NFL notebook

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2007

Associated Press

The NFL notebook …

DAVIE, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins’ list of coaching candidates is becoming longer than a Nick Saban speech.

Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora, believed to be the first candidate to interview for the vacancy, met Friday with the Dolphins. They received permission to talk to Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey, a former offensive coordinator in Miami.

The Dolphins also planned to interview San Diego offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner.

Miami seeks a successor to Saban, who took the job with Alabama on Wednesday after two seasons in Miami.

Dolphins veteran Jason Taylor, honored Friday as NFL defensive player of the year, said he had no preference regarding the next coach.

“I just want to win,” Taylor said. “I don’t care who it is. There are a lot of guys who are qualified to do the job.”

STEELERS

PITTSBURGH — The last three times the Pittsburgh Steelers chose a new head coach, they went outside the organization to hire an NFL assistant coach.

This time, for only their second head coach hiring since 1969, the Steelers may not have to look outside their own practice complex.

They already have two of the league’s most-sought candidates in offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who was given the title of assistant head coach several years ago after the Bears nearly hired him away.

RAIDERS

ALAMEDA, Calif. — It took Al Davis more than five weeks to hire Art Shell as Norv Turner’s replacement as head coach of the Oakland Raiders last offseason. The Raiders are hoping to complete the search for Shell’s successor in a much shorter time frame.

Coaching changes are a regular occurrence in Oakland. After Jon Gruden left for Tampa Bay following the 2001 season, Bill Callahan was hired and lasted two years. Norv Turner then replaced Callahan and also lasted two years before Shell took over.

Oakland has won just 15 games the last four years, including a 2-14 mark this season that was the worst for the franchise since a 1-13 record in 1962.

BROWNS

CLEVELAND — Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie and tight ends coach Ben Coates won’t be back with the Cleveland Browns next season, the first departures in an overhaul of coach Romeo Crennel’s staff.

The team announced Friday that those two as well as offensive quality control coach Carl Crennel II and strength and conditioning coach John Lott will not be retained for next season.

WILLIAMS MEMORIAL SERVICE

FORT WORTH, Texas — Darrent Williams’ family and friends gathered Friday to remember the charismatic Denver Broncos cornerback who escaped the tough streets but never forgot his roots.

Thousands of mourners filed past Williams’ copper-colored casket during a memorial service at the Great Commission Baptist Church on Friday night, where Pastor Douglas E. Brown will officiate funeral services Saturday.

“We are here tonight to remember the life of this son, brother, friend, Darrent ‘Dee-Will” Williams,” Brown said. “We are here to remember his life.”

Williams was killed and two other passengers wounded when at least 14 shots were fired into the stretch Hummer that had just left a New Year’s Eve party. Williams was struck once in the neck.

Denver police said Friday they arrested Willie Clark, 23, on a parole violation and will question him about Williams’ slaying.

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