© St. Petersburg Times, published January 23, 2003
It's fairly well known that only one Buccaneer, Keenan McCardell, owns a Super Bowl ring, getting it while on the injured reserve list with the Washington Redskins in 1991 (Super Bowl XXVI).
But, as might be expected considering the many quality free agents on the Oakland roster, nine Raiders have won the coveted jewelry: Sam Adams (Ravens, 2000); Darrien Gordon (Broncos, 1997 and 1998); Tory James (Denver, 1997 and 1998), Clarence Love (Ravens, 2000); Jerry Rice (49ers, 1988, 1989 and 1994); Bill Romanowski (49ers, '88 and '89 and Denver, '97 and '98); Terrance Shaw (Patriots, 2001); Roland Williams (Rams, 1999) and Rod Woodson (Ravens, 2000).
QUOTE OF THE DAY: From San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, on the Raiders using the Chargers practice facilities and locker rooms in preparation for Sunday's game.
"It's very strange," he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It's like -- I can't even explain the feeling that you get knowing they're going to be in there, using your facility. It's kind of like someone coming into your home -- your rival, your worst enemy -- and you can't do anything about it."
ONE MAN'S JUNK ... : Super Bowl merchandise stores are popping up all over downtown San Diego, with the usual overpriced items for sale. The $7 for plastic Buccaneer beads, $15 for a Super Bowl mug, T-shirts usually around $20 and hats for $25. The most expensive item spotted during a quick check Wednesday was the black leather coat with color Super Bowl emblem on the back. Price tag: $500.
GOLF, ANYONE?: Best deal going Sunday if you're in San Diego and don't want to go to the big game? How about a round of golf at the La Costa Resort and Spa? It usually takes five days notice to get a tee time at the exclusive resort and could take up to 30 days in advance to book a foursome on a Sunday afternoon. But thanks to the Super Bowl, there are plenty of openings this week.
"I have a couple of openings in the morning," Oscar Lopez told the Oakland Tribune. "After 10 a.m. we're pretty dead. I have plenty of available times. It is Super Bowl Sunday, you know."
If you can wait until after 12:30, you get a price break as well. The usual $195 fee drops to a twilight rate of $105.
COCHRAN: GET TOUGH ON HIRINGS: The NFL needs to get tougher in making sure its teams follow a new policy requiring them to interview minorities for coaching vacancies, attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. said.
Of the three teams with new head coaches, only the Bengals followed the policy before hiring Marvin Lewis, who is black, Cochran said.
"We're saying the NFL has done a reasonable job to this point," he said. "They can do better. They've got to enforce the rules that they've set."
Cochran, joined by attorney Cyris Mehri, made his comments at a hotel news conference near Qualcomm Stadium. They were joined by former NFL stars Warren Moon and Kellen Winslow, who said they were sensitive to the subject of minority hiring.
Cochran and Mehri led the push to accelerate the pace of minority hiring in the NFL, both in the coaching ranks and among general managers and player personnel directors.
Cochran and Mehri say they don't think the Jaguars followed the NFL's procedure in hiring head coach Jack Del Rio. They called the hiring of Bill Parcells by the Cowboys "probably a foregone conclusion," and said the Cowboys didn't follow the process because they spoke with Dennis Green by telephone, thereby failing to grant him a "comparable interview."
DAVIS WANTS TO RETURN: The glint in Terrell Davis' eyes and that magnetic smile said it all. He wants to play again.
"I just want to get healthy and see where I am," the former Broncos star said. "It might not happen again. If it doesn't, oh, well. If everything works out, I would like to."
Davis returned to his hometown of San Diego for the Super Bowl. He gained 157 yards and scored three touchdowns five years ago in Denver's 31-24 victory over Green Bay at Qualcomm Stadium -- a game that brought him MVP honors.
After the Broncos made him a sixth-round draft choice in 1995, Davis began his career with four brilliant seasons, rushing for 6,413 yards and playing on two Super Bowl championship teams. In 1998, before the Broncos beat Atlanta 34-19 for their second straight Super Bowl triumph, Davis joined O.J. Simpson, Eric Dickerson and Barry Sanders as the only players to rush for 2,000 yards when he gained 2,008 and won the MVP award.
Since that time, he has played only 17 games and none last season because of knee injuries. Davis had microfracture surgery on his left knee Sept. 21 and said the recovery time is eight to 10 months.
Will he play next season?
"That's ambitious," Davis said with a smile. "I just want to get healthy and see where I am. I'm not even running yet. I am rehabbing, I am getting better."
And he would love to play again for Denver.
"I haven't spoken with them, I would give them first shot," he said. "If they're not interested, there are 31 other teams. I'm sure I could find a home."
PRO BOWL: The Titans will have a player in the Pro Bowl, after all: defensive end Kevin Carter. The Titans were snubbed in the original voting for the NFL all-star game, despite winning the AFC South at 11-5. But Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher will coach the AFC in the Feb. 2 game in Honolulu, and he was allowed to choose one player to add to his roster. He had to pick among three alternates and chose Carter over Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards and Steelers linebacker Jason Gildon.
BILLS: Former Green Bay running back De'Mond Parker, cornerback Ronald Hardge, tight end Ryan Neufeld and linebacker Josh Stamer signed contracts.
JAGUARS: Coach Jack Del Rio added to his staff, hiring Ken Anderson as quarterbacks coach, Alvin Reynolds as defensive backs coach and Mike Haluchak as linebackers coach.
REDSKINS: Robert Nunn, 37, was hired as defensive ends coach. Nunn spent the past three seasons as a defensive assistant with the Dolphins.
OBITUARY: Former Browns linebacker Eddie Johnson, who was known as "The Assassin" because of his hard tackles, died Tuesday night after a two-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43. Mr. Johnson was a seventh-round draft pick from Louisville in 1981 and played for the Browns until 1990. He became a minister in 1993 and had dedicated his life to helping others.