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Though former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly has been mentioned most often as the potential architect of the new Houston franchise, Seattle senior vice president Mike Reinfeldt, who started 102 consecutive games at safety for the Oilers from the mid-1970s to early '80s, will get strong consideration. Owner Bob McNair's plan is to find a football man to pair with business associate Steve Patterson to run the franchise....
Ravens backup quarterback Tony Banks, acquired in an off-season trade with the Rams, is still struggling to learn the offense. Banks, who is eligible to become a free agent after this season, has fallen out of favor with coach Brian Billick and will probably be looking for a job in 2000....
The Titans, trying to build a statewide following, have come out firing. At 5-1 they're tied with the Jaguars for the best record in the AFC. Yet CBS affiliate WREG in Memphis, 210 miles west of the team's Nashville base, has passed on Tennessee's last two games, against the Ravens and the Saints, opting instead to televise the Dolphins-Colts and Dolphins-Patriots games....
Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler, who missed most of the first five weeks with a bad hamstring, left a 41-13 loss to the Rams with the flu. "People go to work with stuff like that all the time," Chandler admitted afterward....
Saints coach Mike Ditka gave fans at the Superdome the finger as they booed at halftime of Sunday's game, then grabbed his crotch upon hearing "Ditka sucks!" after a 24-21 loss to Tennessee. "It was wrong," Ditka said a couple of hours later. "I was wrong." On Monday the Saints slapped Iron Mike with a $20,000 fine....
Dating to his days as coach of the Eagles, Packers coach Ray Rhodes has a 19-game road losing streak, including Sunday's horrific 31-10 loss to the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. Rhodes hasn't won away from home since a 21-20 victory over the Jets on Dec. 14, 1996. The loss to Denver prompted Green Bay safety LeRoy Butler to remark, "The word pathetic is a little bit too nice. We're still tied for the division lead—does that say our division is crappy or what?"
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