Beuerlein Impresses Shanahan Despite Unimpressive Numbers

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<i> Times Staff Writer</i>

Who will open the season at quarterback for the Raiders?

That remains the big question of this year’s training camp, and the answer is still at least two weeks away. But the early favorite appears to be Steve Beuerlein.

Beuerlein didn’t rack up numbers that would blow the opposition away Saturday night as the Raiders lost their exhibition opener to the San Francisco 49ers, 24-10. In playing the first half, Beuerlein completed 7 of 15 for 119 yards with no touchdowns nor interceptions.

But he seems to have impressed the guy he had to impress--Coach Mike Shanahan.

“I thought Steve Beuerlein was a little further ahead of what I thought he’d be at this time,” Shanahan said. “A couple of his throws were high, but he threw to the right person.”


Shanahan also praised Beuerlein’s ability to read opposing defenses.

Veteran Jim Plunkett will get a chance to play Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys at the Coliseum, but there is speculation that Beuerlein may again draw the start.

Raider Notes

Defensive lineman Greg Townsend, suspended by the league for 30 days for testing positive for drugs in a routine physical, was still in camp Sunday night. Shanahan said the team was still trying to get definite word from the league on what Townsend would be permitted to do during the suspension. . . . A light injury report from Saturday night: Linebacker Joe Cormier caught a shoulder pad in an eye, but it was not considered a serious injury. Defensive end Bob Buczkowski has a sore shoulder.