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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE AFC / EAST

Conrad Dobler Would Mind

October 20, 2000

Who is Rob Konrad and why is Bryan Cox saying all those bad things about him?

Konrad, an unheralded Miami Dolphin fullback, was minding his business, trying to get knee and ankle sprains healed in time for Monday night's first-place meeting with the Jets when Cox, a former Dolphin linebacker now with the Jets, stepped into a CNN studio and during a television interview declared, "Rob Konrad can't block his way out of a paper bag."

Konrad, who didn't see the interview, saw Cox's comments in print form, posted on the Dolphins' locker room bulletin board.

"People have told me about it and someone else showed it to me in passing," Konrad said. "Whatever. It didn't really faze me one way or the other. I've never really played against the guy. He was hurt all of last year so, to me, it's just another guy on TV speaking his mind.

"But why he's on TV blows my mind."

Konrad wasn't alone. Cox, who hasn't spoken to New York media since they reported on the linebacker's shouting match with Jet assistant Ray Hamilton during a preseason practice, dismissed the Dolphins' defense during an online chat-room session when asked if he thought the Buffalo defense was superior.

"Yes, I do," Cox replied. "I think they're better because they are more versatile. They can stop the run and the pass, and they can do it different ways each week. The Bills have a great defense."

Buffalo's defense, ranked third in the NFL, will receive its most formidable test of the season when the Bills play the Vikings in a rare visit to Minnesota. Not counting its 37-24 loss to Washington in Super Bowl XXVI inside the Metrodome, the Bills haven't played in Minnesota since 1979, when a Buffalo team coached by Chuck Knox lost to a Viking team coached by Bud Grant, 10-3.

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