It's just 'plane' luck: Bears' McClover is Super

Darrell McClover is part of a Super Bowl team in large part because he happened to have a stopover at Midway Airport.

The linebacker's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had lined up a workout for McClover with the Detroit Lions in October, but McClover didn't get a direct flight from Florida.

"I was connecting through Midway," McClover recalled. "Drew called me and said, 'Stay in Chicago. Don't go anywhere. They're sending a limo and it will be there in 15 minutes. I think they want to sign you.' "

The Bears did indeed sign McClover. And come Sunday, instead of being unemployed or being idle as a Lion, he'll be trying to help the Bears beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI as a key part of the team's kickoff coverage and return units.

Winslow's knee surgery deemed a success

No one will ever know how much pain Kellen Winslow Jr. endured as he played through the 2006 season, but in the end his sore knee definitely affected the way he played and his ability to jump.

"I was playing on one leg," he said in late December.

Next season should be better. On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Miniaci performed arthroscopic surgery on Winslow's right knee to clean out scar tissue from previous surgeries and repair cartilage. The operation was performed at the Cleveland Clinic.

The operation was a success, the Browns reported, adding Winslow has been discharged from the hospital and is expected to make a complete recovery. While discussing the pending surgery, Winslow in December said he would do his rehab in Miami.

Return man Hester Bears' gamebreaker

MIAMI - Some guys look fast when they walk. Devin Hester looks fast when he walks outside his Miami hotel.

Some guys look fast when they stand. Hester looks fast when he stands at Dolphins Stadium.

Nobody looks fast when they sit. Yet Hester looks fast as he sits at a table, the legs on his 5-foot-11, 196-pound frame built for speed.

As a senior at the University of Miami, Hester ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds.

Think about it. In the time it takes some guys to get out of a chair, Hester is 40 yards away.

A brother gone still the brother Wayne needs

INDIANAPOLIS — Reggie Wayne stares blankly into his locker.

He is visiting with his brother again. It happens a lot these days, since that cold September night when he first heard he had lost Rashad in a traffic accident.

The Indianapolis receiver stares at the photo held in place by a Colts horseshoe, the one of Rashad looking confident in dark glasses, posing next to his dilapidated teal Ford Mustang. Sometimes, it makes Wayne laugh to remember his brother's fascination with those jalopies.

Not today, though. Today he is lost in prayer as he stares at the picture, the one he decided would always be with him, since the day he and his oldest brother cleaned out Rashad's apartment in New Orleans.

"Every morning, every time before I go to bed, at halftime, I talk to him," Wayne says later.

Bears' Hester Emerges From the Tall Grass

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 29 — The players who grow up by the sugar-cane farms like to say that they get their speed from racing jackrabbits along country roads.

The players who grow up on the coast like to say that they get their speed from running through sand pits on the hottest summer days.

And the players who grow up in Riviera Beach, Fla., like to say that they get their speed from a football field with no grounds crew.

“The grass isn’t mowed here in the winter, so it gets really high and thick,” 15-year-old Tavis Hester said. “It kills your legs, but it also builds them. My grandfather played on this field. My uncle played here. And, you know, my brother played here.”


Indy's Wayne still brother's keeper

MIAMI - All week long, Reggie Wayne has met the Super Bowl media with open arms while teammates such as Marvin Harrison have squirmed under the spotlight.

Wayne, a former University of Miami standout, will answer just about any question that comes his way.

However, there is one topic he wishes would be off-limits - the death of his brother Rashad.

The Colts wide receiver has tried his best to deflect questions about his older brother, who died at 32 when the delivery truck he was driving smashed into a highway guardrail in Louisiana last Sept. 24.

Robert Hite Waived by Heat

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed free agent guard Eddie Jones and requested waivers on guard Robert Hite.


Dickerson likes Gore's chances at rushing mark

MIAMI - As his last act of the season, Frank Gore vowed to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record next season. The 49ers running back made his vow on New Year's Day, proclaiming, ``Yeah, I'll get that.''

Dickerson, 46, had been unaware of that comment until Thursday. Upon hearing Gore's boast, the Hall of Fame running back delivered a surprising, diplomatic response: He laughed.

``I said the same thing to O.J.,'' Dickerson said.

Edgerrin James is Homeless in Arizona

It's amazing to think that a $30 million Cardinals running back doesn't have a place in Arizona to call his own but that is precisely the case for Edgerrin James. Obviously this is not to say James doesn't have a personal residence. In fact he owns an extremely nice home of his own in Miami, Florida. At any given time James could likely buy our own homes with the cash he carries in his pocket, yet he chooses to live at the Cardinals facility in Arizona during the season.

During a short Q&A session with, Edge explained why he doesn't own a place in the desert.

"I live at the Cardinals facility. That's my address. I don't have nothing to do but work. That's all I want to do" James said

Birthday Bash for Marcus Maxey


Drew Rosenhaus throwing a party with Shockey, Edge and more!


MOBILE VILLA -- Super Agent Drew Rosenhaus hosts a late-night party for his multitude of Superstar NFL clients including Giants Jeremy Shockey,
Cardinals Edgerrin James, Redskins Clinton Portis, Bills Willis McGahee and Cowboys Terrell Owens.

790 The Ticket's CEO and President Joel Feinberg has taken over the former "Versace Mansion," transforming it into the Boost Mobile Villa, the only place to be for Super Bowl XLI.

Edge in middle of action with Colts

MIAMI - Much of the time, the Indianapolis Colts talk of Edgerrin James like he is a fallen soldier. A man lost on the arduous journey to Super Bowl XLI.

They wouldn’t have gotten here, former teammates such as Peyton Manning and Dominic Rhodes say, without Edge’s contributions. James isn’t dead. He just isn’t a Colt, toiling instead for the Cardinals after trading any chance to stay with his Indianapolis buddies for $30 million in the desert.

And no one understands that more than Edge.

“I got what I wanted, and (the Colts) got what they wanted,” James said without a hint of regret. “It is business. It is football.”

Gore's message to Turner: Stay with 49ers

MIAMI - Frank Gore tried calling Norv Turner last week but got his voice mail. That's understandable since Turner is a man in demand these days as a leading candidate to coach the Dallas Cowboys.

But Gore, who set a team rushing record, wants Turner to stick with the 49ers -- and called to tell him so. He doesn't want the 49ers to lose the offensive coordinator after just one promising season.

``It would hurt,'' Gore said Wednesday from Super Bowl headquarters, where he was part of an awards ceremony. ``We need him to stay. With the young team that we have, we could keep getting better and better. Last year from the first week to the last week we kept improving every game. You could see it.''

Hester's spectacular, but is he the best?

Miami - Former Broncos superstar return man Rick Upchurch has watched Chicago Bears rookie Devin Hester's spectacular season.

This season, Hester has an NFL record six returns for touchdowns - with one game remaining. Five of the six were at least 83 yards. Hester has been compared to the great return men of all-time. While Upchurch said Hester has been amazing, he is not ready to crown him the best.

"Gale Sayers was a tremendous returner of his era," Upchurch said. "Travis Williams was a tremendous return man of his era. Billy 'White Shoes' Johnson was a tremendous return man of his era. Brian Mitchell did some tremendous things.

"Devin Hester clearly is a great returner and will be one of the greats of his era, but there have been so many great returners that I can't say he'll be the best of all time."

Upchurch said Hester has a combination of speed and field vision that make him special. He also said the Bears' special-teams unit is excellent.

"It takes all 11 guys on the field to make it happen," Upchurch said. "With the Broncos, I used to map out a plan with my teammates during the week and follow the plan. It looks like the Bears and Hester have a similar connection going."


Colts Face Tough Task Corralling Bears' Hester

(AP) FT. LAUDERDALE The mere thought of trying to corral Devin Hester kept Indianapolis' special teams coach wide awake last week.

Russ Purnell isn't getting much rest in South Florida, either.

"I slept about four hours for four nights," Purnell said. "He's extremely talented and his blockers are outstanding. That's what really gets lost in this is how good his blockers are."

Regardless of who's out in front, Hester has been the one finishing off the runs, often ending up in the end zone.

Bears are on to something with Hester

MIAMI — You think you've got this Super Bowl figured out. You go down the checklist one final time.

Peyton Manning? Advantage, Colts. Big-game experience? Colts. Receivers? Colts again.

Defense? Bears. Takeaways? Bears. Running game? Bears. In the end, it's not that complicated. If the Colts protect the football, they'll win Super Bowl XLI. Defensively, the Bears are good, but not good enough. Offensively, they can't win unless Rex Grossman plays better than he did in the NFC Championship Game.

Unless, that is, the Bears have a secret weapon. You're on the clock, Devin Hester. Your 15 minutes may be about to begin.

NFL SUPER STAR Jonathan VILMA Signs With WaterBank of America (USA) Inc. as Spokesperson for ICEROCKS(R), Secured Spring Water Ice Cubes

MIAMI, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 01, 2007 -- WaterBank of America (USA) Inc. (OTCBB: WBKA), developer and marketer of innovative water products, has signed a multi-year agreement with Jonathan Vilma, the NFL's 2004 Defensive Rookie of the year and captain of the New York Jets, to be a spokesperson for the Company's hygienic, secured ice cubes branded as ICEROCKS®.

Jonathan Vilma, 24, is considered one of the hottest young stars in the National Football League and he is a natural fit as a spokesperson for ICEROCKS®. Over the last 2 seasons, he has emerged as one of the best all around players on the team, and the leader of the Jets' defense. He is considered by many the perfect combination of speed, power and agility. Known for his extraordinary speed for a linebacker, running the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, Jonathan led the NFL in tackles in 2005 earning him his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Jonathan was named as a Board Member of the National Football Foundation's Play It Smart Program, launched in 1998 as an educational program designed to use football as a vehicle to foster the academic, personal and career development of at-risk student athletes. At University, Jonathan was a three-time Academic All-Big East Conference and two-time Butkus Award nominee at the University of Miami. He led the Hurricanes in tackles in each of his last three seasons. For further information, please visit:

Big returns on Bears' investment

MIAMI — Rookie sensation Devin Hester detailed the skills that led to his NFL-record six regular-season returns for touchdowns and cast him as a breakaway threat for the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

The Pro Bowler knows where each return is designed, and he does everything to stick to the plan. But there also are times when something — he's never sure what — dictates a split-second decision to go against the plan, anything to make the first tackler hurtling toward him miss.

Hester sometimes gives ground before starting upfield, but not always. He sees defenders and openings, but he also senses them.

He is quick to credit his blockers while also attributing much of his unprecedented success to God-given talent. A tattoo on his back offers a Biblical quotation: "No weapon that is formed against me shall be able to prosper."

Reggie Wayne Update

Overheard at Colts Media Day:

This week the Bears are practicing at UM and the Colts are using the Dolphins’ facility in Davie.

Colts wideout Reggie Wayne, a former UM star, is a little jealous.

“Yeah, that hurt me a little bit,” he said Tuesday. “I wish I could have gone back and got my old locker. That’d probably give me a little extra enthusiasm in practice.”


Colts call Bears' Hester 'a nuclear weapon'

MIAMI -- It almost could turn out too perfectly for Devin Hester, who grew up as the fastest kid in the neighborhood north of here in Riviera Beach.

The Chicago Bears kick and punt return specialist has the ability to change his homecoming and Sunday's Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium with a play or two.

He set an NFL record with six kick returns for touchdowns this season, and the Indianapolis Colts arrived in town talking about him being an X-Factor, and even nuclear.

Devin Hester "It's Very Special"

(on thoughts on the Bears ’85 team)“They made it in ’85 and it’s been a while since they’ve been back. This is my first year as a rookie and there are some great players that we’re playing with now. I’m going to go out this year and try to prove to ourselves that we’re capable of being as good as they were and hopefully be able to win the Super Bowl.”

(on what you remember about the Bears ’85 team)“They were a more dominant team. They were more vicious ultimately around that time, and they dominated every team they played. And where they took over the ballgame, and that’s what we’re trying to bring back to the Chicago Bears now, just a more physical team that’s willing to go out each and every play and come out with the victories.”

(on liking the underdog role during the season)
“Right, most definitely, because it not only gets you fired up, but it puts a chip on your shoulder, and that chip just being on your side sitting on your shoulder lets you know that we have something to prove. That’s the way we’ve been playing all year. Every game this year we’ve been playing, we’ve had the opposite team winning, and for us to come out like we did this year and produce the way we did is a great honor. Like I said, we’re the underdog in this game and that’s the way we like it, and that’s the way we’re going to go out and play.”

John Salmons Update

John Salmons has emerged as the key man off the bench for the Kings, handed a larger role than he's ever had and responding with an improved A/T ratio and a career high in blocks.


McClover's heart stays with prep coach - Bears linebacker invites Bell and wife to game.

MIAMI GARDENS · Chicago Bears linebacker Darrell McClover, a Coconut Creek High School graduate, didn't forget his high school coach.

McClover had tickets for Grantis Bell, now the girls' track coach and guidance director at Fort Lauderdale High, and his wife, Carla, when the Bears beat New Orleans in Chicago to win the NFC championship.

"We have stayed in touch since I left high school [1999]," McClover said, "and I wanted him there."

Bell, a former Northeast High star, and his wife will also be at Dolphin Stadium for Super Bowl XLI.

Update on Soon To Be ProCanes

Among the UM players we hear helped themselves in all-star games: Baraka Atkins (''very impressive -- a second or third rounder,'' Next Level Scouting's John Murphy said); Brandon Meriweather (some consider him a second-rounder) and Tyrone Moss (''he showed burst in practice and his weight was down to 233,'' Murphy said).

Though Murphy projects
Moss as a ''solid second-day guy'' (rounds 4 through 7), Moss predicted he will ''most definitely'' be a first-day pick. But Kareem Brown -- a likely second-day pick called an ''underachiever'' by ESPN's Mel Kiper -- had trouble getting off blocks in Senior Bowl practices.
Ryan Moore, at an all-star game in Las Vegas this week, has the talent to be a first-day pick, Murphy said. But Moore says he must show teams ''what kind of person I am'' because of off-field incidents at UM.


Ray Lewis pulls out of Pro Bowl with injury

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis withdrew from the Pro Bowl because of a hand injury he sustained in a playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Lewis' place on the AFC roster will be filled by teammate Bart Scott, who was an alternate and will be making his first appearance in the game in Honolulu.

Lewis was a first alternate who replaced injured linebacker Al Wilson of the Denver Broncos. He led the Ravens' top-ranked defense with 164 tackles, the ninth time in his 11-year career he finished as Baltimore's leading tackler. He also had five sacks and two interceptions.

Scott finished with 130 tackles, second to Lewis, and had 91/2 sacks and two interceptions.

The Ravens will have six players at the Pro Bowl. Safety Ed Reed, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and outside linebacker Adalius Thomas were picked to be starters. Linebacker Terrell Suggs and cornerback Chris McAlister will head to Hawaii as reserves.


Taking the Edge off: James not bitter at Colts' success

MIAMI -- Edgerrin James is a better man than I, at least when it comes to athletic ability, energy (the man views sleep as an occasional indulgence) and decency.

James is the star running back whom the Colts would not pay like one, and last March, after seven successful years in Indy, he signed a four-year, $30-million deal with the Arizona Cardinals. James promptly struggled behind a dubious offensive line and suffered through the worst season of his life; the Colts, meanwhile, plugged in rookie Joseph Addai and James's former backup, Dominic Rhodes, and finally won a conference championship.

Wouldn't you be at least a tad bitter? I know I would. But not James who, each of the 30 times I've asked him, smiles and swears he's rooting for Indy without a trace of ambivalence.

Irvin, Kooch hope Hall of Fame calls

Two NFL greats with strong South Florida ties hope their Hall of Fame dreams finally become reality Saturday.

Former UM and Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin -- again among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football HOF in his third year of eligibility -- said being elected while in South Florida for the Super Bowl ``would blow my mind, with all my brothers and sisters and university there. That is my home.

``The experience of walking the Hall with [inductee Troy Aikman] last year was incredible, and now it's even more important to me. I have 8- and 9-year old boys now, and we eat, sleep and breathe football. It makes me want to get in that much more .''

Irvin said being passed over two years ago ''was pretty devastating. I cried myself to sleep.'' Last year, he joked with ''as big an ego as I have,'' he would have loved to be inducted with Troy. He spoke of what would be the ''depth of disappointment'' if he's passed over Saturday.


Winslow undergoes knee surgery

CLEVELAND Browns tight end Kellen Winslow underwent arthroscopic surgery today to remove scar tissue and repair cartilage damage in his right knee.

Winslow was released from the Cleveland Clinic and is expected to make a full recovery. Team physician Anthony Miniaci performed the surgery.

Winslow injured the knee in motorcycle accident in May 2005.

He started all 16 games for Browns last season, often playing in pain and limited in his blocking ability because of the knee.

Winslow tied the team's single-season receptions record with 89.


Hester's nurturing roots paid off with winning returns

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – To get to the place where Devin Hester first dodged tackles as a kid, you must travel to the area Hurricane Wilma devastated in 2005, when it spiked a tree into his mother's house, when it shut down football for weeks. You hang a left onto Avenue H West, at The Blue Heron Church of God, and there sits Suncoast Community High School.

There is a marquee out in front, and on it reads: “We're the No. 7 best school in the U.S.A.” It is the school where Anthony Carter, one of the all-time great receivers, played football. It is the school where the younger Hester, now the Chicago Bears' record-setting rookie return man, was Reggie Bush without portfolio.

So, you would think, with the Bears playing the Colts on Sunday in Super Bowl XLI about an hour down the road, that the sign would read: “Home of Devin Hester!” No, if Hester – or Carter – went to Suncoast, the only proof of it is on their graduation certificates. No photos. No retired jerseys. No trophies.

Ethenic Sands Update

Estero, FL- With the start of the 2007 season just 2 months away, the Florida Firecats announced that this years’ team will look a lot like that of the 2006 season, including many of the same faces. The following players have signed to play with the Firecats again this season.
#4 Ethenic Sands – Sands will suit up for his 3rd season with the Firecats. The former Miami Hurricane finished 2nd on the team hauling in 89 passes for 895 yards and 31 TD’s last year.

(Florida FireCats Media Release)

Magic Benton Update

Estero, FL- With the start of the 2007 season just 2 months away, the Florida Firecats announced that this years’ team will look a lot like that of the 2006 season, including many of the same faces. The following players have signed to play with the Firecats again this season.
#1 Magic Benton – The franchises’ and af2’s all-time leading receiver in yards, receptions and touchdowns is returning for his 7th season. Magic remains the only player to have been on the Firecats roster since the team’s inaugural game in 2001.

(Florida FireCats Media Release)

Indy takes aim on Hester

Miami - Devin Hester - electrifying and explosive on the field, mellow and shy off it - was told upon his arrival at the Super Bowl on Sunday that the Indianapolis Colts plan to put some defensive starters on special teams as a preventive measure to stop Hester, the most dynamic NFL returner in years.

So, Devin, what are your thoughts on coach Tony Dungy's plan?

"I think it's a great idea," said Hester, a second-round pick.

Hester wasn't cocky in his answer. He wasn't trying to be humorous. He just said it, and was spot on. The only way to have a chance against Hester is to reinforce.

60 seconds with Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp

What's your favorite South Beach hangout?
Nah (don't have one). When I came to school (in the early 1990s), it wasn't South Beach then. You didn't come out here unless you were lost or you were looking for cocaine.

Your Miami Hurricanes won seven games this season including a bowl. Is it fair to expect new coach Randy Shannon to win at least eight games his first season?
You really need to ask me that? Yeah, he's expected to win eight games, but soon they'll be talking about 12-0 in training camp. Randy Shannon knows exactly what that university is all about. He'll put it exactly where it is supposed to be - on top. He's going to bring us a ring.

ESPN has set up camp here in South Beach this week. Who is your favorite network personality?
Dan Patrick. En fuego. All day.

Colts or Bears?
Indy 20-17.

James happy to see Colts in Miami, forecasts Bears loss

MIAMI — Edgerrin James' cellphone has been blowing up. Some good friends have a bit of Super Bowl XLI business, but before buckling down, there's sightseeing to do.

James, who attended the University of Miami, lives here during the offseason and knows all the hot spots. No wonder he was eagerly awaiting the Monday night arrival of the Indianapolis Colts, who finally advanced to the Big Game — without him.

"This is like the only night we'll have to hang out," James said Monday afternoon before heading to the Colts hotel. "It's like I told them, I don't have a curfew, but they do. I'm going to make sure that my boys won't get in trouble."

After six seasons in Indianapolis, James signed a free agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals last spring. He doesn't sound bummed the Colts reached this point in their first season since his departure.

Colts' Wayne still feels loss of brother

INDIANAPOLIS — In the aftermath of his older brother's death Sept. 24, Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne knew there was one person close to him who truly would understand his emotional turmoil.

Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy was just nine months removed from his son James' suicide.

"Obviously, he experienced a lot that I experienced," said Wayne last week as the Colts prepared for the Super Bowl.

"You are at a situation in your life when you are at the lowest point and just to hear from somebody that has actually been through it, it helps you out a lot," Wayne said. "Coach Dungy is a strong man, a strong soul, so he knows exactly what's going on. Just him giving me some advice was huge for me."

For Hester, Rookie Season Has Been a Distance Memory

MIAMI, Jan. 29 -- Basketball star Tamara James had plenty of reason to needle Devin Hester, her football-playing boyfriend during their years at the University of Miami. The Washington Mystics, after all, picked her in the first round of the WNBA draft last April 5. Three weeks later, Hester, one of the most electrifying players in Miami history, dropped into the second round of the NFL draft before the Chicago Bears selected him.

James might have been entitled to proclaim herself the most highly regarded rookie in their relationship, but she couldn't bear to do it. She recalled too vividly one of several cellphone calls during the NFL draft she received from Hester, his anxiety over when he would be selected turning into tears and humiliation when the Tennessee Titans failed to pick him minutes after saying they would.

He was beginning to think he had made the mistake of his life, opting out of his senior season at Miami.

"That was his lowest moment," she said. "It was hard to see him that upset."

Colts' Wayne draws inspiration from his deceased brother

INDIANAPOLIS · The reaction began modestly enough.

Last week's Heat-Pacers basketball game was heading into the fourth quarter at Conseco Fieldhouse when the in-house cameras caught Reggie Wayne sitting courtside.

A few cheers went up, and then, as the public-address announcer informed the crowd it was indeed in the presence of the Colts' Pro Bowl receiver, the volume started to build.

Wayne gave a small wave. More cheers and chants of "Re-ggie," the way they used to salute former Pacers great Reggie Miller.

The football star broke out laughing, embarrassed by the attention. Louder cheers. Another wave.

Bears have arrived, so has former 'Cane

MIAMI The Chicago Bears arrived for Super Bowl XLI on Sunday, and return man Devin Hester came back to familiar territory as a proven threat and difference maker after leaving the University of Miami following his junior year as a player of unrealized potential.

As a rookie, Hester has done what he never did in three seasons with the Hurricanes. He established himself as the kind of game-breaker other teams fear enough to keep the ball out of his hands on kickoff and punt returns.

He was criticized for not having a position with the Hurricanes, and the coaching staff was equally criticized for not getting him more touches. Critics doubted if he was ready for the NFL.

"I felt that a lot of people were doubting me and saying that I wasn't going to be able to do this and that I wasn't going to be able to do that," said Hester, who attended Suncoast High. "My mom and I talked, and I said, `It's just another test, and I've got to go out and prove to the guys that are doubting me that I'm capable of being in the NFL and playing well.'"

With the help of the Bears' special teams, Hester has proven he doesn't need many touches to change a game. He returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. His 108-yard missed field goal return against the New York Giants tied the longest play in NFL history. His total of six return touchdowns is a NFL record.

During the regular season, Hester averaged 26.4 yards on 20 kickoff returns and 12.8 yards on 47 punt returns. In the playoffs, he has been less effective with fewer chances and more emphasis on him. But he did have a 66-yard punt return against Seattle called back on a penalty.


FBN Super Bowl Wayne

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -First stop for Reggie Wayne is the Super Bowl. Next week it's the Pro Bowl with four of his Indianapolis Colts teammates.

If only his older brother, Rashad, could share these moments with him.

``A lot of my success today has come through him. I think about him all the time,'' Wayne said.

Last Sept. 24, Rashad Wayne's delivery truck hit a guardrail near New Orleans, where he lived. The 32-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

More suggestions for Burrell - His problems might be in his sight and not his swing

A COUPLE OF GUYS were sitting around not too long ago, unwinding at the end of the day, talking baseball, warming themselves against the winter chill with thoughts of spring training and the summer season.

They discussed the Phillies. Inevitably, probably, Pat Burrell's name came up. After all, the slugging leftfielder has become a vexing topic in recent seasons. At times he has shown why the Phils made him the first overall pick out of the University of Miami in the 1998 draft, why they gave him a 6-year contract worth $50 million in 2003, before he was even eligible for arbitration.

And sometimes he hasn't.

Leon Williams Update

Leon Williams was a very pleasant surprise for the Browns. Picked in the 4th round, he ended the season as a starter because of the injury to Jackson. He finished with 42 tackles including 12 against Baltimore and 14 against Tampa Bay. He is strong against the run, a sure tackler, and good at shedding blockers. It is very likely that he will be moved outside to split time with McGinest because he is showing himself too valuable to be kept off the field.


Alfredo Roberts Hired as Browns TE Coach

Meanwhile, Alfredo Roberts takes the job of bringing along Kellen Winslow.

Winslow is a talented and dedicated player, but his energies sometimes need to be channeled. Roberts played tight end at the University of Miami and was a teammate of Chudzinski's.


Colts' Wayne his brother's keeper

At the RCA Dome, under a din of noise, hidden beneath the swirl and electricity of the AFC Championship Game, Wayne took a quiet moment to himself.

He was talking to his brother, Rashad.

They were close as kids, Reggie tagging along with Rashad, who was everything Reggie wanted to be.

That's the way it is with older brothers. You revere them and envy them. You copy them, and hope and wait for words of approval that mean so much more from them. You dream of being like them but most of all, you love them.

Rashad, 32, was killed in a traffic accident Sept. 24.

Chicago rookie hoping for many happy returns

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Ask Devin Hester if he knows who Desmond Howard is and the Chicago Bears kick returner's eyes light up.

"Oh yeah," Hester said. "He's the guy who got a shot early in his Super Bowl days and came out on top as MVP of the Super Bowl."

Howard is the only returner to do that in a Super Bowl. That was a decade ago. The former Green Bay Packer's name resonates with Hester because of what the rookie accomplished this season. He set an NFL record with six return scores, three on punts, two on kickoffs and another on a missed field goal.

Hester is excited to return to Miami, where he played in college for the Hurricanes. He wants to put an exclamation point on a stellar year against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI. Then Hester is headed to the Pro Bowl.

"Devin Hester could very easily be the difference in this ballgame," Bears coach Lovie Smith said.

Clinton Portis Update

Clinton Portis, Redskins running back: His 2006 season cut in half by a shoulder injury, Portis is still just 25 and has plenty good years ahead of him. But if the Redskins struggle behind quarterback Jason Campbell and their perennial free-agent busts, Portis' best Super Bowl chances are elsewhere. Potential Super Bowl: 2011.


Edgerrin James Update

Edgerrin James, Cardinals running back: Had he just returned for an eighth season with the Colts, he'd likely be packing for Super Bowl XLI. Instead, he had a different strategy: Take the Cardinals' money and run. He ran for a respectable 1,159 yards in 2006 and could run for even more with the addition of coach Ken Whisenhunt, who's now at the controls of a potentially dynamic offense. One problem: They're still the Cardinals. Potential Super Bowl: Post-2009, when his Cardinals contract expires.


A Look Back At Last Week's Top proCanes Stories

- Shockey scratched
- Still with him - Wayne carries reminders of deceased brother
- Brett Romberg Update
- BRICKER: Hester could exploit Colts' big weakness
- Frank Gore Update
- Ravens' Ray Lewis earns 8th Pro Bowl berth
- Santonio Thomas Update
- Quadtrine Hill Update
- Threat of Hester has Dungy worried
- Heat rookie guard Hite charged with DUI, misses game
- Chudzinski takes over as new OC