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NFL roundup

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 19, 2000


Stories from the NFL

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Dave McGinnis, 1-7 as interim coach, signed a four-year deal Monday to coach the Arizona Cardinals and said he has been granted wide authority by owner Bill Bidwill over the team's personnel decisions.

"I will have significant input into what goes on in this football organization, very significant input," McGinnis said at a news conference. "I have every assurance that I need. I wouldn't be standing here in front of you today if I didn't look in Mr. Bidwill's eyes and get those assurances."

Bidwill said the Cardinals will be rebuilt the way McGinnis wants.

"I asked Dave this morning to consider sometime after the season to tell me exactly what he'd like to do, what kind of a team he'd like to have, what kind of a team he'd like to turn the Cardinals into," Bidwill said. "When he does that, I'm then going to bring Dave into the personnel department and have him explain that to the personnel department.

"That's going to be the marching orders. Dave's going to have a vision of what kind of team he wants to operate."

McGinnis, who took over after Vince Tobin was fired seven games into the season, is the Cardinals' fifth coach since the franchise moved to Arizona from St. Louis in 1988.

With his players in the audience, McGinnis relied on his trademark, passionate oratory and down-home west Texas wisdom, to explain why he thinks he will succeed in a job in which so many others have failed. He quoted Gen. George Patton and author John Wesley.

"You have to believe in your own abilities," McGinnis said. "Mr. Bidwill and I have sat and gone through some very thorough discussions about what is going to go on here."

AIKMAN MIGHT RETURN: Troy Aikman might play in the Cowboys' season finale Sunday against Tennessee.

"At this point, we're going to continue to evaluate Troy," coach Dave Campo said. "He has not been ruled out yet."

Aikman, who sustained his second concussion of the season and 10th of his career Dec.10, watched from the sideline Sunday as Dallas lost 17-13 to the Giants.

The quarterback worked out but did not speak to reporters.

BENGALS: Coach Dick LeBeau, whose contract ends after the season, has had no discussions about his future with general manager Mike Brown. LeBeau is 4-8 since taking over from Bruce Coslet, who quit after an 0-3 start. Brown plans to wait until after Sunday's game to decide whether LeBeau stays.

CHIEFS: Center Tim Grunhard, considering retirement after 11 seasons with Kansas City, won't soon forget what might have been his final game at Arrowhead Stadium. His good friend, Tony Richardson, rushed for 156 yards, and his team won the kind of old-time, smashmouth game Grunhard loves. As he walked off carrying his young son in his arms, Grunhard saw signs hanging on the stadium wall saying, "Tim, please stay. No. 61 is our favorite." "All the people have given me a lot of love," he said. "It's hard to walk away from that."

DOLPHINS: Receiver Bert Emanuel will miss the season finale Sunday and could be out of the post-season with a broken rib. The former Buc has been inactive for four of the past eight games with injuries.

FALCONS: Offensive line coach Art Shell had a polyp removed from his sinus cavity after bleeding steadily from his nose over the weekend. He is expected to rejoin the team today.

49ERS: Receiver Tai Streets is scheduled to have surgery today on his broken right leg. Streets, who spent Sunday night at Stanford Hospital, should be able to participate in minicamps in the spring.

JETS: Linebacker Bryan Cox had surgery on his broken right leg and was placed on injured reserve. The 10-year veteran is a free agent after the season, and his agent, Cliff Brady, said Cox still wants to play in 2001. ... Kicker Brett Conway was signed a day after John Hall missed a field goal with nine seconds remaining that could have tied the score in a 10-7 loss to Detroit.

REDSKINS: Safety Matt Stevens, who led Washington in interceptions last season, was released. Stevens missed a tackle on a 53-yard punt return for touchdown by Pittsburgh's Hank Poteat on Saturday. ... Wide receiver Andre Reed (pulled hamstring) and tight end James Jenkins (sore shoulder) were placed on injured reserve.

VIKINGS: Quarterback Daunte Culpepper had a cast placed on his sprained right ankle. The cast is scheduled to come off Wednesday, when his status will be re-evaluated. ... Free safety Orlando Thomas is expected to return Sunday at Indianapolis, eight weeks after breaking his left shoulder bone. Last season, he broke the right shoulder.

BUSINESS: Reebok International Ltd. will outfit all 32 teams by 2002 under an agreement that is scheduled to be unveiled today. ... Octagon Marketing USA acquired the football operations of agents Mike Sullivan and Jeff Sperbeck, giving the sports marketing company its first presence in professional football.

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