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AROUND THE LEAGUE

Favre Says Strahan's Sack Was Legitimate

January 08, 2002|From Associated Press

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre swears he didn't take a dive against the New York Giants, even if it did look like he gift-wrapped Michael Strahan's record-setting sack Sunday.

In the closing minutes of the game, "93-blast," a run play to the left side, was sent in from the sideline. But Favre changed the call--without telling anyone--from a handoff to Ahman Green to a "keep-pass," where he rolls out on a bootleg to run with the ball or pass it.

Tight end Bubba Franks, thinking it was a run play, didn't block Strahan, who simply fell on Favre when the quarterback tucked the ball and went down.

Favre said there was good reason not to tell any of his teammates he was changing the call.

"Sometimes the best keep-pass is when your line blocks the run and has no idea," Favre said. "Sometimes if they know it's a keep, they might peek back. That's not the first time I've faked a run without anyone knowing. Sometimes it's the best play out there. I just wish I was a little bit faster."

Right tackle Mark Tauscher, who helped contain Strahan all afternoon in the Packers' 34-25 victory, came the closest to criticizing Favre.

"I'm just going to say it's disappointing. I'm not going to get into anything else. It's disappointing," Tauscher said.

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The Detroit Lions fired defensive coordinator Vince Tobin after a 2-14 season in which the team gave up the second-most points in the NFL.

Tobin joined the Lions last off-season after serving as the Cardinals' head coach from 1996-2000.

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Kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who spent three days in the hospital with a bacterial condition in his left foot, appears healthy enough to rejoin the Oakland Raiders for the first round of the playoffs.

"He actually kicked before [Sunday's game against the New York Jets] and said he felt good, but the decision was made not to have him kick," Coach Jon Gruden said. "The plan is for Sebastian Janikowski to be our kicker, and be ready to adjust."

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Quarterback Kurt Warner is expected to be ready for the St. Louis Rams' playoff run, but is being told to avoid talking for a week after taking a blow to the throat in the regular-season finale.

Warner's voice was raspy after the 31-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He said he took a knee or elbow to the throat early in the game. He played the rest of the way, completing 25 of 30 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns, though he did throw three interceptions.

Later, team doctors discovered some bleeding of the vocal cords. Team spokesman Rick Smith said it was a throat contusion and Warner was told by doctors not to talk for seven days.

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Dallas Cowboy Coach Dave Campo returned home to Dallas on Monday afternoon after an overnight stay at a Detroit hospital. Campo spent the night at Henry Ford Hospital because of flu-like symptoms after the Detroit Lions beat Dallas, 15-10, on Sunday.

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Defensive end Phil Hansen, one of the last ties to Buffalo's Super Bowl years, announced his retirement. Hansen, 33, played 11 seasons.

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