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Culpepper to start for Raiders

August 23, 2007|From the Associated Press

Daunte Culpepper will be Oakland's starting quarterback in the Raiders' exhibition game Friday night against the St. Louis Rams.

Culpepper, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent July 31 after being released by Miami in the off-season, has been taking the majority of reps with Oakland's starters in practice this week, but Coach Lane Kiffin didn't announce his plans until Wednesday.

"I know Daunte's excited about it; I could tell when I told him," Kiffin said. "He's very excited to get a shot, so we'll see what happens."

Culpepper is the third quarterback to start for the Raiders this exhibition season. Josh McCown started against Arizona on Aug. 11, and Andrew Walter got the nod against San Francisco last Saturday. McCown will relieve Culpepper against the Rams, and Walter is No. 3 on the depth chart.

Kiffin hedged, however, when asked if he would name a starter for the regular season following the game with St. Louis.

"I don't know that," Kiffin said. "I'd like to. We'll evaluate this game and maybe we'll go into the next game and have to continue, but I'd like to."

A 25-day holdout helped make Larry Johnson the highest-paid player in Kansas City Chiefs history with a six-year, $45-million contract.

The downside is the Pro Bowl running back doesn't think he'll be ready for a full role in the season opener.

Asked Wednesday if he thought he'd be 100% ready by Sept. 9 when the Chiefs open at Houston, Johnson said, "No, it'll take a little bit more than that."

"Obviously, coaches are going to do a great job trying to get me on track to where Week 2 or Week 3 of the season I can hit my full stride," he said. "I'm going to try pick it up as fast as I can."

Jerome Bettis, the No. 5 rusher in NFL history, says in a new book that he faked a knee injury during training camp in 2000 so the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn't cut him and install Richard Huntley as the starter.

Bettis was worried offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride favored Huntley over him and the Steelers were ready to let Bettis go, partly so they wouldn't have to give him a new contract. Huntley had just signed a $4-million, three-year contract.

"Man, did I do a nice job of acting," Bettis wrote in the book, "The Bus: My Life in and Out of a Helmet." "The thing is, I wasn't faking that I had an injury. I was just faking that the injury happened on that short-yardage play. I had to fool the coaches and the team's medical department into thinking the injury had occurred on that play. Otherwise, the Steelers would have had their reason to cut me and my salary."

Eli Manning defended his decision to rip former New York Giants teammate Tiki Barber, saying there are times when players just have to react to criticism.

The quarterback also said there are also times to forgive and forget, and that he would like to put his disagreement with the halfback-turned-football-analyst behind them.

"I am fine talking to Tiki," Manning said between training camp practices at the University at Albany. "If I see him, I'll definitely talk to him. I will be friendly to him. I'm not trying to start something. It's just a deal that happened and hopefully when we see each other, and we will, it won't be awkward. I don't want it to be."

Manning's peace offering came 24 hours after he criticized Barber for attacking his leadership on the halftime show of the "Sunday Night Football" game between the Giants and Baltimore Ravens.

Randy Moss strolled through the New England Patriots' locker room with a smile and without a limp.

When it came time for the start of Wednesday's practice, though, he was a no-show -- again.

The wide receiver is one of several key players who, because of physical woes or contract problems, haven't practiced much, if at all, this summer.

Two former Pro Bowl players, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and wide receiver Troy Brown, have been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since training camp started. Cornerback Asante Samuel has held out for a new contract.

Coach Bill Belichick gave no update on Moss.

It's a boy for Bridget Moynahan and Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady.

The actress gave birth to the baby in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Moynahan's publicist Christina Papadapoulos said in a statement.

"Both mother and baby are doing well," she said.

Brady's whereabouts weren't known. He wasn't on the field or sidelines for the first 15 minutes of practice on Wednesday, and Patriots spokesman Stacey James said he didn't know when Brady would rejoin the team.

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