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Texans fire offensive coordinator

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2005

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer on Monday following the team's second straight embarrassing loss.

Joe Pendry, the team's offensive line coach, was introduced as his replacement by coach Dom Capers Monday afternoon.

''We have not performed up to our expectations,'' Capers said. ''We needed to make an adjustment to help us move forward in the direction we want to go.''

Capers and quarterback David Carr agreed that offense needs to be more consistent and hope this change will facilitate that.

Palmer, who had been the offensive coordinator since the team's inception, also called the plays.

The Texans lost to Pittsburgh 27-7 on Sunday after losing to Buffalo 22-7 in the opener. Houston has averaged the fewest yards (170.5), fewest passing yards (66.5) and points (7) in the NFL through its first two games.

In Sunday's game, Carr appeared to be confused. He was sacked eight times — the most since the expansion year in 2002 and one shy of the most in the team's 50-game history.

Against Buffalo, Houston allowed five sacks and had five turnovers.

Elway leads former NFL players in telethon for Katrina relief

NEW YORK — John Elway knew he wanted to do more than just donate money for Katrina relief.

The Hall of Famer and former Denver Broncos quarterback headlined more than 30 current and former NFL players in a fund-raising telethon Monday night for the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

''You want to get involved and be a part of something that there's a chance to raise a whole bunch of money,'' Elway said. ''We can all donate money, but you want to do more.''

The telethon, which started around 6 p.m. and was to last until midnight, was part of the NFL's ''Hurricane Relief Weekend.'' The players took turns, 12 at a time, spending between 75 minutes to 2 hours answering telephones and taking donations from callers.

The players were glad so many of their peers turned out to lend their support to the fund-raising efforts.

Tampa Bay's Williams starts strong

TAMPA, Fla. — Carnell ''Cadillac'' Williams walked into the locker room wearing a protective boot and a smile after he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got some comforting news Monday.

The sprained muscle in the rookie running back's left foot is not expected to keep him from playing in this week's game against Green Bay.

''It's not significant pain. It is sore, though,'' Williams said. ''Overall, it feels good.''

Williams rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 19-3 victory over Buffalo, becoming the first rookie to begin his career with consecutive 100-yard performances since Edgerrin James in 1999.

The fifth pick in the draft injured his foot during his final carry of the second quarter and sat out two series before lobbying coach Jon Gruden to return. He gained 19 yards on the next play, then capped the same drive with a 3-yard TD run.

Martin's status uncertain

Running back Curtis Martin has played through ankle injuries, torn ligaments, even an injured tailbone.

Can he play through pain again? Martin strained his right knee against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and his status is uncertain for this week's game against Jacksonville. Coach Herman Edwards said Monday that Martin was undergoing an MRI and would wait for the results before determining whether the back can play.

Martin, who led the NFL in rushing last season, was injured in the first quarter but stayed in the game and finished with 72 yards on 31 carries.

''We don't know where he's at,'' Edwards said. ''He's been a guy that's always answered the bell. We'll see where he's at.''

Losing Martin would be a huge blow for the Jets offense, especially since both fullbacks also got hurt.

Starter Jerald Sowell and B.J. Askew have sprained right ankles. If Martin can't play, Derrick Blaylock would start.

Also, safety Erik Coleman had surgery Monday on his right thumb, which was fractured and dislocated against the Dolphins. His status also is up in the air. If he can't play, Oliver Celestin would start.

Cardinals

Arizona coach Dennis Green came out swinging Monday against the perception that an 0-2 start indicates these are the same old Cardinals.

''It seems like too many people, whether the fans or the media, all of a sudden think this is a typical season,'' Green said. ''There is no such thing as a typical season, not for the Cardinals, not for San Diego, not for Minnesota.''

Green, whose team lost at home to St. Louis 17-12 on Sunday, repeatedly pointed out that six other NFL teams are 0-2, and they certainly haven't given up on their chances this season.

''There is nothing that makes the Cardinals unique in comparison to the other 31 teams,'' he said.

That's a tough sell in Arizona, where the team has had one winning season — and one playoff appearance — since moving from St. Louis in 1988. It is sometimes called ''the Bidwill curse,'' for owner Bill Bidwill and his sometimes antiquated and penny-pinching style. But with the influence of Bidwill's son Michael, and the team set to move into its new stadium next season, the franchise has changed many of its ways.

They brought in Green, the supremely confident coach who had success at Minnesota.

''I never once said I was going to change the stigma,'' Green said. ''What I said was I'd make the Arizona Cardinals more like me, and I'd be less like the Arizona Cardinals.''

Raiders

Oakland receiver Ronald Curry re-tore his left Achilles' tendon in just his second regular-season game back from the same injury last year and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Curry was hurt in the final 2 minutes of Oakland's 23-17 loss to Kansas City on Sunday night and an MRI on Monday revealed the tear, Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor said.

No surgery is currently scheduled for Curry. It took Curry more than eight months to return from the same injury last season.

Curry was unavailable for comment Monday, but expressed frustration over the injury Sunday night.

''I've been working since December to get back, so it's very discouraging,'' he said. ''It is what it is. You can't control it.''

Seahawks

Receiver Alex Bannister, a former Pro Bowl special teams selection, has broken his right collarbone for the third time in a year.

Coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that further examination revealed the crack in the bone. Bannister was hurt during the first half Sunday in Seattle's 21-18 win over Atlanta, and X-rays taken at the stadium came back inconclusive.

Bannister's status for the rest of the season has not been determined, but Holmgren said the injury will take at least eight weeks to heal.

''Obviously, the young man is disappointed to say the least,'' Holmgren said. ''We haven't decided what we're going to do yet.''

Jaguars

Jacksonville released receiver Chad Owens on Monday, a day after the rookie fumbled two punts and mishandled another before getting benched in a 10-3 loss at Indianapolis.

A sixth-round pick from Hawaii, Owens had been one the team's biggest surprises during training camp and the preseason. He made the roster over veteran receiver Troy Edwards and return specialist David Allen.

Coach Jack Del Rio said he hoped to re-sign Owens to the practice squad, but the 5-foot-7 receiver will have to clear waivers for that to happen.

Although Owens fumbled two punt returns, neither was lost. The first one bounced off his face mask, and safety Deke Cooper recovered it. The second one dribbled through his hands and onto the ground, but he recovered it himself.

Owens bobbled another punt between the two fumbles, but he was able to secure that one before it fell to the ground.

''I don't know what happened,'' said Owens, who set an NCAA record last season by returning five punts for touchdowns.

Falcons

Wide receiver Dez White has an ailing hamstring ... DE Brady Smith didn't play against the Seahawks after his neck began bothering him late in the week. The Falcons waited until Sunday morning before de-activating Smith, who had neck surgery over the summer and missed most of the preseason. ''We went to the stadium and took him out to run,'' Mora said. ''As he ran, he felt fine, but when you put a body on him, he could feel it.'' Bills

Linebacker London Fletcher expects to play while right tackle Mike Williams' status is uncertain for Buffalo's game against Atlanta on Sunday.

Fletcher walked without a limp in the locker room Monday after hurting his right hamstring in the second quarter of Buffalo's 19-3 loss at Tampa Bay. Fletcher said he expects to be ready Sunday after having his injury re-evaluated by team doctors.

Williams did not return after hurting his left ankle in the third quarter Sunday. He was hurt when Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber landed on the back of the tackle's left leg during Buffalo's first possession of the second half.

Titans

Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth (knee), LB Peter Sirmon (knee) and S Vincent Fuller (ankle) were among five Titans having medical tests to determine the extent of their injuries, and coach Jeff Fisher didn't share any more details Monday.

''We're currently doing tests, and we'll have information for you on Wednesday at 3 if we are able to determine exactly the nature of their injuries,'' Fisher said.

Wednesday is when NFL teams must release their first injury report for the week. Lions

Detroit cornerback Fernando Bryant separated his shoulder in the 38-6 loss to the Chicago Bears and will be out several weeks.

''We did an MRI and we are going to evaluate it again in a week,'' Lions coach Steve Mariucci said Monday. ''It is pretty severe. It is a lengthy process for him. After a week or so, we will know if we are just going to rehab it and try to get him back quickly. That would be a matter of several weeks. Or, if surgery would be required.''

Also, the Lions released kicker Remy Hamilton and signed guard David Loverne. 49ers

Anthony Clement, a veteran offensive tackle who spent seven seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, signed with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.

To make room on the roster, San Francisco waived defensive back Dwaine Carpenter.

Clement, who started 45 straight games for the Cardinals from 1998-01, was a part-time starter last season. He went to training camp with the Denver Broncos this season, but was waived.

Vikings

Wide receiver Nate Burleson and free safety Darren Sharper sustained mildly sprained left knees in the Vikings' 37-8 loss at Cincinnati.

''I'm not ruling anybody out yet,'' coach Mike Tice said.



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