Chandler drops to No. 3 QB as Falcons prepare for Hawks

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, November 29, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

Chris Chandler’s teams have faced the Seattle Seahawks three times in his 13-year NFL career, and he’s been on the field only once. So why should this weekend be any different?

The oft-injured Chandler is expected to miss another meeting with the Seahawks this Sunday, although his health might not be the only reason.

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves announced Wednesday that he will go with rookie Doug Johnson, who played during the second half in a loss to Oakland four days ago, as the starter for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

“I just think it gives us the best chance to win,” Reeves said on a conference call Wednesday. “I think Chris and (backup) Danny (Kanell) are not completely healthy, and the young guy is. This gives us a chance to evaluate him and gives a chance for a guy like Chris to get healthy and see over these next three or four weeks if we can get any better.”

Chandler, an Everett native who starred at Everett High School and the University of Washington, has suffered a rib injury and a concussion this season. He had to leave Sunday’s game for one play after being sacked, then eventually gave way to Johnson in the second half. But Chandler is not listed on the team’s injury report, even though the Falcons announced that he will be the No. 3 quarterback against the Seahawks.

The true reason for Chandler’s demotion might be a growing rift between himself and the coach. Chandler was critical of some of the play-calling following the loss to Oakland, and eventually had a meeting with Reeves.

Reeves met with Chandler again on Wednesday morning to tell him Johnson would start.

“He’s disappointed, but he also realizes that he’s not 100 percent,” Reeves said. “This will give us a chance. He’s going to be supportive and help the young guy play as well as he can.”

While was disappointed with Reeves’ decision, “I understand his reasoning,” Chandler told the Associated Press, emphasizing that he and Reeves hold no resentment against each other.

“I just do what’s asked of me,” Chandler said. “I don’t read anything personal into it. I believe personal relationships should stay out of it.”

Chandler, however, took issue with Atlanta’s coaching staff after the Falcons were drubbed 41-14 by Oakland on Sunday. He said the coaches should share the blame with players for the pitiful performance of the Falcons’ offense this season.

“It’s the players’ responsibility to play better, and also I think it goes beyond that,” Chandler told the Associated Press on Sunday. “… I think maybe we can do better as a coaching staff also. It goes from top to bottom.”

Chandler, 35, is signed through the 2003 season, but a lofty salary (almost $18 million over the next three years) leaves his future in question. He has played 13 or more games in only five of his first 12 seasons. He has started 12 games this year, but ranks 12th in the NFC in passer rating (71.9).

Johnson has completed 14 of 24 passes for 128 yards in limited action this season. One of the few Seahawks who knows what to expect out of him Sunday is rookie wide receiver Darrell Jackson, who played with Johnson at the University of Florida last season.

“He’s very capable,” Jackson said. “He knows how to read defenses, he has a great attitude and he knows what to do.”

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jean-Luc Baker leads advanced students through a warmup during the Seattle Skating Club 2024 Your True Step figure skating seminar on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Patterson: What’s next for local Olympian Jean-Luc Baker?

The Edmonds ice dancer brought Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen to town with Your True Step.

Logan Gilbert of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on June 16, 2024, in Seattle, Washington. (Alika Jenner / Getty Images)
Mariners week: Gilbert’s brilliance lifts Seattle to sweep

Seattle’s 8 1/2-game lead in the AL West is its largest since the 2001 season.

AquaSox week in review: Mariners’ Polanco does rehab stint

Everett wins five of six on the road against Eugene; Schreck and Garcia have big weeks.

Women’s PGA Championship offers fans chance to watch and learn

The women’s golf major tournament comes to Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish beginning Thursday.

Jackson senior and UNLV commit Yanina Sherwood is The Herald’s 2024 Softball Player of the Year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 Softball Player of the Year: Jackson’s Yanina Sherwood

With both her arm and bat, Sherwood led the Timberwolves to their second-straight state title.

Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku (2) pitches during a 4A softball game between Kamiak and Jackson at Kamiak High School on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. Jackson won, 9-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2024 All-Area softball team

Editor’s note: The Player of the Year and All-Area teams were chosen… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Seahawks look to fully unlock Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s potential

Seattle is expecting good things from the receiver, who was taken 20th overall in the 2023 draft.

Everett 8-year-old Ryder Romano was selected to compete in the prestigious Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Brittany Walker)
Everett 8-year-old selected to prestigious hockey tournament

Ryder Romano will play at the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament on July 1-7 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21) celebrates a stop of Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Nov. 30, 2023. The Cowboys won, 41-35. (Tom Fox / Tribune News Service)
Captain of the Seahawks defense? Why it could be Witherspoon

The talented second-year cornerback brought ‘outrageous energy’ to Seattle’s minicamp.

Drew Bryson, the new Arlington boys basketball head coach, at Arlington High School on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington taps alum Bryson to continue boys hoops tradition

The former Eagles star succeeds Nick Brown as Arlington’s head coach.

Seattle Storm head coach Noelle Quinn on the sidelines June 15, 2023, during a game against the Las Vegas Aces in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt / Las Vegas Review-Journal, file)
As WNBA exposure grows, Storm content to quietly stack wins

Amid the Caitlin Clark-fueled buzz, Seattle has won seven of its past eight.

Glacier Peak’s Nicholas Miller. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
2024 All-Wesco boys soccer teams

Here are the 2024 All-Wesco boys soccer teams. Teams are chosen by… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.