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BEUERLEIN, NOT BRUNELL, TO START AT QB FOR JAGS

Jacksonville quarterbacks Steve Beuerlein and Mark Brunell thought they were in a battle for the starting quarterback job. Apparently, coach Tom Coughlin didn't agree.

When Coughlin confirmed that Beuerlein would take the first snap in Sunday's opener against the Houston Oilers, he didn't think it was necessary to tell either of his quarterbacks."I read it in the paper," Brunell said.

Beuerlein, the first player chosen by the Jaguars in the expansion draft, started the five exhibition games, got most of the work with the first team and had the better numbers.

He didn't receive any more feedback from Coughlin.

"I think he was assuming that it already was a given," he said. "I really don't know. I haven't talked to him about it at all."

Brunell, who came off the bench to direct both Jacksonville victories in the preseason, was led to believe he was still in the running for the starting job heading into the final exhibition game.

"Right now, I just have to be patient," he said. "I've got to be ready to go in like any other backup would."

Seahawks

Rick Mirer, Cortez Kennedy and Eugene Robinson were fined $1,000 each by coach Dennis Erickson for eating hot dogs on the sidelines during the Seahawks' exhibition game in San Francisco.

On Saturday night, television cameras caught the three Seahawks trying furtively to eat hot dogs on the sidelines in the third quarter of a 17-7 loss. The players were not going back into the game.

Robinson was the only one to comment.

"I had half a hot dog. It was a pretty expensive hot dog."

Panthers

Barry Foster, who led the AFC with 1,690 rushing yards in 1992, was waived after being deemed too ineffective, too expensive and too injury-prone.

"We didn't get the production from Barry that we thought we would in the preseason, and we just felt it was time to move on," Carolina general manager Bill Polian said.

The $2.5 million-per-year running back, acquired in a May 30 trade with Pittsburgh, sat out the Panthers' last two preseason games with what was described as a sprained right knee.

The Panthers are left with a thin group of backs that includes Randy Baldwin, who established himself as a kick return specialist and rushed just 51 times for an average of 3.3 yards.

Chiefs

For the second straight year, quarterback Matt Blundin has lost the No. 2 battle to a more experienced quarterback.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said that Rich Gannon, an eight-year veteran, was picked over Blundin, the team's second-round draft choice in 1992, because of Gannon's experience on the field.

Last year, starter Steve Bono won the backup position behind starter Joe Montana.

"Both players performed very well for us," Schottenheimer said. "The balance swung to Gannon on the basis of his experience as a starting and winning NFL quarterback."

Falcons

Atlanta acquired fifth-year offensive lineman Gene Williams from the Cleveland Browns for an undisclosed 1995 draft choice.

The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Williams, who was expected to report today for a physical, will provide depth at guard and tackle for the Falcons.

Rams

St. Louis claimed Dana Howard, who won the Butkus Award last season as collegiate football's top linebacker.

Howard, a fifth-round draft pick out of Illinois, was cut Sunday by Dallas after making 19 tackles in the preseason.

Dolphins

Kevin Brothen, a reserve center and guard, is out for the season after injuring his knee in practice.

The 6-foot-1, 293-pounder out of Vanderbilt suffered a torn interior cruciate ligament in his right knee. No roster decision has yet been made.

Last season, Brothen spent the last nine games and two playoff games on Miami's inactive list.

Seahawks

Seattle released nine-year linebacker David Brandon and 13-year offensive tackle Rich Baldinger, getting down to the NFL player limit of 53.

Eagles

Philadephia signed veteran tight end Ed West to a one-year contract, one day after he was cut by Indianapolis.

West played 11 seasons with Green Bay before signing a free-agent contract with the Colts in March.

The 6-1, 250-pound West ranks 10th in Green Bay's career reception list. He had 202 career receptions for 2,321 yards and 25 TDs with the Packers.

Giants

Quarterback Dave Brown (concussion) and tight end Howard Cross (knee) underwent MRI scans.

Trainer Ronnie Barnes said the tests on Brown revealed no injury, but he was scheduled to undergo further tests today. Barnes said Cross' MRI exam revealed a sprain to his knee, but he should be able to return to practice this week.

Raiders

Oakland traded defensive tackle Willie Broughton, an eight-year NFL veteran, to the New Orleans Saints for an undisclosed future draft choice.

Broughton previously played for Dallas and Indianapolis, and has been a reserve for the Raiders for three seasons. He did not play in 1994, spending nine games on injured reserve following elbow surgery before being released.