Sunday, July 28, 2002

Cards' Boston trying to put legal woes behind him


Plays with tendinitis, off-field troubles

The Associated Press

        FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - David Boston emerged as one of the most spectacular big-play receivers in the NFL last season, only to have his star tarnished by a cocaine-related run-in with the law.

        As elusive and powerful as he is, Boston can't run away from his pending legal woes or possible punishment by the NFL, but he figures his talent will allow him eventually to put his problems behind him.

        Though Boston said he can't answer questions about drugs or his legal woes, stemming from his arrest and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, he is eager to get back on the field.

        “All I'm doing is going out there and making plays for this team,” Boston said. “Everybody knows I can do that, and that's what I'm going to do.”

        Quarterback Jake Plummer hopes the incident is behind Boston.

        “I hope he's learned his lesson and gets back on the right rack,” Plummer said after the Arizona Cardinals' first training camp workout Saturday. “Obviously when you do something wrong, there's a punishment.

        “You have to serve that. Hopefully, it won't hurt the team.”

        Boston worked hard to bury his image as a showoff last year, eliminating the taunting that marred his early NFL career. The result was a Pro Bowl campaign in which he led the league and set a franchise record in receiving yards with 1,598.

        His nine 100-yard receiving games were the most in the NFL, and he led the league in first downs with 72.

        Then on March 13, a motorist reported a vehicle traveling erratically. The motorist tailed the vehicle to Boston's house, and even talked with the receiver briefly.

        Officers arrested Boston at his house and took him to a substation for blood tests that detected cocaine and marijuana. Two bags of cocaine were found later in the back seat of the patrol car, police said, but there was no solid evidence linking them to Boston.

        Boston was charged with driving under the influence, and the case is pending.

        Neither Boston nor head coach Dave McGinnis knows what punishment, if any, the NFL might levy.

        “Once it's adjudicated, then we will proceed accordingly,” McGinnis said.

        Boston's off-field problems did not affect his performance on the field through the summer.

        “He worked all through the minicamps,” McGinnis said. “He's been right in step as far as with his football.”

        Like Plummer, Boston is entering the final year of his contract.

        “I'm sure the Cardinals want both of us back,” Boston said.

        He said he will decide where he will play when the season ends, although the Cardinals could force his hand by making him a franchise player.

        No wide receiver in football has the size of the 6-foot, 2-inch former Ohio State star, who came to camp weighing between 240 and 245 pounds.

        Knee tendinitis that bothered Boston from the start last year is better now, he said. The situation will be one that McGinnis and his coaching staff will monitor closely.

        “What we have to do is be smart and be aware of it, so that we can head it off before anything happens,” McGinnis said.

        The 23-year-old Boston sports a new piercing above his right eyebrow. He is cordial when approached and said he is not worried that his image may have been harmed by his offseason troubles.

        “That's not what the fans come to see,” he said. “They come to see the Cardinals win and make plays. The Cardinals know I can do that, and the world knows I can do that.”

       



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