NFL notebook: Lovie's in line for extension
The NFL notebook …
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — As the NFL’s lowest paid coach, Lovie Smith led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl. He’s now in line for a contract extension.
Bears president Ted Phillips expects to work out the extension soon. Phillips said Wednesday he’s had preliminary discussions with both Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo on new deals, but talks are on hold until after the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Miami. That way, there will be no distractions.
“Lovie Smith has indicated to me he wants to be head coach of the Bears for a long time. That’s my goal. That’s the organization’s goal. I know everybody wants to make a big deal out of the fact that there is not a deal,” Phillips said.
JESSE LIKES IT
NEW YORK — The Rev. Jesse Jackson called the recent triumphs by coaches Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith “one of the great moments in American history,” a celebration of what can happen when blacks are given the opportunities to succeed at the highest levels of sports.
Dungy and Smith will become the first black coaches in the Super Bowl on Feb. 4. Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to victory in the AFC championship game Sunday, hours after Smith did the same with the Chicago Bears in the NFC championship game.
“This is one of the great moments in American history,” Jackson said. “It really is. It comes 60 years after Jackie Robinson broke through. It’s an American feel-good moment. Both are men of dignity and unblemished character.”
ATLANTA — A security video showing Falcons quarterback Michael Vick surrendering a water bottle to a security screener at Miami International Airport was erased after it was requested by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Florida’s public records law.
LEWIS IN PRO BOWL
BALTIMORE — Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens’ middle linebacker earned an eighth trip to Hawaii on Wednesday, replacing injured linebacker Al Wilson of the Denver Broncos on the AFC squad.
CLEVELAND — Alfredo Roberts has been hired as Cleveland’s new tight ends coach, replacing Ben Coates who was not retained by coach Romeo Crennel following the Browns’ 4-12 season