Cincinnati Bengal General Manager Mike Brown has at least one supporter--Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.
Tagliabue was in Cincinnati Tuesday to address two community groups and tour Paul Brown Stadium, which opened this season.
After his tour, Tagliabue held a 20-minute question-and-answer session with reporters that was uneasy from the outset. Brown introduced Tagliabue, then stood a few feet away while the commissioner was asked repeatedly and pointedly about the 0-6 Bengals' futility.
Tagliabue urged Bengal fans to be patient. At one point, he joked that it might be his fault.
"Sometimes I wonder whether it's me because before I arrived, when Pete Rozelle was the commissioner, this was a hell of a football team when I came in 1990," he said. "And they haven't won since. Sometimes I wonder if it's something I did."
The Pittsburgh Steelers put fullback Jon Witman on injured reserve one day after he had surgery on his broken right leg. To replace Witman on their roster, the Steelers activated fullback Dan Kreider off their practice squad.
Kreider, a non-drafted free agent, was the lead blocker as NCAA Division I-AA career rushing leader Jerry Azumah rushed for 6,193 yards at New Hampshire from 1995-98. But Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, used mostly as running back Jerome Bettis' backup, is expected to be the starting fullback.
Denver Bronco offensive lineman Mark Schlereth was recovering after surgery to remove loose particles from his left knee. He's hopeful he will miss only one game.
As a precaution, the Broncos signed guard Jon Blackman to their practice squad and waived wide receiver Kevin Drake. Blackman spent the off-season playing for Berlin of NFL Europe and was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles a week before the regular season started.
The Broncos' two top receivers, Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith, have a combined 1,248 receiving yards, second in the NFL to the 1,264 by Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt of the pass-happy St. Louis Rams.