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Saints May Just Say No to Any More Billy Joe

After two Billy Joes, New Orleans Coach Mike Ditka may try a Danny against the Buccaneers. First-string quarterback Billy Joe Hobert is injured again and Ditka has doubts about second-stringer Billy Joe Tolliver. That means the Saints may resort to third-string quarterback Danny Wuerffel, famous for working magic down the road at Florida.

The 49ers spent the week practicing plays from the shotgun, a formation they haven’t used for 20 years. Joe Montana and Steve Young thought the shotgun disrupted the flow of their West Coast offense, but current starter Jeff Garcia grew accustomed to it while playing with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.

Receiver J.J. Stokes hopes the formation will restore some of the offensive zip his team has lacked.

“It could possibly give Jeff some time to sit back there,” Stokes said. “He can just scan the field and get the ball to the open receiver.”

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In Carolina, the Panthers are coming off a 27-20 loss at Atlanta in which Steve Beuerlein was under constant pressure. He was sacked six times, intercepted three times and lost two fumbles, raising questions whether Carolina might fare better with one of its other three quarterbacks, all of whom are more mobile.

Coach George Seifert, however, said Beuerlein isn’t the problem. Seifert pointed to injuries that have sidelined guard Matt Campbell, the Panthers’ best lineman, and tailback Tshimanga Biakabutuka, their top rusher.


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