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O'Leary Is Named Vikings' Defensive Coordinator

January 09, 2003|From Associated Press

George O'Leary was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, replacing Willie Shaw, who was fired.

O'Leary, who resigned as coach at Notre Dame after only five days in 2001 when he admitted he lied on his resume, takes over a defense that ranked 26th in the NFL this season.

The Vikings ranked 10th in the league against the run and 29th against the pass this season.

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Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks easily topped Miami end Jason Taylor for the NFL defensive player-of-the-year award.

Brooks led his team in tackles (170) for the fifth consecutive season and led the NFL with three interception returns for touchdowns.

Brooks received 36 votes from a nationwide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL. Taylor, who led the league with 18 1/2 sacks, got 11 votes and Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins earned the only other vote.

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Former Dallas Cowboy coach Dave Campo interviewed to be the Cleveland Browns' defensive coordinator. Campo met with Brown Coach Butch Davis for about six hours.

Campo also has interviewed with Seattle Coach Mike Holmgren for the Seahawks' vacant defensive coordinator's position.

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Georgia running back Musa Smith will make himself eligible for the NFL draft after rushing for 1,324 yards this season to help the Bulldogs win their first Southeastern Conference championship since 1982.... Florida State receiver Anquan Boldin will pass up his senior year to make himself eligible for the NFL draft, but teammate Michael Boulware, a junior linebacker, decided to stay for another season. Florida junior defensive lineman Clint Mitchell will also make himself eligible for the draft.... Chicago Bear quarterback Jim Miller underwent surgery to repair a partial tear to the rotator cuff in his right shoulder and should be ready by training camp.... The Detroit Lions fired wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey and linebacker coach Glenn Pires.

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