January 2006 - Football Wiretap
McNabb Happy With Rehab Progress
Still recovering mentally and physically from the most difficult season of his NFL career, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said Tuesday afternoon that his rehabilitation from sports hernia surgery is "going great" and that he expects to participate in the team's offseason program. "I've been rehabilitating for the last four to six weeks and I've taken big strides," said McNabb, after making a promotional appearance in conjunction with Super Bowl week. "The good thing about this is that we have some time. I don't have to rush things. So it's just a matter of going through the process. [But] it should be fine." The Eagles' star underwent surgery, performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, on Nov. 28. He was off his feet for three weeks following the procedure and has been rehabilitating ever since at the team's NovaCare Complex. At some point in the next few weeks, McNabb said, he will go to Arizona, where he usually spends his offseasons, and continue his recovery there.
Bills Hire Perry Fewell To Be Defensive Coordinator
The Buffalo Bills hired Perry Fewell as defensive coordinator, according to a published report Tuesday in the Buffalo News. Fewell will replace Jerry Gray, the Bills defensive co-ordinator since 2001. Gray was fired Monday. Under Gray, Buffalo finished with the No. 2 defence in 2003 and 2004 before slipping to 29th this season. The Bills were the last team in the league to hire a defensive co-ordinator. Fewell, who's never been a co-ordinator, becomes the fourth assistant hired by Dick Jauron. Jauron was named head coach a week ago after Mike Mularkey abruptly resigned earlier in the month.
Tice Expected To Join Del Rio In Jacksonville
The assistant-head-coach-for-offense offer former Vikings coach Mike Tice is expected to accept from Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio should pay him slightly more than $1 million a year. He was paid $1 million this season as head coach of the Vikings. Tice would be the second former NFL head coach on Del Rio's staff. The other is Dave Campo, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. Tice spent the weekend in Jacksonville with Del Rio.
Bengals' Henry Arrested On Gun Charges
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry was arrested on gun charges in a weekend street altercation, authorities said. Henry pulled a 9 mm pistol on a group of revelers early Saturday, according to a police report. An officer directing traffic aimed his gun at the 22-year-old Henry and ordered him to drop the pistol, the report states. Henry froze, then moved toward a limousine in the street and threw the gun inside the car, the report says. The officer pulled Henry away from the limo and pushed him to the ground, according to the report. Police said Henry, who still faces drug charges from an arrest last month in Kentucky, appeared to be preparing to fight with a group on the sidewalk.
Owens Meets With Broncos
Terrell Owens and his agent visited Denver on Monday, talking with coach Mike Shanahan to see if he might be a fit with the Broncos. Owens is under contract with Philadelphia, but the Eagles have given him permission to seek a trade. Denver is a suitor, and a person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on condition he not be identified because there was no deal, told The Associated Press the volatile receiver had a good meeting with Shanahan. Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were shown by KCNC-TV at the Denver airport on their way out of town Monday night. Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano, working at the Super Bowl in Detroit, said he could not comment because he had no knowledge of the visit.
Redskins Hire Another Big-Name Coach
The Washington Redskins have continued their assemblage of an all-star, and pricey staff of assistants, hiring Jerry Gray to coach the secondary. Most recently the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, a position that he held for five seasons (2001-05), Gray becomes the latest high profile aide in owner Dan Snyder's galaxy of staffers. The Redskins recently hired former Kansas City offensive coordinator Al Saunders in the same capacity, signing him to a three-year contract worth about $6 million. Before that, the Redskins took highly regarded defensive coordinator Gregg Williams out of the head coach market by signing him to a three-year extension that could be worth as much as $2.6 million annually, and which will pay him a $1 million bonus if he is not named head coach when Joe Gibbs retires. Contract details of Gray's deal were not available. Hiring Gray reunites him with Williams and Washington will be the third different team with which the two have worked together. Gray was the Tennessee secondary coach when Williams was the Titans' defensive coordinator. When Williams went to Buffalo as head coach in 2001, he brought Gray along.
Broncos Add Heimerdinger To Staff
DENVER -- Broncos coach Mike Shanahan turned to an old friend to replace longtime assistant Gary Kubiak on his coaching staff. Shanahan hired former New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger as assistant head coach and promoted offensive line coach Rick Dennison to offensive coordinator on Monday. The moves come after Kubiak was hired last week as coach of the Houston Texans, and Heimerdinger was freed from his contract with the Jets. "I'm excited to come back. I know everybody on staff and in the administration," Heimerdinger said as he stepped off the plane in Denver. He said his duties were still being formulated, "but I would assume I'll assist Mike in the passing game" with Dennison primarily directing the running game.
Palmer To Join Parcells In Dallas
Former Cleveland Browns head coach Chris Palmer, who most recently served as the Houston Texans' offensive coordinator, has agreed to join the Dallas Cowboys' staff. The exact title for Palmer, who agreed to a two-year contract, is unknown. Ostensibly, he replaces assistant head coach/passing game coordinator Sean Payton, who left Dallas two weeks ago to become the New Orleans Saints head coach. It is expected that Palmer will work with the Dallas quarterbacks and have major input into the passing game. Dallas is not expected to have an assistant with the title of offensive coordinator. Palmer, 56, will be reunited with quarterback Drew Bledsoe, with whom he worked four seasons (1993-96) with the New England Patriots. It will also be the second time in his career that Palmer will serve on a Bill Parcells-led staff. In addition, he will work closely with current Cowboys running game coordinator Tony Sparano, whom he coached in college at New Haven. Recently, Palmer met with Payton about the Saints' offensive coordinator position, and spoke to New York Jets officials about a similar job.
Mariucci Breaks Silence, Plans To Take A Long Break From Coaching
Since being fired by the Detroit Lions in November, Steve Mariucci has shunned interview requests through agent Gary O'Hagan and his best friend, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo. Mariucci also asked a Pistons spokesman to keep reporters away when the Spartans played at The Palace earlier this season. But a four-word response Sunday night during halftime of the Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons game confirmed what many have concluded about his plans. When an Associated Press reporter asked Mariucci if he planned to take time off from coaching, he replied: "A long time off." O'Hagan declined to comment twice earlier this month when asked about his client's future. Mariucci has two more years remaining on the $25 million contract he signed with the Lions in 2003.
Favre Leaning Towards Retirement
Brett Favre would like to wait until training camp to decide whether to retire or return to the Green Bay Packers for a 16th season. But the quarterback realizes this amount of time is likely not a luxury he will be afforded. "I wish I knew where I stood," Favre told Chris Mortensen in an interview that aired as ESPN's Sunday Conversation. "If I had to pick right now and make a decision, I would say I'm not coming back." In the interview at his home in Mississippi, Favre told Mortensen he would like more time to decide whether to return for another NFL season. But he understands the Packers need to know soon to properly prepare for the NFL draft and other offseason personnel matters. "I'd like to wait till training camp," Favre said with a laugh. "But I know I have to make the decision in the next month for their sake." Favre said he's told Packers general manager Ted Thompson recently that if the team doesn't want to wait for him to commit to either playing the 2006 season or retiring, then he should be "cut loose." "I love the game too much and I love my legacy too much to have that just be OK," Favre said, "and I don't want to be just OK. I want to be good, and I don't know if I'm committed enough [right now] to be good on an everyday basis."
Seahawks Wanted To Give Alexander Extension Mid-Season
Shaun Alexander gambled that he'd gain increased leverage by playing out his deal and becoming an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Martz Tour Stops In Detroit
After interviewing with the Raiders, Mike Martz pulled his name from consideration for Oakland's head coaching job and is now contemplating whether or not to join the Detroit Lions' staff.
Osgood Signs Four-Year Deal With Chargers
Special teams standout Kassim Osgood agreed to a four-year contract with the San Diego Chargers on Friday.
Cutler Could Still Be First QB Taken
?He?s the No. 1 quarterback on my draft board,? said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. ?I have him ahead of Matt Leinart. I have him ahead of Vince Young."
Sherman Considers Offer To Become Houston Assistant
Mike Sherman met Friday with Houston Texans officials and is considering an offer to join first-year head coach Gary Kubiak's staff in the role of assistant head coach/offensive line.
Kitna Wants To Start
Marvin Lewis said Palmer's injury status would not affect how the team goes about trying to re-sign Jon Kitna.
Taylor Faces Up To 46 Years In Prison
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor faces up to 46 years in prison after two additional assault charges were filed against him Friday.
Martz Added To Al's Candidates
Owner Al Davis and other Raiders officials spent much of Thursday interviewing former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz.
Bears Like Randle El
The Bears' first priority this off-season will be Pittsburgh wide receiver and premier returner Antwaan Randle El when free agency begins in March.
Culpepper To Oakland?
Randy Moss said he and Daunte Culpepper reminisced about their days with the Vikings. Moss said he gave Culpepper some insight on the receiver's new NFL home.