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AROUND THE NFL

Jets Are Asked to Fire Instant-Replay Advisor

September 04, 2002|Times News Services

The NFL asked the New York Jets to fire 78-year-old advisor Tony Veteri from his role in making instant-replay decisions because his son is a head linesman in the league.

Veteri, a former official who worked four Super Bowls during a 24-year career, was hired to help Coach Herman Edwards decide when to ask for an instant-replay review of officials' calls. Veteri also was teaching the Jets how to avoid penalties.

The league asked the team to dismiss him because his son Tony is a head linesman and it might pose a conflict of interest, Jet spokesman Ron Colangelo said.

"The NFL contacted us and thought it was in the best interest of all parties that Tony not continue in that capacity," Colangelo said. "We obliged the NFL's wishes."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the situation raised a potential conflict because "the club would have preferential access to an official. Not only was he a former supervisor, but we'd have to switch Tony Jr.'s assignments so he wouldn't be officiating Jets' games."

Veteri can work with the team during practices.

Jet General Manager Terry Bradway didn't immediately return calls.

The younger Veteri, reached at his father's home, said the officials' contract bans them from talking to the media. The elder Veteri didn't return calls.

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Kansas City tackle Willie Roaf, who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of drunken driving, will face no disciplinary action from the team.

Roaf, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection with New Orleans, is in his first season with the Chiefs.

"Willie and I talked about it. I don't really plan any discipline," Chief Coach Dick Vermeil said. "I'm not a big fine guy. I think sometimes the greatest punishment is self. He's embarrassed about it."

Roaf was not available for comment.

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Seattle gave linebacker Chad Brown, 32, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-year contract extension that begins after his original six-year deal ends after this season.

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Matt Bryant, who was cut by the New York Giants on Friday, became the team's starting kicker Tuesday when Owen Pochman was put on injured reserve because of a knee injury. Bryant, 27, hasn't kicked in a regular-season game since playing at Baylor in 1998.

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Former Seattle Seahawk receiver Brian Blades, 37, accepted a plea deal in Miami that allows him to avoid jail time for charges stemming from a brawl at a bar in July.

As part of the deal, Blades was sentenced to two years probation, must perform 100 hours of community service, enroll in an anger control course, and undergo a substance-abuse evaluation.

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