Originally created 01/18/00

Reports have Sherman taking Packers' job



GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mike Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks' offensive coordinator and a former Green Bay assistant, will be hired as the new coach of the Packers, a team source told The Associated Press on Monday.

Sherman likely will be introduced at a news conference today, the source told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A longtime college assistant coach with just three years of NFL experience, Sherman suddenly emerged as general manager Ron Wolf's choice when the GM's early favorites -- former Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer and Rams offensive coordinator Mike Martz -- took themselves out of the running.

Sherman and his agent were on their way to Green Bay on Monday night, the source said. Wolf was returning to Green Bay from Mobile, Ala., where he was scouting at the Senior Bowl.

Wolf fired Ray Rhodes and his staff on Jan. 3 after the Packers completed an 8-8 season, Rhodes' first in Green Bay. The GM cited a team-wide lack of discipline and focus, and he vowed his new coach would create a "well-disciplined, tough and hard-nosed football team."

Sherman, who has no head coaching experience, spent two years as Mike Holmgren's tight ends coach in Green Bay before moving to Seattle with Holmgren last January, where he doubled as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.

HONORS SWEEP:

St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner was elected the NFL's Most Valuable Player on Monday by the Professional Football Writers of America, while the Rams' Dick Vermeil won top coaching honors.

In echoing the NFL awards presented earlier this month by The Associated Press, the writers also picked tackle Warren Sapp of Tampa Bay as the defensive player of the year.

Other awards: Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James was the Offensive Rookie of the Year, while Tennessee end Jevon Kearse won the top defensive rookie award. The Comeback Player of the Year was San Francisco defensive tackle Bryant Young.

The Golden Toe Trophy for top kicker went to Tennessee punter Craig Hentrich, and Bill Polian of the Colts was chosen as the executive of the year. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers of Jacksonville was voted the best assistant coach.

NO TURKS:

The NFL's first brother-to-brother, agent-to-client, long snapper-punter combination is history -- at least in Washington.

Two days after his bad snap cost the Redskins a chance to kick a winning field goal in a playoff loss at Tampa Bay, long snapper Dan Turk was a no-show at the end-of-season players' meeting Monday. His brother, three-time Pro Bowl punter Matt Turk, left early and said he wanted to be cut.

"It's just the way this organization has treated me and the way things have gone," Matt Turk said. "I'm really looking forward to a fresh start and moving on."

Director of player personnel Vinny Cerrato did not comment, but a team source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that neither of the Turks were in the plans for next season.

LEAF SURGERY:

San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf had arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right shoulder on Monday and should be ready for minicamp in April.

Leaf had surgery on the shoulder July 26 to repair a cartilage tear, then experienced discomfort in the joint late in the season. The head of a tack used in the first surgery had broken loose and made its way to the back of the shoulder, where it was causing irritation, trainer James Collins said.

Doctors also washed out the shoulder during the half-hour procedure.

Leaf, the second pick overall in the 1998 draft, didn't play a down last season. Besides rehabilitating his shoulder, he also served a four-week suspension for insubordination. He recently had his contract reworked to settle grievances stemming from that suspension, and his deal now becomes voidable after the 2001 season, not the 2000 season.