<
>

McMichael, wife won't be charged

8/3/2004

Miami Dolphins: Prosecutors have decided not to file charges
against tight end Randy McMichael, who was arrested
and accused of hitting his wife in late June.

Assistant State Attorney Brian Trehy said Tuesday he would not
pursue charges against McMichael and his wife because the facts of
the case probably would not have resulted in a conviction in a jury
trial.

McMichael had been charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant
woman, a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years
in prison. Police arrested him and his wife at their home June 29.

His pregnant wife, Cawanna, was arrested on a domestic battery
charge. Charges against her also were not filed.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The NFL is satisfied Jerome Bettis is not
violating gambling rules.

The Steelers running back submitted documents about
a limited partnership in a $500 million development project that
could include a horse track, hotel, townhouses, stores and slot
machines.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday that Bettis "confirmed
that, No. 1, he has no intention of violating NFL rules regarding
gambling. And, No. 2, he will modify the nature of his
participation in the real-estate development if we ask him to do so."

"We are entirely satisfied with his cooperation to date and
based on his comments expect to be able to avoid problems with his
investment in this project," Aiello added.

The NFL policy on gambling prohibits players from advertising or
promoting activities "that can reasonably be perceived as
constituting affiliation with or endorsement of gambling."

Cowher sacked -- literally: Linebacker Joey Porter
got his first sack of the season during a training camp practice. Too bad it was against his coach.

Porter was lined up against running back Duce Staley during a
blocking drill, with Cowher standing in as the quarterback. Once
Porter shed Staley, he approached Cowher from behind and gave him a
shove that accidentally knocked the coach onto the ground.

Porter says it was the result of Cowher urging all players to go
hard during even routine drills. Since camp opened Friday, Cowher
has emphasized that his players must be more physical and
aggressive than they were during a 6-and-10 season last year.

Dallas Cowboys: Bill Parcells showed he can take the
knocks in training camp as well as his players.

The Dallas coach was knocked to the ground during practice
Tuesday when Cowboys tight end Jason Witten ran into him during a
passing drill.

Parcells got up smiling and didn't appear to be hurt. The coach
doesn't talk to reporters after the afternoon workout.

"I tried to help him up and he said, 'I'm all right.' So I left
it at that," Witten said. "I was scared to death. I'm sorry
coach, I'm sorry, let me help you up. That's the first thing out of
my mouth."

Atlanta Falcons: A day after agreeing to a five-year contract with
the Falcons, DeAngelo Hall reported to training camp and
attended meetings for most of the day. He missed a morning workout,
but got on the field in a night session, still the starter despite
a six-day holdout.

"I'm glad all that is taken care of so I can focus on
football," Hall said. "It was something we all were prepared for.
I met with the coaches before camp, getting ready to go.

"Now, I'm ready."

The first-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech got the largest
signing bonus package in franchise history, $13 million guaranteed.
The previous high was an $11 million bonus given to quarterback
Michael Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft. Hall was
selected eighth.

Chicago Bears: In the opening week of Lovie Smith's
first training camp as head coach, it seems the Bears are
pulling muscles faster than they are running plays.

It started in the first practice when Pro Bowl linebacker
Brian Urlacher, who's never missed a game in his four seasons, strained his right hamstring. He will be out four-to-six weeks.

The sore hamstring list includes top receiver Marty Booker, also
hurt in the first practice, tight ends Desmond Clark and
John Gilmore and wide receivers Justin Gage and Jamin Elliott.

There's running back Anthony Thomas' sore side, defensive end
Alex Brown's calf muscle that has kept him out of drills, offensive
lineman Mike Gandy's tender groin and a "stinger" suffered by Pro
Bowl kick returner Jerry Azumah.

Azumah rejoined the team Tuesday after going to Pittsburgh on
Monday for a second opinion on the injury to his shoulder and neck
area.

Azumah said Tuesday a specialist will review his MRI and other
tests before he resumes full contract drills.

Buffalo Bills: Tackle Mike Williams failed
to show for the team's practice and will be fined.

Bills president Tom Donahoe said Williams was scheduled to
attend Tuesday's session after being excused Monday for personal
reasons.

Donahoe added Williams will be fined again if he fails to attend
either of Wednesday's two practices.

"He'll be fined each day he's not here. He's under contract
with the Buffalo Bills and he should be here with his teammates,"
Donahoe said.

Donahoe reiterated statements made Monday by the team that
Williams' absence had nothing to do his demotion to second string
when camp opened Sunday. Mularkey made the move to allow Williams
time to better learn the offense after the player had missed
several minicamp sessions in June because of a death in his family.

San Diego Chargers: Doug Flutie's left knee has no structural
damage, and the 41-year-old quarterback expects to practice
Wednesday.

Flutie has been resting since Sunday, sitting out five Chargers
practices. He underwent an MRI exam to make sure there is no
significant knee injury.

Rookie quarterback Philip Rivers' return, though, isn't as
imminent. Rivers is the only top-five draft pick not in an NFL
training camp. The two sides did speak Tuesday morning, but it was
difficult to gauge any progress.

"There's nothing new to report," Chargers general manager A.
J. Smith said.

St. Louis Rams: Tom Knight was a first-round pick of the
Arizona Cardinals in 1997 when Larry Marmie was that team's
defensive coordinator, and he's hooking up with the coach again in
an attempt to resurrect his career with the Rams.

Knight signed a one-year contract and made his practice debut on
Tuesday. The Rams are a little short in the secondary due to safety
Rich Coady's persistent back problems, and Knight will be used at
that position although he's been primarily a cornerback.

Coach Mike Martz said, though, that the Rams have been looking
for more defensive backfield help for several months. This could
allow safety Aeneas Williams to also play some cornerback.

"He can play all four positions back there and that's one of
the things that makes his value so significant," Martz said of
Knight. "Larry was extremely high about him and we've got great
respect for him."

Knight was released by Tampa Bay on the eve of training camp
last week.

New York Jets: First-round pick Jonathan Vilma injured
his left calf during morning practice and sat out the afternoon session.

Coach Herman Edwards said the linebacker is day-to-day. Vilma,
the 12th overall selection out of Miami, is vying for a starting
spot with Sam Cowart in the middle.

Injuries seem to be mounting for the Jets. Defensive tackle Josh
Evans sprained his left knee and missed the afternoon
practice. Two key free-agent acquisitions, Eric Barton and Reggie
Tongue, also missed practices Tuesday. Tongue strained his left calf
over the weekend, and Barton strained his hamstring Monday.

Wide receiver Ken-Yon Rambo also is out with a strained
hamstring.

Minnesota Vikings: Center Matt Birk
returned to the Twin Cities for a follow-up examination on
a pelvic injury that has kept him out of training camp practices
the past two days.

Coach Mike Tice said the worst-case scenario is that the Pro
Bowl center would miss two or three weeks, and that he's been guaranteed
that Birk will be ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 12
against Dallas.

Birk has inflammation of a joint in his pelvis. He received an
injection Monday and is scheduled to return to the doctor Wednesday
for results of the latest exam and to determine a plan for
rehabilitation.

In Birk's place, backup Cory Withrow has been playing well. Tice
said that center Bill Conaty, who has played six seasons for
Buffalo, will be brought in Wednesday for a tryout.