Sharp-Tongued Favre Offers Sterling Criticism

Don’t tell quarterback Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers that the team is supposed to be missing wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, who is sitting out the season with a neck injury and will be an ESPN commentator.

“I haven’t noticed him gone because he never practiced or played in preseason games anyway,” Favre said.

“Sterling averaged 100 catches the last few years, but think back. He never really had to make any acrobatic catches or diving layouts. Our offense is designed to get him open and, of course, for me to make a great throw.”

The outspoken Favre also isn’t happy with tight end Keith Jackson, who’s refusing to report to camp after being traded to Green Bay by the Miami Dolphins.

“I would suspect he doesn’t want to go to training camp and he’ll pick up the offense by midseason when we’ve maybe lost two games because of it. That doesn’t make me real happy,” Favre said.

Panther no-shows

The Carolina Panthers, spending their first season away from Charlotte, N.C., attracted a crowd of only 57,107 for Saturday night’s 19-10 victory over Denver in the Panthers’ home exhibition opener on the Clemson University campus.

The 2-1/2-hour trip from Charlotte to Memorial Stadium is expected to keep Carolina from reaching capacity crowds of 76,000 at “Death Valley” during the team’s inaugural campaign.

Sanders sweepstakes

After Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, said his team had a 20 percent chance of signing Deion Sanders, Pat Bowlen, the owner of the Denver Broncos, said, “I think our chances of signing Deion are every bit as good as the Cowboys’. I really do.”

The San Francisco 49ers remain the favorite to get Sanders, though.

Beaming over Bjornson

The Cowboys are gleeful over the early performance of rookie tight end Eric Bjornson, a fourth-round pick from Washington. “In the two-tightend packages, he provides something we haven’t had,” Troy Aikman said. “In the past, when we’ve had two tight ends in there, teams knew we planned to run the football. But now we could just as easily throw the football.”

End zone

Giants left guard Scott Davis, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament and damaged the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Friday night in a preseason game against New Orleans, is expected to be out for the season… . Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tim McGee still had some numbness in his hands and feet Saturday, a day after he was knocked unconscious in an exhibition game. . . . Tampa Bay’s Alvin Harper is expected to miss three to five weeks with a sprained knee. But he promises he’ll be back for the season opener Sept. 3 against the Eagles… . Now that the Packers have signed guard John Flannery, they are considering moving former first-round draft pick Aaron Taylor to tackle… . Browns quarterback Vinny Testaverde will remain hospitalized until at least Tuesday after undergoing surgery for a staph infection in his leg. Rookie Eric Zeier of Georgia is expected to start Monday night’s preseason game against the Bears.


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