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Capers is the choice for expansion Texans

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 20, 2001

Capers is the choice for expansion Texans

HOUSTON -- Former Panthers coach Dom Capers agreed in principle Friday to direct the expansion Texans.

"Discussions are progressing very well," Texans owner Bob McNair said. "We have reached agreement on the financial terms but there are other terms still being negotiated."

McNair said Capers agreed to a six-year contract.

The owner also said he was so convinced the hiring would become official that the team scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference for Sunday.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity," Capers said by telephone during a news conference called by McNair late Friday.

The Houston job will be Capers' second shot at directing an NFL team from scratch.

He was the first coach in Panther history and led them to the NFC title game in 1996, only the team's second year. The performance, including a 13-5 record, earned him the NFL's coach of the year honors.

In Carolina's first year, his team won seven games, an expansion-team record.

Capers, 50, was fired after the 1998 season when the Panthers slipped to 4-12, then was named Jaguars defensive coordinator.

The Texans begin play in 2002.

PRO BOWL ADDITIONS: Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas and Raiders tackle Lincoln Kennedy were added to the AFC roster. Kennedy replaces Jacksonville tackle Tony Boselli (ankle surgery). For the NFC, linebackers Brian Urlacher of the Bears and Mark Fields of the Saints were added. Urlacher replaces Detroit's Stephen Boyd (herniated disc). Thomas and Fields are "need" players, selected from among the first alternates at defensive end and linebacker.

BENGALS: Running back Corey Dillon, scheduled to go to trial in Federal Way, Wash., on a domestic-violence charge, has instead agreed to contribute $750 to a women's shelter and undergo a certified treatment program. If after 18 months Dillon has no further violations, the charge will be dropped.

BILLS: Giants defensive coordinator John Fox will interview for the Buffalo coaching job.

BROWNS: At least three head-coaching candidates -- Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Saints offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy and 49ers offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg -- will be interviewed next week. The club also plans to interview Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis and Browns defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

CHIEFS: The Rams gave Kansas City permission to talk to assistant head coach Al Saunders, the top choice for offensive coordinator.

PACKERS: CourtTV will air live coverage of former tight end Mark Chmura's sexual assault trial when jury selection begins on Tuesday.

VIKINGS: Coach Dennis Green made changes to his defensive staff for the second straight season by firing two coaches, moving two and reassigning another. Outside linebackers coach John Fontes and defensive line coach Fred von Appen were let go. Defensive backs coach Richard Solomon -- a longtime friend of Green's -- will shift to inside linebackers in place of Trent Walters, who was reassigned to defensive assistant. Chiefs assistant Willie Shaw will become the new defensive backs coach. ... Receiver Troy Walters was fined $5,000 for hitting the Giants' Ramos McDonald in the head during the NFC title game Jan. 14.

XFL ADS SELLING WELL: The fledgling XFL has sold 60 percent of its television-advertising inventory two weeks before the start of its first season.

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