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NFL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 2, 2001


Buffalo hires Titans coordinator

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Gregg Williams won the battle of defensive coordinators for the Bills coaching job.

Williams, Tennessee's defensive coordinator the past four seasons, was chosen from a high-profile group that included Marvin Lewis, defensive coordinator of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens; John Fox, defensive coordinator of the NFC champion New York Giants; and Ted Cottrell, former Bills defensive coordinator now with the New York Jets.

"Gregg brings to our franchise a long list of impressive credentials," Bills president Tom Donahoe said Thursday. "His strengths are in the areas of leadership, knowledge of the game, organizational skills and people skills.

"I'm confident that we have selected the candidate who best fits our needs."

Williams, who did not return messages left by the Associated Press, will be introduced to the media at a news conference today.

Williams becomes the Bills' 12th head coach, taking over after Wade Phillips was dismissed last month. The Bills were the final team without a coach this off-season.

"He waited his turn, and by golly, it's like everything else: If you win, everybody benefits. And he's been a big part of that," Titans general manager Floyd Reese. "It's his time, and we're happy for him."

Williams has been preparing to be a head coach for years and had meticulous files ranking people he would like to hire not only as assistants but as trainers, video and personnel people.

Dungy: Race affected Lewis interviews

Bucs coach Tony Dungy says it's a "shame" Lewis was interviewed for only one of nine coaching jobs open this season and that he would have gotten more interviews if he were white.

"You would have thought more than one team out of nine would say that here's a guy that should be at least talked to," Dungy told the Web site CNNSI.com. "And you can only beg the question in your own mind: If he were white, would it have been one out of nine? I don't think so. I think it would have been more than one out of nine. I would suggest more than one team would have talked to him with the credentials he has and what he's done the last two years.

"It's difficult to take from my perspective as a minority coach in the NFL. That the Ravens could put together that kind of year, and everyone around the league roundly assumes that Marvin Lewis is in great shape to get a job, and then nothing. And that only one team talked to him, that's just hard to swallow."

Buffalo was the only team to interview Lewis.

CHMURA TRIAL: The teen who accused Mark Chmura of sexual assault flirted with the former Packers player at a post-prom party, a high school football player testified at Chmura's trial in Waukesha, Wis. Michael Kleber testified Thursday that he watched Chmura's accuser go willingly into a bathroom where the alleged assault took place. "I said, "What are you ... doing,' or "Don't even think about it,' " Kleber said he told Chmura's accuser. "She walked up to the bathroom, turned around, smiled or grinned."

Kleber said she put her hand on the knob, opened the door and walked in. Chmura's accuser, a former babysitter for Chmura's two sons, testified Chmura pulled her into the bathroom and had sex with her without her consent during the April 9 party at the home of his friend Robert Gessert.

BRONCOS: Statements Denver linebacker Bill Romanowski made to federal drug agents should be thrown out because he was not read his Miranda rights, his attorney said in court papers. Romanowski is accused of illegally obtaining the appetite suppressant phentermine, which was prescribed for his wife and a friend. He is charged with one count each of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and deceit, and two counts of conspiracy.

The motions, which were filed in mid January in Denver and made available this week, closely mirror those of Romanowski's wife, Julie. She asked a judge to dismiss eight counts of illegally obtaining diet pills and one count of conspiracy against her.

In Bill Romanowski's motion, his attorney, Harvey Steinberg, says federal agents entered the Romanowski home on Aug. 21, 1999, and separated the two for questioning. At the time, Steinberg said the two were technically in custody and should have been read their rights. He says Romanowski's statements "were the fruits of either direct or implied promises or threats by law enforcement officers."

BROWNS: Coach Butch Davis hired Bruce Arians as his offensive coordinator and put Foge Fazio in charge of defense. Fazio's hiring was announced after Romeo Crennel, defensive coordinator last season, accepted the same position with the Patriots. In addition, Chuck Pagano, who resigned at Miami on Monday, has been given an unspecified position as a defensive assistant. ... Criticized for walking away from players he had recruited, Davis said he wonders how many of the people trying to get his old job have assured their own recruits-to-be that they will still be around to coach them. "I went ahead and signed with the Browns because I wanted the kids we had recruited to know the honest-to-God truth," Davis told the Miami Herald. "No kid was going to go to UM thinking I was going to be there. That's one of the reasons I didn't want to put this off, so there wouldn't be a whole week of lying to kids that I would still be here." Davis said one factor that led to his departure was, "You would like to have felt that what you've done would have been appreciated. My mistake was, I never should have said never about taking an NFL job." Davis said he will have to pay UM about $850,000 for leaving, "and that's more than I made last year, $725,000."

FALCONS: Atlanta hired Billy Davis as its linebackers coach. Davis worked for the Packers last year.

LIONS: Former Cardinals coach Vince Tobin was hired as defensive coordinator. "Vince is one of the brightest defensive minds in the NFL," coach Marty Mornhinweg said, "and his experience and knowledge will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff and the Lions' organization."

PACKERS: Ron Wolf, the architect of Green Bay's return to the Super Bowl in the mid 1990s, is retiring as executive vice president/general manager. Coach Mike Sherman will take over in a dual role after Wolf's last day, June 1. Wolf had three years left on his contract and will serve them as a consultant to the team. "We've had a great ride here," an emotional Wolf said at Lambeau Field. "We've accomplished a lot."

PATRIOTS: Owner Robert Kraft, still angry over his star cornerback being caught with the illegal drug ecstasy last season, wants to retrieve part of Ty Law's $14.2-million signing bonus. Players association general counsel Richard Berthelsen confirmed the Patriots have filed a countergrievance against Law to retrieve a "prorated portion" of the bonus. ... Former Redskins fullback Larry Bowie signed.

STEELERS: Running back Jerome Bettis had surgery to clean up scar tissue in his left knee from an injury that occurred during training camp.

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