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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

He Ranks Right Up There Among the Best Candidates

January 27, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

I hope the rumor out of Dallas that Jerry Jones is interviewing Green Bay assistant Sherman Lewis for the Cowboys' head-coaching job at the behest of the NFL is merely that, a rumor.

Giving NFL officials credit for their sensitivity to the issue, they should be embarrassed. Lewis, an African American, hasn't been considered for any of 14 head-coaching jobs filled over the last two seasons, even though he's offensive coordinator for one of the league's most potent offenses.

Giving NFL officials credit for hiring good lawyers, they must also be wary of the potential class-action lawsuit threatened by a small group of African American assistants because of what they perceive as racial discrimination.

I would like to think, however, that Jones is meeting with Lewis simply because he's one of the most qualified coaches available. Lewis deserves more than a token interview.

*

Lewis, Packer defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur and Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak received almost as much attention before the Super Bowl as their head coaches. . . .

Virtually overlooked by the media was Bronco defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. . . .

That was the one mistake we made. . . .

The former assistant under Terry Donahue at UCLA devised a strategy that consistently disrupted the Packer offense with blitzes and prevented Brett Favre from roaming out of the pocket. . . .

John Elway's victory was the most popular since Dan Jansen's in Norway. . . .

The Broncos hardly veiled their criticism of Dan Reeves, their coach during three Super Bowl losses. . . .

They said they were better prepared this time because Coach Mike Shanahan put in the game plan during the week off after the AFC championship game. . . .

Reeves preferred to wait until the week of the game, when the players had difficulty concentrating because of all the distractions. . . .

Forget the hype surrounding the West Coast offense. . . .

Teams win big games by establishing the run, just as in the days of Amos Alonzo Stagg. . . .

The Broncos gained 179 yards rushing against the Packers, only 34 yards fewer than they gained in their three most recent Super Bowl losses combined. . . .

Bobby Humphrey ran for 61 yards in 1990, the most by any Bronco running back in those games. . . .

Terrell Davis ran for 64 yards in the first quarter Sunday. . . .

Green Bay Coach Mike Holmgren would feel better about his run defense's ability to remain standing through four quarters if tackle Gilbert Brown would lose weight, say about 40 pounds. . . .

Brown is listed at 345, presumed at 375 and probably tips over the scales at 400. . . .

The NFL wrote a letter to remind the Los Angeles Sports Council that the next Super Bowl available is 2005. . . .

That's good news because it indicates the NFL believes there might be a team in Los Angeles by 2005. . . .

A city can't play host to a Super Bowl unless it has a team. . . .

It also means that there will be at least 12 years between Super Bowls in Los Angeles. The longest we've ever had to wait before is six years. . . .

Alan Rothenberg, who recently joined the effort to bring an NFL team to the Coliseum, said he now believes the chances are better than 50-50. . . .

"The last time we went to an owners' meeting, they tried to find ways to avoid us," Rothenberg said last week in San Diego. "Here, some of them actually came over to greet us." . . .

What does the Super Bowl victory mean for the Broncos? . . .

Probably a new stadium, partially at taxpayers' expense. . . .

It's hard to imagine a majority of voters in Denver going against a stadium initiative this year. . . .

Elway Stadium? . . .

To prove there no longer were hard feelings between him and teammate Keyshawn Johnson, New York Jet quarterback Neil O'Donnell went to Johnson's Super Bowl party last Friday night at San Diego's Blue Tattoo. . . .

But O'Donnell did an about-face when asked to pay a $40 cover charge. . . .

Everyone else paid. The money went to the Keyshawn Johnson Scholarship Fund for at-risk youth. . . .

O'Donnell was one of the last people Johnson expected to see there. . . .

The last would have been Wayne Chrebet. . . .

Would anyone be surprised to learn that Bill Clinton's favorite football coach is Barry Switzer?

*

While wondering if the Raiders are here yet, I was thinking: The Denver Nuggets will not win as many games this season as the Broncos did, cancel those Pack-to-Pack T-shirts, I like Pittsburgh next season.

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