tampabay.com

Tim Brown visits Irish officials; purpose unknown

By RICK STROUD and GREG AUMAN
Published January 14, 2005


Tim Brown met with Notre Dame officials Thursday to discuss a possible role in the Irish football program, a signal he may retire from the NFL after 17 seasons.

Brown, a former Heisman Trophy winner with the Irish, met with athletic director Kevin White and spent much of his time in the football office. But it's unclear whether Brown is seeking a position in the administration or on the coaching staff.

"It's hard to say. We have a full staff of assistants," Notre Dame associate athletic director John Heisler said. "Maybe it would be some kind of hybrid position."

Unwilling to accept a reduced role with the Raiders, a team for which Brown played 16 seasons and went to nine Pro Bowls, Brown left Oakland in August to reunite with coach Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay. He caught 15 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in the first three games of the season, but his playing time diminished until the 38-year-old receiver was reduced to a bench warmer.

Heisler said he was unaware of Brown's plans for next season.

"You would probably know better than I would what his plans are in terms of whether he's done playing," Heisler said. "Whenever he does quit playing, there's talk of him having a TV opportunity and he runs a handful of businesses.

"I'm sure he wants to know what he could offer us here, particularly if he does opt to not play next year. ... Tim, like a number of players, given the coaching situation, have expressed an interest in exploring what they can do to help the football program."

SIGNEES: The Bucs signed nine free agents, including former Lions receiver Scotty Anderson and tackle Mitch White, who was on Tampa Bay's 2002 team that went to the Super Bowl. All nine were signed, according to NFLPA records, at the league's minimum salary for their experience level.

Anderson, a fourth-year pro from Grambling, caught 54 passes for 858 yards and four touchdowns from 2001-03 in Detroit. He was cut by the Lions and Cardinals before the 2004 season. White was cut by the Bucs in the 2003 preseason and then was with the Packers.

Other receivers signed were Adrian Madise, a former Broncos draft pick who spent one week on the Tampa Bay roster in October; 6-foot-4 Terrance Metcalf of San Diego State; and Chris Davis, a teammate of Bucs draft pick Lenny Williams at Southern last season.

The other signings: kicker Todd France, who beat out Bill Gramatica for the Giants' job this fall before being cut in favor of veteran Steve Christie; punter Brian Simnjanovski, who was cut by the Jets before the 2004 season; tackle Jason Jimenez, a 6-7, 320-pound former Packers practice squad player who was in NFL Europe last summer; and cornerback Raniel " Blue" Adams, who was cut by the Jaguars and Bears before this season.