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NFL SPOTLIGHT | SIDELINES

Sounds of Silence From Shannon Sharpe

September 29, 2003|Houston Mitchell | Times Staff Writer

One of the great secrets of the universe was almost answered Sunday: How do you keep Shannon Sharpe quiet?

Sharpe claimed he was speechless after moving into 10th place on the NFL career catches list.

"I'm at a loss for words," the Bronco tight end said. But was he really?

Sharpe caught seven passes in a 20-16 victory over Detroit, giving him 766 catches -- two more than James Lofton.

Then, to ruin a special moment when he said he was at a loss for words, Sharpe went on for several minutes.

"I think I played about 13 years longer than I thought I would," the 14-year veteran said, "with about 750 catches more than I thought I'd get. So anything that came after that was gravy.

"The Super Bowls and the Pro Bowls and all the individual honors that I've achieved over the years, it's just unbelievable. Sometimes I still can't believe that this happened to a kid from Glennville, Ga."

Sharpe knew he was close to passing Lofton, noting, "I thought if I got the opportunity, I was going to keep the ball. But you get in the heat of the game and you forget all about it. At the time, I'm thinking about trying to get the ball in the end zone and helping my team win."

We'll spare you the rest, since Sharpe went on to thank virtually every coach he has played for, along with John Elway.

Suffice to say, after saying he was at a loss for words, Sharpe went on to use 209 of them.

*

Dante Hall of Kansas City has had more successful returns than Rachel on "Friends."

Hall returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown Sunday to give the Chiefs a 17-10 victory over Baltimore. It was Hall's sixth return for a touchdown in his last nine games.

* Sunday, returned kickoff for a touchdown with 5:08 left in the fourth quarter.

* Sept. 21, returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown against Houston.

* Sept. 14, returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against Pittsburgh.

* Dec. 8, 2002, Hall doubled his pleasure, returning a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown and then returning a punt 86 yards for a score against St. Louis.

* Dec. 1, 2002, returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown against Arizona.

And if that's not good enough, Hall has caught three passes for touchdowns in the same span.

*

Dallas Coach Bill Parcells had reassuring words for Jet Coach Herman Edwards after his Cowboys beat New York, 17-6, dropping the Jets to 0-4.

"I think Herman has been resilient as a coach with his team, and I think he'll do it again this year," Parcells said.

You know you've really hit rock bottom if even Bill Parcells is feeling sorry for you.

*

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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