CZAR: Parcells holding out for a leader

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will start his second consecutive preseason game for the Dallas and coach Bill Parcells was asked if the quarterback job is Carter¿s to lose. ¿I¿m not saying that; and I don¿t want you to read that into this,¿ Parcells said prior to tonight¿s game against the Pittsburgh . ¿What we need is for someone to lead us, to take charge of our team.¿ Only last week, owner Jerry Jones was saying Carter was in trouble. And then he played well in the second quarter against the hapless Houston . In the first quarter, Carter was almost intercepted twice. Parcells is looking for his version of Phil Simms. Someone his young would follow into Iraq if those were the orders. He¿s trying to create a leader as he attempts to rebuild the like he did the and in his last two coaching stints. The day after he bolted the San Antonio Alamodome, taking his coaching staff with him for the final 30 minutes of practice, Parcells said: ¿I told Simms years ago that I don¿t need any celebrity quarterback. I need a battlefield commander. If your quarterback won¿t fight, then you¿re not going to win.¿ Supposedly both Carter and , the former baseball pitcher, tried to lead the in practice after Parcells left, but neither really took charge. There are many theories in Dallas. One is that Parcells wanted to light a fire under Hutchinson last week when he didn¿t play him against Houston. ¿But the kid is intimidated by Parcells,¿ said one Dallas insider. ¿Does Bill really expect Chad, a second-year player, to come to him and saying he¿s jerking him around. Two weeks ago, I would have bet the house that Chad would be the opening-day starter.¿ The second theory is that Parcells really wants Carter to fail and move on. Carter will be going against a very quick Pittsburgh defense, one that expects to play through the third quarter. This game will have a regular-season feel to it, so Parcells will have the right atmosphere in which to judge Carter. IS MADDOX NEXT? was demoted by coach Bill Cowher Wednesday and the rumblings from training camp are that last year¿s comeback player of the year, , has had a very average summer. ¿People are placing too much attention on the preseason,¿ Maddox told me. ¿These games mean nothing and by the time I get into a rhythm I¿m on the sidelines. I¿m not worried about myself. I think my stats (6 of 13 for 46 yards against the last weekend) have made everything a little bit misleading.¿ It has been said that rain and soggy practice fields have ruined much of the passing-game work the tried to conduct in Latrobe, Pa. ¿It has been tough and it has made it an interesting camp,¿ Maddox said. ¿I can¿t tell you how much I¿m looking forward to getting back to our facility where the fields are good. I know I run a lot faster on those fields,¿ he said, making a joke. But we all know Pittsburgh. It¿s the city that booed Terry Bradshaw, and most recently . ¿It¿s like a lot of cities in this league,¿ Maddox said. ¿I was in Mike High when they booed John Elway and the next game we won they loved him to death. I don¿t worry about the boos. But it doesn¿t feel good. Guys are lying to you when they say they don¿t hear 70,000 people booing. It¿s part of the job.¿ VICK WON¿T BE THE SAME: By November he might be, but a few trainers don¿t see quarterback returning in six weeks and being his same electrifying self. Now, no one wants to speak on the record on this subject. But it just makes sense that Vick¿s fractured fibula will take a while to heal. I¿m not saying he will be reluctant, but it will take a few games for him to test himself and for his strength and stamina to return. Six weeks is the ideal timetable, but a lot can happen before his scheduled return on Oct. 5 against the Minnesota . MONEY FOR SAPP: Now that the Bucs have locked up Anthony ¿Booger¿ McFarland for the next five seasons, the rumors will start about whether there¿s enough money left in Tampa Bay for McFarland¿s more-talented sidekick, . In July, Sapp said in front of me and Sports Illustrated¿s Peter King that he would be looking for $30 million to sign. Maybe he was testing the waters with that figure, a number never given to any NFL player. In fact, no player has ever reached $20 million. Bucs GM Rich McKay was told of Sapp¿s figure, and laughed it off, not taking Warren seriously. This does not mean that McKay doesn¿t believe in Sapp¿s football talents, especially how he played down the playoff stretch last season while constantly facing double teams because McFarland was injured, absent for nine games. McFarland will be 26 in December. Sapp, a nine-year veteran, will be 31. If it doesn¿t happen in Tampa, there will be numerous teams lined up to court Sapp because of his leadership skills and because finding an All-Pro defensive tackle can often be as tough to find as starting quarterback.
Tagged: Falcons, Bears, Cowboys, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Buccaneers, Steelers, Michael Vick, Jerome Bettis, Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, Chad Hutchinson

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