Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chiefs Coach Plays Down Ditka's Report on Montana

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chiefs Coach Plays Down Ditka's Report on Montana

Article excerpt

Kansas City Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer says only an "unreasonable" person would intentionally try to knock Joe Montana out of a game.

Mike Ditka, the former Chicago Bears coach and now a television commentator, raised the possibility on NBC's pregame show before the Chiefs played Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Ditka said some opponents might feel it is good strategy to injure Montana. Ditka would not name names, but the impression was clearly left that he was referring to Houston Oilers defensive coordinator and former Philadelphia coach Buddy Ryan. The Chiefs play the Oilers in Houston on Sunday.

"I don't think it exists among most reasonable people in our league," Schottenheimer said. "It may exist among the one or two people that are unreasonable in our league."

Schottenheimer was asked if "unreasonable" people were on the Chiefs' schedule this year, and he said he did not know.

Asked if the Chiefs were playing an organization with "unreasonable" people this week, Schottenheimer said, "No comment."

"I think you know who they are," he said.

Ryan said he doubted Schottenheimer was referring to him.

"I don't think that's what Marty said. I've known Marty for years," Ryan said. "Quarterbacks are the source of the passing game. Do you think they'll try to knock Warren Moon out of the game? . . . As far as trying to take a cheap shot at a quarterback, we've never done that. We've knocked a few out of the game but it's by a legal blitz. It's their responsibility to pick up the blitz, not mine."

Montana is questionable for the Houston game but is expected to play after suffering a bruised right wrist in the third quarter of the 27-3 victory over Tampa Bay. While releasing a pass, he banged his arm against Broderick Thomas' helmet on a clean hit.

Schottenheimer said he did not have a full medical report but that Montana's throwing hand is swollen.

"If he's not able to work tomorrow, we still wouldn't rule him out for Sunday," Schottenheimer said.

49ers: San Francisco learned that Tom Rathman, their veteran fullback and team leader, will miss most of the season with a separated right shoulder suffered in the season-opening win over Pittsburgh. …

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