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Vikings' Stringer remembered as generous

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2001

WARREN, Ohio -- With large pots of white calla lilies flanking his open black coffin, Korey Stringer was remembered Monday as a fun-loving, generous man who ''never forgot anyone.''

About 1,300 people packed the First Assembly of God church for the two-hour funeral of the Minnesota Vikings' lineman who died of heatstroke last week.

The crowd was so large that a spillover group of about 300 more had to watch the service on closed-circuit TV in an adjoining gym, while hundreds more gathered outside.

That's how much folks in Stringer's hometown in northeast Ohio loved him. The 6-foot-4, 335-pound offensive tackle was later buried there in his purple No. 77 Vikings jersey.

''He'd be shocked by all the people here today,'' Vikings teammate Cris Carter said after the service, which was closed to reporters. ''He thought he was just a normal person.''

Rookie hospitalized following Bucs practice

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay rookie tight end Dauntae' Finger was taken to a hospital for tests Monday after experiencing shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat during practice.

The seventh-round draft pick left the field sitting on the back on a cart. Later, he was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where the team said he would remain overnight for additional tests on Tuesday.

Bucs coach Tony Dungy said Finger was examined and found to have a ''high pulse rate.''

''Dauntae' is doing fine. ... We took him to the hospital and did all the tests and everything appears to be normal right now,'' Dungy said.

George undergoes MRI

CARLISLE, Pa. -- A sore right shoulder landed Washington Redskins quarterback Jeff George in a hospital Monday for tests and then on the sideline for at least a week.

George had an MRI exam on Monday, a day after he felt a ''sharp pain'' while throwing for the first time in six days. Initial readings of the test showed no major injury and confirmed the team's earlier diagnosis of tendinitis.

''There's no structural damage whatsoever,'' coach Marty Schottenheimer said. ''We're just going to take some rest. We were headed in the right direction before, but we just didn't take it long enough. I have no idea how long it will be.''

Brees inks pact with Chargers

SAN DIEGO -- Drew Brees, the record-setting quarterback from Purdue, agreed to a four-year contract Monday night with the San Diego Chargers.

The deal is worth roughly $10 million and includes a signing bonus of close to $2 million, a source close to the negotiations, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press.

Brees, the first pick in the second round of April's draft, is expected to battle former CFL star Dave Dickenson for the No. 2 spot behind Doug Flutie.

Brees, who missed the Chargers' first 19 practices, is expected to be at Tuesday afternoon's practice.

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson is now the Chargers' only unsigned draft pick.

Agent Tom Condon, who represents both Brees and Tomlinson, said the sides are continuing to negotiate a deal for the fifth overall pick. But, he added, ''I wouldn't characterize them as being close.''

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KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) -- New England Patriots quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein died of heart failure. Rehbein, 45, had heart disease, and his heart was being electronically paced. On Monday, his heart stopped, and doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital were unable to revive him.

Rehbein coached for 23 seasons in the NFL, with Green Bay, Minnesota, the New York Giants and New England.

The team canceled practice following the announcement of Rehbein's death.

Wide receiver Terry Glenn once again was absent from camp. Glenn did not return Sunday after he was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Team officials have no idea where Glenn is. He can train and play until the suspension takes effect Sept. 3. Glenn's agent, James Gould, appealed the suspension, but the appeal was denied by the NFL and Gould has threatened to sue the league, claiming the provisions of the policy deny players due process.

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MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -- Instead of a scrimmage in front of cheering fans, the Vikings held a subdued workout while coach Dennis Green led a delegation of 14 players to the funeral of Korey Stringer.

About 1,000 fans, half the usual number, turned out for the session, many leaving balloons, bouquets and signs in tribute to Stringer. The starting tackle died of heatstroke after practice last week, and was buried Monday in Warren, Ohio.

A scheduled scrimmage against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday was canceled.

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UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. (AP) -- Lions running back James Stewart slightly strained his right hamstring. Stewart, who rushed for a career-high 1,184 yards in 2000, was expected to lighten his workload following Tuesday's scheduled day off. Detroit opens its exhibition season against the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday.

''Stewart has a little twinge in his hamstring, and we backed him out of practice,'' Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg said. ''At this point, we don't believe it's very serious.''

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WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) -- Harry Swayne, who started 13 games for the Ravens last year, including the Super Bowl, is the ideal replacement for the injured Leon Searcy.

Searcy underwent surgery Monday on a torn triceps tendon in his left arm and will miss 10-to-12 weeks.

The 36-year-old Swayne took a pay cut and returned for a 15th NFL season, expecting to serve as a backup to Searcy, signed away from Jacksonville as a free agent.

''The good thing about it is that I had a whole lot of years of practice as a starter,'' Swayne said. ''It was kind of hard for me to take a backup role after being a starter for so long, but now I got a reprieve and I'm comfortable with that.''

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- The Jets began auditions for punt returner in the absence of top draft pick Santana Moss, who is gone for as much as three months after knee surgery.

Fielding punts during practice were two starters, wide receiver Wayne Chrebet and cornerback Aaron Glenn, plus second-year wideout Laveranues Coles and newcomers Kevin Swayne, Matt Farmer and James Rooths.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jacksonville Jaguars safety Craig Miller retired, four days after being carried off the field on a stretcher following a neck injury.

X-rays and the MRI exam on Miller's neck were negative, and Miller was expected back at practice this week.

However, Miller, a second-year safety out of Utah State who played in four games with Jacksonville last season, decided to retire over the weekend.

Also, offensive tackle Mark Baniewicz tore the triceps muscle in his left arm and will be out indefinitely.

Receiver Keenan McCardell is nursing a sore groin and backup quarterback Jamie Martin has a sprained toe and ankle; both may have to sit out of Friday's preseason opener against Carolina.

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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) -- The Denver Broncos returned to the practice without running back Terrell Davis and fullback Howard Griffith.

Davis was held out of practice because of tightness in his right hamstring and swelling in his right knee. Griffith is bothered by a pinched nerve in his neck, which has caused numbness and weakness in his right arm.

The Broncos released wide receiver Muneer Moore and signed wideout Chris Doering.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair participated in drills, ending a short layoff to rest a tired shoulder.

McNair was held out of three days of work with the Indianapolis Colts, and had his shoulder tested after reporting a sore shoulder last Wednesday.

''The arm felt fine,'' coach Jeff Fisher said. ''That's the important thing right now. Once we get past the arm, now we have to get the technique, the fundamentals and footwork and all those kind of things back because those kind of things can slip real quick.''



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