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SOARING INTO THE '90s

Sept. 11, 1989
Sept. 11, 1989

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Sept. 11, 1989

Blue Jays
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SOARING INTO THE '90s

AS THE NFL REVS UP FOR A NEW ERA, EIGHT FUTURE STARS GET READY TO TAKE OFF

JOHN SETTLE
RUNNING BACK, ATLANTA FALCONS, 24. A MARTIAL ARTS EXPERT WHO CAME CHEAP IN '88 ($105,000), HE WAS THE FIRST UNDRAFTED PLAYER CFREE AGENT, '87) TO RUSH FOR 1,000 YARDS SINCE THE 1960s.

This is an article from the Sept. 11, 1989 issue

TOM NEWBERRY
LEFT GUARD, LOS ANGELES RAMS, 26. FAST, POWERFUL, WITH A SHORT BODY (6'2", 280) AND WIDE WING-SPAN (79 INCHES), HE HAS BECOME A DRIVING FORCE ON L.A.'S DOMINATING OFFENSIVE LINE. "HE CAN GET LOW ENOUGH TO PLAY HANDBALL AGAINST THE CURB," SAYS FORMER RAM GUARD DENNIS HARRAH.

MICHAEL IRVIN
WIDE RECEIVER, DALLAS COWBOYS, 23. HIS LICENSE PLATE READS "PLAYMAKER," AND HIS 20.4-YARD RECEPTION AVERAGE IN '88 WAS THE HIGHEST FOR ANY COWBOY IN SEVEN SEASONS. "I WANT TO RUN A 4.5 40 IN THE FIRST QUARTER AND THE FOURTH QUARTER," HE SAYS. "THERE AREN'T MANY WHO CAN DO THAT."

BRIAN BLADES
WIDEOUT, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 24. TOUGH SHORT OR DEEP, HE HAD EIGHT TDS ON 40 CATCHES IN '88. OBSCURED BY BROTHER BENNIE, BRIAN SAYS, "I FEEL LIKE COMING OUT OF THE SHADOWS."

BENNIE BLADES
STRONG SAFETY, DETROIT LIONS, 23. AT 220 POUNDS, HE'S THE PROTOTYPE OF THE BIG SAFETY. HAS RARELY FACED BRIAN, BUT SAYS, "I TOLD HIM, ONE DAY IT'LL BE ME AND HIM, SUPER BOWL."

BUBBY BRISTER
QUARTERBACK, PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 27. OILER DEFENSIVE END RAY CHILDRESS HAS CALLED HIM "AN ARROGANT LITTLE PUNK." BRISTER IS COCKY BUT NOT LITTLE (6'3", 210), AND, WITH FIVE OF HIS 11 TD THROWS COVERING MORE THAN 65 YARDS LAST FALL, HE HAS BROUGHT THE BOMB BACK TO PITTSBURGH.

BRUCE ARMSTRONG
RIGHT TACKLE, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 24. SMART, BIG (6'4", 285) AND COMMANDING, HE IS HEIR TO JOHN HANNAH AS THE PREMIER LINEMAN ON THE PATS, WHO LED THE NFL IN RUSHING PLAYS IN '88, USUALLY TO THE RIGHT SIDE. IN SHORT YARDAGE HE EVEN PLAYS TIGHT END, HIS ORIGINAL POSITION AT LOUISVILLE.

SEVEN PHOTOSBRIAN SMALE