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McNown might find new town

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© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 19, 2001

Talk is swirling around Chicago that quarterback Cade McNown is falling further out of the Bears' plans. The Bears reportedly have been shopping the 24-year-old around the league, but so far there have been no takers.

The kid has shown potential at times, but the cold, hard facts are he is 3-12 as a starter and isn't the friendliest person in the locker room.

"We're talking about a lot of rumors, a lot of talk, and that's not really an issue for me right now," McNown said. "You need to play above any of the speculation and the rumors, or any of the outside circumstances that may come up. ... I really don't want to answer questions and get speculative about where I may or may not end up."

Don't be surprised if he winds up in Green Bay or Miami.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Now that rookie Quincy Carter is the starting quarterback, do you think owner Jerry Jones knows the last time Dallas started a rookie quarterback he went 0-11?

Of course, that rookie, Troy Aikman, went on to become pretty decent.

TOTO, WHERE AM I?: After reaching the playoffs with the Seahawks in recent years, new Bengals quarterback Jon Kitna is suffering from culture shock in Cincinnati.

"The hardest thing for us right now is when one thing goes bad in practice, it's hard for us to recover because they're so used to bad things happening," Kitna said.

By the way, looks as if Kitna will win the starting job over Scott Mitchell and Akili Smith. Whether that's good news for Bengals fans is up for debate.

REMEMBERING APRIL: This season, Eagles running back Duce Staley is playing for himself, the team and his sister, who died this summer of complications from lupus, a disease that cripples the immune system.

"She was born with it, and it just caught up to her," Staley said of his sister, April, who was 29. "From what I'm told, (lupus) is one of the hardest diseases to cure. I remember her skin would get so irritated, and her body just couldn't move and she'd get so stiff.

"I was very close to her, and it still bothers me, so it's something I don't really like to talk about. I try to keep it to myself. As far as dealing with death, this is not easy."

Staley plans to dedicate a few games this season to his sister's memory.

BUST OR BARGAIN?: Defensive lineman Alonzo Spellman admitted he wound up in Detroit because no team wanted him and his troubled past.

But Spellman, the former star for Chicago and Dallas who is still an imposing figure at 6 feet 4 and 300 pounds, seems intent on making everyone pay who passed on him.

"Twenty-eight teams thought the cup was half empty, but Detroit was smart enough and I was smart enough, willing enough and obedient enough to God to come here," he said. "They got probably the best bargain of the century. I guarantee you."

IT'S FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Somebody in St. Louis needs to start taking up a collection to buy the naming rights to the Rams' stadium, previously known as the TWA Dome. With the airline gone belly up, the joint is now called the Dome at America's Center.

Have you heard of anything more ridiculous?

HE SAID IT: This comes from Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn, on trying to be yourself in the NFL:

"In the NFL, they try to make us all clones. But I think individuality is a nice thing. They don't allow it in a game. In a game, they want carbon copies."

HE SAID IT II: This one comes from Seahawks linebacker Levon Kirkland, talking about the perfect hit:

"When you get a great hit, and he falls, and the crowd goes, "Oooooohhhh,' and you feel their insides go out a little bit, it's like you're taking away a part of them."

DID YOU KNOW?: The expansion Houston Texans, who begin play in 2002, want their inaugural game to be against the Cowboys.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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