
said.
ED GARVEY, players association
executive director, called the owners
talk of a lockout "as a good threat, but I
don't see it as an effective tool. I don't
think they will ever call a lockout. Once
they do that, they know the players can
strike. They would be risking their TV
package."
At the first bargaining session in a
week, the Owners' representatives
presented a formal medical program to
the players who in return gave several
proposals to the owners' management
council dealing with a drug abuse coun-
seling and rehabilitation, which the
owners rejected a week ago, and one on

relocation and travel allowances. Each
said it would study the other's
proposals.
Negotiations were to continue this
morning.
DONLAN SAID the owners spent the
entire morning discussing individual
contract bargaining. He said Eddie
Lebaron, Atlanta Falcons' general
manager, and Terry Bledsoe, New
York Giants assistant general
manager, came to the session prepared
to negotiate the contracts of free agents-
Alfred Jenkins and Rob Carpenter,
respectively, but to no avail.
Under the terms of the last collective
bargaining agreement, the union
again became the sole bargaining agent
for the 30 players who failed to sign

before the contract expired last Thur-
sday.
"We had a long discussion and it is
very clear to us the union has no inten-
tion of negotiating individual contrac-
is," said Donlan. "Terry Bledsoe said
he had all the material with him but
would not get into details unless they
were willing to negotiate. They were
not."
Ton Condon of the Kansas City
Chiefs, a member of the union's
executive and negotiating committees,
said the owners refused to give "us
what we believe under the law is essen-
tial information, all the 1982 player con-
tracts. They refused us that infor-
mation. They refused to talk about
anything but yearly salaries for the in-
dividual players.
Donlan said the management council
has rejected many of the proposals, in-
cluding the drug counseling and
rehabilitation program, because it calls
for a joint committee between the
owners and the union.

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