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Saban still with leverage after Falcons move

LSU coach Nick Saban, arguably the biggest prize in the pool for the four NFL franchises still with coaching vacancies, has jumped to the head of the wish lists of the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons, ESPN.com has learned.

Updated: January 9, 2004, 8:39 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Talk about a Thursday of mixed results for Nick Saban, arguably the highest profile candidate remaining, as NFL teams with coaching vacancies continue their searches.

On a day when Chicago Bears officials tacitly conceded what everyone has known all along -- that Saban is at the top of their wish list -- the LSU coach dropped off the Atlanta Falcons' chart completely when the club chose San Francisco defensive coordinator Jim Mora as the successor to Dan Reeves.

Falcons officials had ...

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