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NFL notebook

Associated Press

The NFL notebook …

IRVING, Texas — Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary has been a motivational speaker, written four books and co-founded a company that provides leadership training since his playing career ended. On Tuesday, he made his pitch to be head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Singletary was the eighth — and most likely last — candidate to be interviewed by Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones about replacing retired coach Bill Parcells.

“I thought it went pretty well,” Singletary said. “I must admit that we were at the (Senior Bowl) and we were coaching and I was listening to the process, and did not know if I would get a call or not. But when I did, I was very pleased and not really surprised.”

Singletary was a late addition to the Cowboys’ coaching search. He didn’t get a call until after Jones talked Sunday to San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator and former Cowboys assistant Norv Turner, who is still viewed by many as a front-runner for the job.

Jones last week interviewed Cowboys secondary coach Todd Bowles, who is black, thus fulfilling an NFL requirement for a minority candidate. Singletary is also black.

“There are a number of other African-Americans out there that could have gotten this call and did not. For me, it’s just one of those things that goes along with the territory,” Singletary said.

RAIDERS

The Raiders hired former Atlanta offensive coordinator Greg Knapp to fill the same job in Oakland, giving first-year coach Lane Kiffin an experienced coordinator to ease his transition from college to the NFL.

Knapp spent the previous three seasons with the Falcons before being let go when coach Jim Mora was fired after the season and replaced by Bobby Petrino.

COLTS KICKER

MIAMI — Indianapolis Colts place kicker Adam Vinatieri connected on two Super Bowl-winning field goals while he was a member of the New England Patriots, the first of which came against the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. Among the Rams’ coaches feeling the anguish from that close loss was their defensive coordinator, Lovie Smith.

Now Smith has brought the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl as a head coach — and again will face the best clutch kicker in NFL history in Sunday’s matchup with the Colts.

“He’s done it to a lot of teams since then,” Smith said. “We just hope we don’t put him in that position again.”

He still recalls the Rams’ loss vividly.

“What I remember about that Super Bowl is the feeling after the loss,” he said. “It never goes away. I’d like to see how it feels on the other side.”

YEAR OF THE GATOR

Bears defensive end Alex Brown said a victory could help make this the Year of the Gator.

Brown played for the University of Florida, which boasts national champions in football and basketball. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, safety Todd Johnson and defensive tackle Ian Scott also played at Florida.

THE NEW FRIDGE?

There has been speculation that Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher could be used on offense Sunday.

But Smith said it won’t happen.

“Brian is a middle linebacker,” he said. “You wouldn’t put Dick Butkus at tight end.”

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