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NFL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000


Ravens say Redskins' rudeness is upsetting

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- First, they charged the visitors to park the team bus. Then, they dissed their fans. Finally, they pumped up the home crowd with loud music and untimely PA announcements.

All that has the Baltimore Ravens upset about the unneighborly behavior they received during Sunday's game against the Redskins.

The Ravens' long day began when they arrived at FedEx Field in seven buses filled with team personnel, including their 75-year-old owner, Art Modell. The Redskins' security guards let four buses in, but sent the others away to distant lots.

"Not only did they charge $40 a bus, but when they did let us in, they sent us to the back of the lot," Ravens vice president Kevin Byrne said. "Fortunately, we were able to get a golf cart for Art."

The Redskins on Monday called to apologize for the misunderstanding and offered to reimburse the Ravens for their $160 in parking fees.

In other news, quarterback Brad Johnson, who took the team to the playoffs for the first time in seven years, has suspended negotiations for a new contract and plans to become a free agent at the end of the season.

BEARS: Chicago signed free-agent punter Louie Aguiar to replace Brent Bartholomew, who was placed on injured reserve with a right knee injury.

BILLS: The first thing Doug Flutie wanted to make clear is that he's the starter only until Rob Johnson is healthy enough to return. The second point Flutie wanted to get across was how much fun he's having. "It's a lot more fun to be on the field throwing the football than it is standing on the sideline cheerleading," Flutie said.

BRONCOS: Coach Mike Shanahan said running back Terrell Davis, who has missed all or parts of six games with a sprained left ankle and foot, will miss Sunday's game.

BROWNS: With three wide receivers injured, Cleveland signed free-agent wideout Damon Dunn. To make room for Dunn, the Browns waived offensive lineman Paul Snellings.

CARDINALS: Defensive end Andre Wadsworth put on practice gear for the first time this season and went through a light workout. Out because of knee surgery, Wadsworth said he hoped he could play in a game in two weeks.

CHARGERS: The team expected to have quarterback Ryan Leaf back for its next game, Oct. 29 at home against the Raiders. But Leaf said he doesn't think his sprained right wrist will be fully recovered. He was upended after throwing an interception Sept. 24.

DOLPHINS: Wide receiver Tony Martin, the only deep threat in a passing offense that ranks 30th in the NFL, will miss Monday night's game against the Jets with a broken left foot. Tests revealed a hairline fracture.

49ERS: Hall of Fame tackle Leo Nomellini died Tuesday of complications from a stroke. He was 76. Nomellini was a two-way tackle for part of his career that spanned from 1950 to 1963. ... The NFL has apologized to the team for a questionable pass interference penalty late in its 31-28 loss at Green Bay on Sunday. San Francisco coach Steve Mariucci said NFL supervisor of officials Mike Pereira called the 49ers and admitted back judge Tony Steratore shouldn't have called pass interference against cornerback Jason Webster when he defended Green Bay's Donald Driver in the end zone with 9:18 to play.

GIANTS: New York retired Hall of Fame halfback Frank Gifford's No. 16 jersey. Gifford, 70, played for the Giants from 1952-64 and is first in team history with 5,434 receiving yards and 78 touchdowns. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Gifford also rushed for 3,609 yards and threw 14 touchdowns on halfback options. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

JAGUARS: Receiver Jimmy Smith's injury wasn't as bad as it first appeared, but that good news was offset by the loss of defensive end Renaldo Wynn, who will miss time with a sprained knee ligament.

JETS: Kevin Mawae, the durable center, missed practice for the first time in more than a decade. Mawae has a sprained left foot and is listed as doubtful for Monday night's game with Miami.

PANTHERS: Six games into his comeback, it looks like Carolina will fall short of helping Reggie White achieve his goal of winning another Super Bowl. Still, the NFL's career sacks leader said he isn't second-guessing his decision to come back after a one-year retirement. "No regrets at all -- although I would love to personally be playing better," White said. "There are some things that I've done good, and some things that I haven't, and it's frustrating."

SAINTS: Wide receiver Jake Reed broke his right leg during practice. Reed will miss six weeks, coach Jim Haslett said.

SEAHAWKS: Quarterback Brock Huard sat out practice because of his pulled groin muscle and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Raiders.

TITANS: Receiver Carl Pickens, out two games with a strained hamstring, practiced and could return to action Sunday against the Ravens.

CARRUTH TRIAL: Lawyers for former pro football player Rae Carruth claim his pregnant girlfriend was fatally shot by a friend of his who was angry because the athlete refused to finance a drug deal. A 16-page motion filed five days before jury selection is to begin in Carruth's murder trial claims confessed triggerman Van Brett Watkins fatally shot Cherica Adams when she made an obscene gesture at him, not because Carruth paid to have her killed.

ARENA LEAGUE: Former Miami Dolphin Jim Jensen was named coach of the expansion Florida Firecats of the AFL 2, an offshoot of the AFL.

BUTKUS NAMED DIRECTOR: Hall of famer Dick Butkus was named the XFL's director of football competition, three months after he was named coach of the league's Chicago franchise. Former Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots coach Ron Meyer will replace Butkus as coach in Chicago. ... Running back Lawrence Phillips has expressed an interest in joining the franchise in Las Vegas, but his status as a player still needs the league's stamp of approval. "To be honest, I'm not sure Lawrence is eligible," Outlaws general manager Bob Ackles said. "The league determines whether or not to accept him."

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