January 23, 2007 |
For all his years in the game of football, Al Lavan struggles to describe the emotions of the past couple of days. Lavan spent almost two decades as an assistant coach in the National Football League, starting in the mid-1970s as one of the few African Americans in the professional ranks. On Sunday afternoon, he watched the NFL playoffs at home in Delaware and rooted not for the teams but for their coaches -- Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts.
April 28, 1987 |
There is no denying that Tony Dungy, defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, wants to become a head coach in the National Football League. His feelings are no different from those of any other man climbing the ladder to success. What he doesn't want to become is a savior, or the leader of some social cause. Like it or not, though, Dungy has reluctantly become the people's choice as the NFL's first modern-day black head coach.
October 2, 1986 |
If ever a college player earned recognition from the pros in September as a top draft choice, Vinny Testaverde did Saturday. His scrambling and passing--he threw for four touchdowns--for Miami against top-ranked Oklahoma made Testaverde the favorite for this season's two principal prizes: the Heisman Trophy and top pick in the National Football League draft.
January 9, 1990 |
Of Roger Craig's four 100-yard performances this season, three of them (plus a 97-yard effort) have come in the last eight games. If that's an indication that the 49ers are regaining some consistency in their running game, coach George Seifert is happy to see it. The outcome of Sunday's NFC championship game at Candlestick Park between the 49ers and Rams may depend on which team can move the ball on the ground.
July 16, 1986 |
A football shoots out of the Jugs machine and flies about 70 yards downfield where the rookie stands waiting. He wants to grab it at just the right moment, but in his anxiousness he reaches too soon, and it bounces off his chest like a quarter off the floor. "You can't run before you catch the ball," the coach yells. The rookie claps his hands in disgust and trots back to the end of the line to wait his next turn. A simple mistake, perhaps.
October 14, 1993 |
It was springtime in Seattle, 18 months ago, and the ball was on the three-yard line. Napoleon Kaufman started forward, saw no opening, then, in a twinkling, veered to the other side of the line and scored, standing up. Al Lavan had a flashback. "I said, 'Wow, that looks like Tony Dorsett,' " says Lavan, who should know.