NFL notebook

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Associated Press

The NFL notebook …

ALAMEDA, Calif. — After setting a franchise record for losses in a season, it might be time for a new motto for the Oakland Raiders: “Just Quinn, Baby.”

Owner Al Davis’ favorite saying, “Just Win, Baby,” no longer fits after the Raiders finished their fourth straight losing season with a 2-14 record that was the team’s worst mark in more than four decades.

Oakland’s season-ending 23-3 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, coupled with Detroit’s upset win at Dallas, left the Raiders in sole possession of the worst record in the NFL. That negative comes with a reward: the No. 1 pick in April’s draft, when Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn could be the top player available.

COWHER UPDATE

PITTSBURGH — The Bill Cowher countdown began Monday for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who may soon be looking for a new coach for only the second time since 1969.

The Steelers, the first Super Bowl winner in four years to miss the playoffs the following season, held their final team meeting with Cowher on Monday. Some players felt it was exactly that — the last time they will meet with Cowher, who is clearly leaning toward resigning after 15 seasons in Pittsburgh.

“I didn’t cry. I almost did, but I didn’t,” linebacker Joey Porter. “Yeah, it was emotional because that’s my guy.”

PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Dan Morgan said Monday he’s been cleared to return to football next season despite multiple concussions.

Morgan suffered at least the fifth concussion of his career in the season opener against Atlanta and missed the rest of the season, putting his playing career in jeopardy.

But Morgan said he was in Pittsburgh last week where he took numerous tests and a team of physicians led by concussion expert Dr. Mickey Collins gave him the OK .

“It was real exciting. That was a great Christmas present, a late Christmas present,” Morgan said Monday after the Panthers’ final team meeting. “I felt great.”

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