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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AFC

Kotite Ends His Tenure as Jets' Coach

December 21, 1996|Associated Press

Rich Kotite stepped down as coach of the New York Jets on Friday but will coach the team's final game Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins.

"When you're 3-13 and 1-14, that just doesn't cut it," Kotite said. "If you take emotion out of this, and I did, it's clear that the head coach should step down."

He said his departure was by mutual agreement with Leon Hess, the team's owner, and Steve Gutman, its president.

Kotite gave a contradictory statement in announcing he was leaving.

"I was not fired, I am not quitting," he said, perhaps implying that as the team's general manager he could dismiss himself.

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Running back Erric Pegram limped off the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice field with a calf muscle injury that ended his season.

There was no contact, and Pegram was at a loss to explain how his right calf either tore or was strained. He was put on injured reserve, and running back Terry Richardson was promoted from the practice squad.

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