Archive for Saturday, January 6, 2001

NFL briefs

January 6, 2001


Lions hire Millen as president, GM

Detroit The Detroit Lions, who never have been to the Super Bowl, are turning to the only player who has won it four times with three teams.

Matt Millen will be hired as president and general manager of the Lions, an NFL source said Friday.

"It should happen early next week," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Millen has been an NFL analyst for Fox Sports since 1994 and worked for CBS the two previous years. He also is the No. 1 analyst for CBS Radio Sports' NFL broadcasts.

Ex-Jet Gastineau returned to jail

New York Mark Gastineau, a former New York Jets lineman who was convicted of assaulting his wife and repeatedly violating the terms of his probation, has been sent back to jail two weeks after being quietly released into the custody of a Bible-based drug-treatment program on Long Island.

Probation department spokesman Jack Ryan told the New York Post that the decision to return the former NFL star to jail was based on "new information ... regarding Mr. Gastineau's legal history." Ryan did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Several Broncos slated for surgery

Denver Pro Bowl quarterback Brian Griese, wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and running back Mike Anderson are among several Denver Broncos players scheduled to have surgery next week.

Griese, who missed six of Denver's final seven games, will have surgery Wednesday to repair his separated right shoulder. The recovery time is typically four months. Anderson will have arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.

McCaffrey will have surgery to remove a bone spur in his left heel.

Titans' facility suffers damage

Nashville, Tenn. Workers at Adelphia Coliseum spent Thursday and Friday scrambling to repair the damage from an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of water that spilled from a burst pipe.

Officials said the cleanup should be complete before Sunday's playoff game between the Titans and Ravens.

A pipe fitting in the 2-year-old, $292 million stadium apparently gave way early Thursday after consecutive nights of temperatures near single digits.

Former Bears coach Snyder dies at 87

Toledo, Ohio Bob Snyder, who won three NFL championships with the Chicago Bears and later coached in the NFL and college, has died. He was 87.

Snyder died Thursday. He was a quarterback and placekicker for the Cleveland Rams and Chicago Bears. He helped the Bears to three championships.

St. Louis hires April

St. Louis The St. Louis Rams hired Bobby April as special teams coach Friday, three days after firing special teams coach Larry Pasquale and three defensive coaches coordinator Peter Giunta, line coach Carl Hairston and secondary coach Steve Brown.

San Diego names Butler general manager

San Diego John Butler took over the worst team in the NFL on Friday, undaunted by the San Diego Chargers' 1-15 record and the big decisions ahead.

He started in the NFL as a Chargers scout in 1985-86 and returns as executive vice president and general manager.

"It's a big challenge," he said. Butler was fired as the Buffalo Bills' GM on Dec. 19.

Steelers tab Mularkey

Pittsburgh The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator on Friday, replacing the fired Kevin Gilbride.

Vikes want stadium

St. Paul, Minn. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue met with Gov. Jesse Ventura and top legislators Friday as the Minnesota Vikings renewed their drive for a football-only stadium. A new stadium could cost as much as $500 million. Ventura argues that there are more pressing needs for public dollars.

Neilson fights cancer

Toronto Longtime NHL coach Roger Neilson, still fighting bone marrow cancer, also is being treated for skin cancer. Neilson, 66, is an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators.

Indians to ink Gonzalez

Cleveland The Cleveland Indians may have found the man to replace Manny Ramirez in right field.

Juan Gonzalez is reportedly close to signing a one-year contract with the Indians worth about $12 million.

Gonzalez, a two-time American League MVP, said he chose the Indians because he likes to hit at the Jake, and because of his close relationships with second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielder Wil Cordero.

Man hurt at stadium

Milwaukee A heater in the infield at Miller Park malfunctioned Friday, releasing a flash of flaming gas and injuring a worker, authorities said. The worker was trying to start the heater when it flashed, knocking him unconscious briefly. He was not seriously injured. The park was not damaged.

Justice has surgery

Tampa, Fla. New York Yankees outfielder David Justice had surgery Friday to repair a double hernia and is expected to be ready for the start of spring training late next month.

Justice, 34, was the MVP of the AL championship series against Seattle. He hit .286 with a career-high 41 homers and 118 RBIs for Cleveland and the Yankees. Justice had 20 homers and 60 RBIs for New York.

Yankees' position players report on Feb. 19.

Magadan takes cut

San Diego Utilityman Dave Magadan took a $200,000 pay cut to remain with the San Diego Padres, agreeing Friday to a $575,000, one-year contract.

Bosox pick up pitchers

Boston The Boston Red Sox picked up two left-handed free agent pitchers Friday, signing Kent Mercker and Bryan Ward to minor league contracts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both were signed to Triple-A contracts but will be invited to major league spring training.

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