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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Marlin Jackson - Colts Corner May Get Starting Job

This shows that the Colts' 2005 draft effort's paying off. Jackson's the first round pick; the Michigan DB was selected to challenge his secondary mates and improve the defense.

Rather than move to safety, Colts' top 2005 draft pick might supplant David

By Mike Chappell

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Marlin Jackson appears to be on the move, but not from cornerback to safety. Instead, his next stop could be in the starting lineup, at right corner.

Rather than switching positions, as was contemplated earlier this year, the Indianapolis Colts' 2005 first-round draft pick is working his way up the depth chart during training camp at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

A nickel back throughout his rookie season, starting just one game, Jackson has been getting more work as the right cornerback with the No. 1 unit.

He and incumbent Jason David have been splitting repetitions. Jackson was the starter during 11-on-11 work at the end of Friday morning's practice; in the afternoon they were back to alternating.

Jackson declined to predict he'll supplant David for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener. But it's clear that's his goal.
"In my mind, yeah, it can happen," Jackson said.

"I'll just say I want to be on the field. I'm champing at the bit to be on the field so much more."

Jackson appeared in 15 regular-season games as a rookie, with 52 tackles and one interception. David, a fourth-round draft pick in 2004, has started the past two seasons. He drew criticism for giving up some long receptions as a rookie but was solid last year with 41 tackles and two interceptions.

Coach Tony Dungy downplayed Jackson's increased work with the No. 1 unit.

"Marlin's doing fine," he said. "He obviously knows a lot more about our defense this year. That's going to help him.

Shaun King - QB Throws TD In Colts Blue / White Game

Saturday, August 5

By John Oehser - Colts.com

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - It was one pass at the end of one altered game at the end of a very hot week in August.
But the pass mattered very much to Shaun King and Brian Hare.

And the play put a memorable finish on the first week of 2006 Colts Training Camp, with King, a reserve quarterback, throwing a 14-yard touchdown to Hare – a reserve wide receiver – with no time remaining to give the offense a 16-15 victory in a Blue-and-White game with a modified format and an interest-capturing ending.

“Every rep I get is golden,” King said Saturday, shortly after the controlled scrimmage in front of about 3,000 fans at Cook Stadium at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

“I'm just trying to make the best of them.”

Jon Kitna's Positive Attitude Lands Start For Detroit Lions

Aug. 2, 2006
By Clark Judge
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions are halfway through practice when quarterback Jon Kitna takes a snap, retreats several steps, then uncorks a pass to his right -- a perfectly wound spiral that travels 30 yards before hitting Mike Furrey just before he steps out of bounds.

Journeyman Jon Kitna gets another shot as a starting quarterback. (Getty Images)
There is nothing extraordinary about the completion ... until what happens afterward.

Kitna turns to pat his center on the back. He shakes hands with his tight end. And he rushes to Furrey to congratulate him, with Kitna grinning as he pulls off his helmet.

So what? So it is everything you didn't see from the Lions a year ago, and I'm not talking about execution. I'm talking about harmony, with the quarterback and his teammates acting as if they actually belong together -- or, as they did not in 2005.

Of course, those were the days of Joey Harrington, and I don't know why he didn't fit in with the Lions or why coaches disliked the guy. All I know is that he's gone, and the Lions ... and Harrington ... are better for it.

Now they're in the hands of Kitna, who served the last two years as Carson Palmer's caddy in Cincinnati, and having him here is a good thing. In fact, it could be a very good thing.

Forget that he has the trust of a coaching staff. What's critical is that he's liked and admired by teammates who tired of Harrington. The difference is that they see Kitna as one of them -- someone who is tough, resilient, competitive and determined to do the right thing.

"What I like about him, more than the fact that he's bright, is that he's confident," said new head coach Rod Marinelli. "He knows how to lead, and the No. 1 thing this team needs is directional leadership."

That is what makes Kitna the right man at the right moment for Detroit. The Lions were short in the leadership department until Marinelli stepped into the picture, hired two top-notch coordinators -- Mike Martz and Donnie Henderson -- and put the club on alert that he would tolerate no nonsense.

Now look at them.

Detroit Lions
Out of Nowhere Man
DE Kalimba Edwards

OK, so he's not exactly an unknown, but look for Edwards to make an impact as a pass rusher. OK, so he led the team with seven sacks last year. Big deal. The Lions think he can do more, a lot more, which is why they re-signed him when Cleveland started courting him in the offseason. Now, Detroit has him paired with defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson, and that's a good thing. Henderson coached John Abraham in New York, and Edwards -- who played behind Abraham at the University of South Carolina -- is determined to outplay his former teammate. Well, here's your chance, Kalimba.
Five things you should know
"Coach Marinelli doesn't let any little thing go," said Kitna. "There is nothing that will handle itself; he handles it right up front."

He proved it by hiring Kitna and firing Harrington, and what a difference. The black cloud that hung over this franchise much of last season has lifted -- and maybe it's only because it's training camp -- but players, coaches and front-office staff seem more comfortable with the new order.

Maybe Marinelli's style flies. Maybe it doesn't. But it's worth a try, especially if it has players rallying around the quarterback.

"I'm glad we have a veteran guy here," cornerback Dre' Bly said of Kitna. "He's more of a leader. Guys seem to respond well to him, and that's what has to happen for you to be a winning team or a playoff team."

Wait a minute, did he say playoff team? The last time the Lions won anything was 2000 when they were 9-7. The last time they were in the playoffs was 1999. But if the Detroit Tigers can jump to the top of the major league standings, I guess anything's possible.

"Can we reach the playoffs?" said Bly. "Damn right, because we have the talent. The same thing happened to us in St. Louis when I got drafted (1999). The year before we were 4-12, and we were able to turn it around just like that because we believed and we were prepared. This is the same situation. We have the playmakers."

But it's not a shortage of playmakers that handicapped the Lions. As Kitna pointed out, "It's not about talent; it's about attitude and having 53 guys pulling together."

That's where the Lions belly-flopped a year ago, with the coaching staff and front office in a tug-of-war over Harrington.

The results were predictable. The club swooned, players griped and coaches were fired. Now there's peace and stability, with Marinelli announcing at the beginning of camp that he was committed to one quarterback ... and it was Kitna.

"From day one, he told us how it was going to be," said Bly. "Either we were going to abide by his rules or we weren't going to be here. We're not going to slow up and wait for guys; we're going to keep moving -- and that's a difference from the past.

How will the Lions fare in the NFC North?
Third place
Second place
In the cellar
Division champs

"'Mooch' (Marinelli's predecessor, coach Steve Mariucci) won in San Francisco, but I guess that system wasn't meant for the guys we have. I love 'Mooch.' But I'm a veteran guy, and the older you get the more you understand what you need to do to prepare. With Coach Marinelli he doesn't sugarcoat anything. It's his way or the highway, and that's what we need."

They could also use a quarterback who makes plays, something that hasn't happened in years. Look at the history of the position here. Any idea how many times the Lions produced a Pro Bowl quarterback since Bobby Layne in the 1950s? Try once. Greg Landry in 1972.

Kitna doesn't have to be a Pro Bowler. All he must do is act as a compass for others to follow. I don't know if he does, but I know he can. He helped resurrect the hapless Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, with the club producing a non-losing season for the first time in seven years.

Coaches there were sad to see him leave this year, and Detroit's Martz is so happy with his play he can't quit rhapsodizing about him.

"This is his moment," Martz said. "He's everything I want in a quarterback. I'd ride him into the sunset."

He'd rather ride him to the playoffs. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think there's a chance -- and not just because of Jon Kitna. But because of what Marinelli has accomplished already in a few months, exorcising a sad-sack mentality and replacing it with accountability, precision and --- dare we say it? -- teamwork.

Imagine. Hey, if it can work for Jim Leyland, why not Rod Marinelli? "There's pressure on my shoulders," said Kitna, "but not because of the history or legacy of this team. It's because you're the starting quarterback, and whatever you do everyone is living with you.

"You can say whatever you want, whatever you do you're taking everyone with you -- and I love that. If you don't want that you shouldn't play quarterback. I know there are some guys like that, but that's not me.

"My faith means a lot to me, and I really believe God used my first 10 years in the league to prepare me for this situation. Two years ago I wouldn't have been ready for this situation and what they're asking me to do; not to abuse the freedom they give me and to be the leader they ask me to be. Now I can't wait to go out there and play and finish the process that was started."

John Madden, Troy Aikman, Rayfield Wright, Warren Moon, Reggie White, Harry Carson - Six For The NFl Hall - NFL.com

Sara White (for Reggie White) and John Madden gave speeches that just brought the house down, although having met Troy Aikman, it was rare to see such a person under control show such moving emotion.

NFL.com wire reports

CANTON, Ohio (Aug. 5, 2006) -- Amid the tributes and the tears, one thing stood out: the chants.


On a day when Troy Aikman easily had the most jerseys in the crowd, the fans' passion was reserved for the late Reggie White as they joined Warren Moon, John Madden, Rayfield Wright and Harry Carson in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Troy Aikman was the winningest QB of the 1990s to go along with his three Super Bowl titles.
When master of ceremonies Chris Berman introduced White's widow, Sara, and when White's son, Jeremy, presented his father, the fans chanted his name. It didn't matter if they were dressed in Packers or Eagles green -- a collection of current Eagles, including Donovan McNabb, sat in the crowd wearing White's No. 92 -- or even Cowboys, Giants or Oilers blue or Raiders black.

They all stood and cheered for the "Minister of Defense," including Dallas' three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback.

"I too am saddened by the absence of Reggie White, a great player and a man who left us too soon," Aikman said in concluding the inductions. "It's an honor to be a member of the Hall of Fame class that includes five men I have so much admiration and respect for. They played the game the way it should be played, and John Madden coached the game the same way."

Jeremy and Sara White shared tears and a long hug after unveiling Reggie's bust before a rapt audience. An hour later, the usually unflappable Aikman's voice cracked as he explained his emotions:

"I was able to live a dream. I played professional football," he said. "That I was able to do so with so many great players and coaches and win three championships and wind up here -- it is almost too much to believe. I am humbled to be welcomed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

White, who died in December of 2004, was an ordained minister as well as an NFL superstar. White was a two-time defensive player of the year who made 13 straight Pro Bowls. He was the career sacks leader with 198 when he retired -- Bruce Smith since has passed him -- and won a Super Bowl with Green Bay in 1997 after starting his illustrious career in the USFL, then moving to Philadelphia.

"It's not how we die, it's how we live. I encourage you to live like Reggie lived.

"Reggie was not phony. Reggie stood for what he believed in. Whatever you believe in, you stand on your principles," his widow told the crowd. "We knew Reggie's history in football. His legacy will live on through you."

Aikman won 90 games in the 1990s, the most by any quarterback in one decade.The top overall pick in the 1989 draft, he guided the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles in four seasons, made six Pro Bowls and, as proof of his skill under pressure, had four 300-yard passing games in the playoffs, ranking third in NFL history.

He saved his strongest praise for his teammates, including NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith, who was in the audience and certainly will be on the stage for his own induction someday.

"I did what was asked to help the team win," he said, "and after a career of putting team goals first, it is so extremely gratifying to receive the highest individual honor a player can receive."

Earlier, Moon became the first black quarterback in the Hall, Madden brought comic relief and Carson made a pitch for more help for retired players and more diversity.

Warren Moon had some of the gaudiest quarterbacking stats after he played in Canada.
Moon is the only one of the six inductees not to win an NFL title. But he captured five straight Grey Cups for the Edmonton Eskimos after being undrafted out of the University of Washington.

"I was not really invited to the Combine and no coaches came out to give me workouts," Moon said. "It was a foregone conclusion quarterback was not in my future in the NFL, but changing positions was. I was going to play quarterback and I was looking for somebody who would let me do that.

"Thank you Canada."

Moon came back to the United States as a free agent in 1984 and spent 10 seasons in the Houston Oilers' run-and-shoot offense. He also played for Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City in 17 NFL seasons, passed for more than 70,000 yards (over 42 miles) and ranked fourth in TD passes, third in attempts, completions, yards passing and total offense when he retired at age 44.

"A lot has been said about me being the first African-American quarterback in the Hall of Fame," he said. "It's a subject I am uncomfortable with at times, because I want to be judged only as a quarterback.

"But significance does come with that, I accept that. I remember all the guys before me who blazed that trail to give me the inspiration. I always had that extra burden that I had the responsibility to play the game for my people. I carried that burden proudly."

It took nearly a quarter century for Madden to make it to the Canton shrine, and when the moment came, he got "goofy."

"I started thinking about this after I was voted to the Hall of Fame, and now I know," said Madden, elected by the senior committee for a coaching career in which he went 103-32-7, never had a losing season and won the 1977 Super Bowl. "At night, when the fans and visitors all leave, then the workers start to leave, then just one person turns out the light, locks the door, and I believe the busts talk to each other. And I can't wait for that conversation.

"We'll be there forever and ever talking about whatever. That's what I believe will happen and no one is ever going to talk me out of that."

Madden might be best known now for his announcing and his video game, but as his presenter, Raiders owner Al Davis, noted, Madden was 36-16-2 against other coaches in the Hall. Davis said he never doubted a 32-year-old Madden could handle the "Just Win Baby" legacy the team was building.

"He loved the game, his team, the Raiders, this league -- and especially his players," Davis said. "At a time when our country needed it, John Madden saw no color."

Except the Raiders' Silver and Black.

Carson became the first inside linebacker from a 3-4 defense to make it to Canton. It was a long-awaited honor -- he retired in 1988 after 13 seasons, nine Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl title with the New York Giants -- that Carson recently had given up on.

Two years ago, after making the final 15 candidates for the sixth straight year but not being elected by a panel of sports writers, Carson asked to have his name withdrawn from consideration. It wasn't, and he finally made it this year.

"To represent all who preceded me and those who will come after me ... to know there is absolutely nothing beyond their reach," Carson said, explaining the meaning of being a Hall of Famer.

Carson gave his presenter, son Donald, a long hug before addressing the crowd. Donald Carson suffers from a rare blood disorder.

"This isn't about me, this is about my family," Carson said. "I am so thankful my son presented me this afternoon; he is definitely a man. He's been through so much in the last seven months, more than I could ever have gone through. I never knew needles could be so long."

Carson also called on the NFL and the players' union to upgrade its treatment of retired players and to continue "bringing a great sense of diversity" to the sport.

Wright also played 13 seasons, and won two Super Bowls in five appearances. He retired in 1979 and was chosen for the Hall by the seniors committee.

A former college basketball player expecting to play in the NBA, Wright was a tight end who was "stunned" when coach Tom Landry said he was being moved to tackle. Wright made his first start against Deacon Jones -- only the most feared member of the Rams' Fearsome Foursome. Obviously, it didn't faze "Big Cat," who went on to make six consecutive Pro Bowls and help the Cowboys win 10 division titles.

Wright cited the poem "The Road Not Taken" for inspiring his career.

"Through this poem I discovered life would give me choices. It was recognizing those choices that proved to be the greatest challenge," he said in a teary speech. "My instinct was to always take the easy road, but the easy road never came my way.

"I'm privileged to be in such a stellar class."

Sara White Brings The Late Reggie White Into NFL Hall Of Fame - NFL.com

This was the most moving of all of the induction speeches. It was impossible for me to hold back tears.

By Craig Ellenport

CANTON, Ohio (Aug. 5, 2006) -- The chants of "Reggie! Reggie!" began early this afternoon, as Sara White was introduced to the crowd at Fawcett Stadium. The widow of legendary defensive end Reggie White took her place among the other five members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2006.

And as she stood there on pro football's greatest stage, there was no question the indomitable spirit of Reggie White was looking down and smiling.

Jeremy White introduced his mother, who kept her emotions mostly in check.
The Hall of Fame selection committee often is reminded that off-the-field actions are not to be considered in the voting process. Those instructions usually pertain to players who might have questionable character or checkered pasts.

But if voters aren't supposed to consider negative character, then they shouldn't consider positive character either, right? Being an ordained minister at age 17, earning countless honors for his humanitarian efforts, working with children, needy families and impoverished communities -- what to do about this?

"If life were to have a Hall of Fame for people who were important in society, I would be so bold as to say that my dad would be in the Life Hall of Fame," said Jeremy White, who presented his father for enshrinement. "His passion for God, his love for his family and community, and his dedication toward making the world a better place would at least get him nominated."

Perhaps it is not so much a matter of earning extra credit for those efforts. Rather it serves to illustrate what made him such a dominant figure on the football field. Simply put, whether it was setting up a corporation that provided loans to at-risk borrowers or facing a double-team while trying to get to the quarterback, White demonstrated a drive and will to succeed few could match.

"Today would have been the best day of Reggie's life besides watching the birth of his two children," said Sara White, who noted that making Reggie's enshrinement speech, saying what she thought Reggie would say, was perhaps the hardest thing she would ever have to do.

"Reggie was no phony," she said. "He stood for what he believe in. That's the thing that I want to encourage you. Whatever you believe in, you stand on your principles. Do not let anyone sway you."

Just as Reggie White stood on his principles and would not be swayed when he joined the renegade USFL after college, and when he took the path less taken when he signed with Green Bay as a free agent in 1993. Through it all, he dominated.

NFL Network video

A look back at the Hall of Fame career of Reggie White.
Click here to watch

At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, few players in NFL history were more imposing, more feared, more disruptive than White, who earned 13 Pro Bowl nods and was the NFL's all-time sack leader with 198 when he retired after the 2000 season. White was a member of the NFL's all-decade team in both the 1980s and 1990s, as well as part of the league's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

White made his presence felt on every stop along his career. After earning All-America honors at the University of Tennessee, he made his mark in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats. From there, it was on to eight monstrous seasons in Philadelphia.

From 1985 to 1992, White was the heart and soul of a relentless Eagles defense that was nothing short of stifling. Incredibly, White recorded 124 sacks in 121 games with the Eagles. But then-Eagles owner Norman Braman let White become the NFL's first free agent in the winter of 1993.

Few people would have thought White would land in Green Bay, at the time a moribund franchise. Perhaps nobody was more surprised than Sara White.

She recalled the recruiting process, when Green Bay executives, including general manager Ron Wolf and head coach Mike Holmgren, were trying to convince White to come to Green Bay.

"Reggie said, 'I think I might go to the Packers,' " Sara recalled. "And I said, 'Where?'

"But that was the best thing that ever happened to us."

Sure enough, White signed with Green Bay and vowed to help restore the team to its previous glory. Four years later, White and Brett Favre led the Packers to a Super Bowl XXXI victory against the New England Patriots.

Finally reaching the ultimate game of his sport, White grabbed the opportunity by the throat. He set a Super Bowl record with three sacks in the Packers' victory.

Sara White made sure to highlight her husband's humanitarian work.
Still, it was inevitable that White's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be more about Reggie White the man than Reggie White the football player.

"Rather than being remembered for the records he broke, the games he won, the quarterbacks he sacked, Reggie will always be remembered as the man he was," Jeremy said. "He was a compassionate father, a loving husband, a selfless friend and a loyal teammate. I knew that he would be an inspiration to countless people who want to make their dreams a reality, no matter what their dreams might be.

"Reggie got to the top because he was determined to do what he wanted to do. He wanted to be a preacher and he wanted to be a football player ever since he was 10 years old. I would say that he has done great in both areas."

Reggie White passed away Dec. 26, 2004, a week after his 43rd birthday. But to say his legacy lives on is an understatement. As Sara White noted, some people think he's still alive because of all the positive work that has been done through charities and foundations that bear his name.

"He lived a full life," she said. "He lived 43 years and he's done so many things that people have not done in 70 years."

And that goes for his work on the field as well.

Fred Nance - Cleveland Attorney In Top Five For NFL Commissioner - AP News

Friday, August 4, 2006 · Last updated 12:57 p.m. PT
NFL considering Nance for top post


CLEVELAND -- He fought to keep the Cleveland Browns in town and kept LeBron James on the basketball court. Fred Nance is now preparing an argument that could make history - for him and the NFL.

Nance, a prominent Cleveland attorney known for being tough and fair, is one of five finalists to succeed Paul Tagliabue as the league's commissioner, arguably the world's most high-profile executive position in sports.

Nance is also black, making his inclusion among the finalists an important moment for the NFL, which has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity among coaches and other prominent front-office positions.

"He would make a fabulous commissioner," Browns owner Randy Lerner said. "He is totally qualified and demonstrated his qualifications when he played such a huge role in bringing the Browns back.

"He's got leadership, tenacity. He's got a love for the kind of impact teams have on the community. He gets it. I think he's a world-class guy."

Nance was picked as a finalist following an extensive search by a committee of eight owners headed by Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney and Carolina's Jerry Richardson.

"It's a landmark, and even if he (Nance) is not chosen, it's a good day for sports," said Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. "It shows we have gotten to the point where the best possible candidates, and in this case an African-American, are being considered."

There has never been a black commissioner in any of the major pro sports leagues. The NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball have all made strides in hiring practices, but none so far has made a minority its top decision maker.

Though Nance may be a long shot to lead the NFL, those who know the managing partner of Squire, Sanders and Dempsey best feel he would be the perfect choice.
"Every night I cross my fingers and pray the NFL makes the right decision and makes Fred Nance its commissioner," said former Cleveland Mayor Michael White, who worked with Nance on several major projects. "He is the total package. He is extremely bright. He has got vision and he has the unique ability to be able to turn extremely difficult situations into a win, win."

Kansas City Chiefs coach Herman Edwards doesn't believe Nance's candidacy should be viewed as anything but a qualified person getting an opportunity to advance. Edwards, who is black, looks forward to the day when race is not part of the equation.

"The first thing we have to realize is get the right guy," Edwards said. "If he happens to be a minority, that's great. But I think we always get on that platform of 'minority guy, minority guy.' We need to just say we got the best guy. And whatever nationality he is, he is.

"If he happens to be a minority, that's great. But the less we talk about it, the better it is when the guy gets the job, because then he's not looked upon as, well, 'The league is trying to be the first to do something.'"

Nance, 52, and the other four finalists - favorite Roger Goodell, the league's chief operating officer; Gregg Levy, the league's outside counsel; Robert L. Reynolds, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Fidelity Investments; and Mayo A. Shattuck III, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Constellation Energy - will each make presentations Aug. 7 in Chicago and be interviewed by owners and club executives.

The next commissioner must be approved by 22 of the league's 32 teams.

Nance said he was honored to be a finalist, but deferred further comment until after next week's meetings.

Nance's chances of taking over for Tagliabue could hinge on his ability to sway some undecided voters. As one of Cleveland's top lawyers, persuasiveness is one of his many traits.

Lerner said he wouldn't offer Nance any tips on how to impress pro football's top executives.

"He doesn't need any help in how to present himself," Lerner said. "He's far more qualified than I am. Fred knows exactly how to manage himself and he'll be great, I have no doubt about it. He's compelling. He's cheerful. He's upbeat."

He's a winner, too. In 2003, Nance won back James' eligibility after the NBA superstar was suspended by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for accepting gifts. He was the city's top negotiator for development at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and he recently led an effort to keep more than 1,000 military accounting jobs in Cleveland.

Nance first became known inside the NFL's huddle in 1995 when former Browns owner Art Modell, angry with city leaders because he couldn't get a new stadium built for his club, decided to move to Baltimore.

On the night before Modell publicly announced his intentions, Nance and White flew to New York to meet with Tagliabue. In the weeks and months to follow, Nance worked with the commissioner - and Goodell - to make sure Cleveland would not be forgotten and that football would one day return to one of the league's strongest markets.

It was during Cleveland's fight for the Browns when White realized Nance had special qualities.

"Fred is tireless," said White, who served was Cleveland's mayor from 1990-2001. "He's probably the only person I know who God gave 25 hours in a day to. I've also known a lot of lawyers, and Fred is one of the very few whom I call client-sensitive. He listens to people."


AP Sports Writer Doug Tucker contributed to this report.

About ROGER GOODELL, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Roger Goodell's favorite by odsmakers | Meeting Roger Goodell

This is a copy of Roger's bio from the National Football League

Roger Goodell was named NFL executive vice president and chief operating officer by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in December 2001.

Goodell's responsibilities include serving as president of NFL Ventures, Inc., which oversees the NFL's business units. Goodell supervises all league business operations, including media properties, marketing and sales, consumer products, international, stadium development, special events, and strategic planning. In addition, he is responsible for the league's football operations and officiating departments.

Goodell began his NFL career in 1982 as an intern in the NFL office in New York. In 1983, he worked in public relations and administration with the New York Jets, then returned to the league office in 1984 as a public relations assistant. In 1987 he was appointed assistant to the president of the American Football Conference (AFC), Lamar Hunt, by then--NFL Commissioner Rozelle.

Since 1990, Goodell has served under Commissioner Tagliabue as director of international development and club administration, vice president of operations, vice president of business development, senior vice president of league and football development, executive vice president of business and football development, and executive vice president of business, properties and club services.

Goodell has been instrumental in many league accomplishments, including expansion, realignment, stadium development, and international development. Most recently, he played a key role in the launch of the NFL Network, the restructuring of the NFL's business units, and the negotiations for the NFL's television agreements and Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Goodell serves on the boards of the national and New York chapters of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and he is an officer of NFL Charities, the league's charitable foundation.

Born in Jamestown, New York on February 19, 1959, Goodell graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in 1981 with a degree in economics. He lives in the New York area with his wife Jane and their twin daughters.



Six will be honored…one will return…and a season will begin.
It is going to be quite a weekend in Canton!!

The NFL preseason of 65 games -- 15 on national TV -- kicks off at 8:00 PM ET Sunday night with the annual Pro Football
Hall of Fame Game in the birthplace of the NFL -- Canton, Ohio -- this year between the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia

The game will mark the "re-debut" of a longtime NFL partner. It will be televised by NBC-TV, which this year returns to
broadcasting the NFL for the first time in eight years. NBC had carried NFL games for 28 seasons, from 1970-97.

Announcing the game will be a well-known pair -- AL MICHAELS and JOHN MADDEN. They debut on NBC after
teaming on Monday Night Football for four years from 2002-05.

It will be a big weekend for Madden and five other familiar NFL names. The former Oakland Raiders coach will be
inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday along with TROY AIKMAN, HARRY CARSON, WARREN MOON, REGGIE WHITE and RAYFIELD WRIGHT.

Madden, of course, will go in as the former Raiders coach, but he has an on-field tie to the Eagles, too. As a 21-year-old
tackle out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in 1958, Madden was a 21st-round draft selection by Philadelphia (No. 244 overall), although he never played in the NFL.

The game will mark another "re-debut." ART SHELL is a member of the Hall of Fame class of 1989 who won a Super
Bowl XI ring as a player under Madden and followed him as coach of the Raiders (1989-94). This year Shell returns at
the helm of the club after a 12-year span. That same-team coaching respite ties for the fourth longest in NFL history (see
chart below).

It will be a special weekend for the Eagles, too, as one of their greatest players ever, defensive end-tackle White, is inducted into the Hall. The team retired his number (92) last season.

The Hall of Fame class of 2006:

-- TROY AIKMAN (1989-2000) led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles. His 90 wins in the 1990s makes him the winningest NFL quarterback of any decade.

-- HARRY CARSON (1976-88) was named to nine Pro Bowls, led the New York Giants in tackles in five seasons, and was a leader of the team’s daunting defense in their Super Bowl XXI title season.

-- JOHN MADDEN (1969-78) owns the best regular-season winning percentage of coaches with 100 wins (.759,103-32-7). Oakland never had a losing record under him, and claimed seven division titles and the Super Bowl XI championship.

-- WARREN MOON (1984-2000) ranks fourth all-time in the NFL in completions (3,988) and passing yards (49,325) and fifth in touchdown passes (291). Selected to nine Pro Bowls. Threw for 3,000 yards in each of nine seasons.

-- REGGIE WHITE (1985-2000) retired as the NFL's all-time sack leader (198). Named to 13 consecutive Pro Bowls. Nicknamed the "Minister of Defense." Won a Super Bowl XXXI ring with Green Bay.

-- RAYFIELD WRIGHT (1967-79) was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1970s. Played in six NFC Championship Games and five Super Bowls, winning two NFL titles. Chosen for Pro Bowl six years in a row.

There will be another induction at the Hall of Fame this year -- one that will make history. Longtime TV broadcaster LESLEY VISSER will receive the Hall’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for her contributions in covering pro football. She will be the first woman to be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The future of the game also will be celebrated this weekend at the annual NFL Youth Football Summit.

A group of 150 youth and high school football coaches and administrators from all 50 states will convene to discuss issues related to youth and high school programs with football experts and NFL greats.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association sponsor the summit through their joint NFL Youth Football Fund.

Fans nationwide will be able to see all of the weekend Hall of Fame festivities on NFL Network, which will televise more
than 14 hours of on-site coverage, including eight hours on enshrinement Saturday.

The Hall of Fame Game will be the first of 15 nationally televised NFL preseason games this summer. Add to those the
"wall-to-wall-ball" schedule of NFL Network -- 52 games televised in 24 days (including two national TV broadcasts) -- and
fans will be able to see first-hand how NFL teams are developing this summer.

Included on the summer TV schedule will be a record 12-game "whip-around" on August 31. NFL Network on its NFL
Total Access: No Huddle show will cover every game being played that night and cut in to each game as the action


Always of interest are the names of the “presenters” of the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees on their special day. This
year, two sons, two coaches, an NFL owner, and a friend will have the honors.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2006 presenters:


Troy Aikman Norv Turner QB coach/off. coordinator from 1991-93
Harry Carson Donald Carson Son
John Madden Al Davis Oakland Raiders owner
Warren Moon Leigh Steinberg Friend/Agent
Reggie White Jeremy White Son
Rayfield Wright L.J. "Stan" Lomax Coach at Fort Valley State College

* * *

ART’S BACK!: The Oakland Raiders' ART SHELL returns as the team’s head coach Sunday night after a 12-year
respite. The longest span between NFL coaching stints with the same team:


Joe Bach Pittsburgh 1936 1952 16
Chuck Knox L.A. Rams 1977 1992 15
Ted Marchibroda Baltimore/Indianapolis 1979 1992 13
Walt Kiesling Pittsburgh 1942 1954 12
Joe Gibbs Washington 1992 2004 12
Art Shell L.A./Oakland Raiders 1994 2006 12

# # #


280 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000 * FAX (212) 681-7573

Joe Browne, Executive Vice President-Communications
Greg Aiello, Vice President-Public Relations

NFL-43 7/27/06

The NFL and the NFL Players Association again have agreed to a series of improvements in NFL player benefits for retired and current players, including significant pension increases and other new benefits for retired players, the NFL and the NFLPA announced today.

The improvements are a part of the recently extended NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement and will cost approximately $120 million per year, bringing the annual cost of NFL player benefits to $700 million per year.

This is the fourth time since 1993 that benefit improvements have been made for both current and retired players.

Retired players now receive nearly $60 million per year from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retirement Plan. In addition, there are three other funds that provide more than $1 million a year in financial assistance to retired NFL players in need. They are the NFLPA’s Players Assistance Trust, the NFL and NFL Alumni Association’s Dire Need Fund, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Enshrinee Assistance Fund.

"We are proud to have the most extensive benefits package in professional sports," said HAROLD HENDERSON, NFL executive vice president of labor relations/chairman of the NFL Management Council.

"These improvements are consistent with our commitment in every negotiation to address post-career issues and improve the benefits of retired players. No other industry reaches back like this to take care of former employees."

"The current players have great respect for the heritage of the NFL and the former players that have contributed to the league's success," said GENE UPSHAW, executive director of the NFLPA. "As they have done on previous occasions, the current players strongly supported the idea of using a portion of their negotiated benefits money to fund improvements for the retired players."

Details of the benefit plan improvements that were announced today:

-- PENSIONS: Pensions of retired players will be increased by 25 percent for the amounts earned before 1982 and by 10 percent for the amounts earned in 1982 and later. The minimum increase for retired players will be $50 per month.

-- WIDOW & SURVIVING CHILDREN BENEFIT: Benefits will be tripled for the survivors of a player who dies before his retirement benefits begin.

-- NUMBER 88 PLAN: Beginning next year, players retired under the pension plan will be eligible for payment of certain medical and custodial expenses, whether provided at home or in an institution, that are a result of dementia, including Alzheimer's, regardless of the age when care becomes necessary.

The benefit will pay the cost of providing up to $88,000 per year for institutional care or up to $50,000 per year for in-home nursing care. There also is agreement to fund research on dementia. The benefit is named in honor of Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN MACKEY.

-- TUITION REIMBURSEMENT PLAN: For players with at least five credited seasons who retire after the 2006 season, the plan will provide up to $15,000 per year for tuition expenses for the first three years after the player leaves football. Previously, this benefit was available to active players only.

-- HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT: A new Health Reimbursement Account will be created for current players for use when their NFL health insurance expires (currently four or five years after retirement). The accounts will begin for players who have three credited seasons at $75,000 and increase by $25,000 per year for up to 12 seasons. For example, a 12-year veteran will leave the NFL with a $300,000 health reimbursement account. The accounts can be used to fund post-career medical insurance, including the COBRA premium, and to pay other medical expenses, both for the player and his dependents.

Other CBA benefits for players include a 401K savings plan, annuity program, insurance, severance pay and
disability benefits.

# # #

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Roger Goodell - Sportsbook.com Odds Makers Pick Him To Be NFL Commissioner

Press Release Source: Sportsbook.com and Yahoo! Finance

Sportsbook.com odds makers choose Roger Goodell to be next NFL Commissioner
Wednesday August 2, 9:00 am ET

NEW YORK, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ - The new commissioner of the NFL is expected to be decided during an August 7-9 meeting of the selection committee in Chicago. Sportsbook.com, the world's largest online sportsbook and casino, has been following the story since Tagliabue's retirement and has updated odds now that the five finalists have been confirmed.
Roger Goodell, NFL COO continues to be the front runner, with odds of 2-5 to take the top NFL post. The COO has been working with Tagliabue since 1990 when he started as a Director, and is entrenched in all areas of the NFL business.

Goodell's closest challenger is Gregg Levy, the league's outside council, the position Tagliabue held before he became commissioner. As the chief legal consultant Levy maintains close contact with most of the team owners.

"It will be hard for the owners to replace Tagliabue, with his solid relationships with the NFLPA, owners, players and sponsors, but it is clear by the ages of the candidates that they are looking for a man who will commit to the job for many years, much like Tagliabue did," said Alex Czajkowski, Sportsbook.com. "Everybody bets on the NFL, and a shake up in the front office is no exception," added Czajkowski.

The other three finalists are Frederick Nance, a Cleveland lawyer, Robert L. Reynolds, of Concord, Mass., the vice chairman and chief operating officer of Fidelity Investments and Mayo A. Shattuck III of Baltimore, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Constellation Energy, all are listed at 10-1 odds to become the next NFL commissioner. The successor will require votes from 22 of the 32 NFL teams.

Who will be the next NFL Commissioner?

Candidate Odds

Roger Goodell 2-5
Gregg Levy 2-1
Robert L. Reynolds 10-1
Mayo A Shattuck III 10-1
Frederick Nance 10-1

For more NFL odds please visit sportsbook.com.

About Sportsbook.com:

Sportsbook.com is the largest sportsbook and casino on the planet, where millions of adult Americans bet on sports, play poker and enjoy blackjack and other casino games online in a regulated and licensed jurisdiction. Named the "Best US Sports Book" by the industry's top magazine, eGaming Review, Sportsbook.com has been leading the online gaming industry since 1996. Dwarfing its nearest competitors in the US, Sportsbook.com has been the first to achieve every significant industry milestone, from record turnover to active users to number of bets - achieving a peak of fifteen bets per second. As the US online gaming leader, the firm and it's products have been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Financial Times, USA Today and in every major newspaper in the US.

Sportsbook.com is the flagship brand for Sportingbet PLC, (LSE: SBT - News), the world's leading publicly traded online gaming company. Sportingbet PLC, headquartered in London, England, has been voted number one in the industry for two years in a row by the authoritative eGaming Review Power 50 Survey.

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