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 NFL News - Wednesday, January 9,2008
... Niners, Broncos, Falcons and more...
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Report: Falcons looking to meet with USC's Carroll

Will Pete Carroll end up in NFL after all? After leading the 
USC Trojans to an 11-2 record and a sixth straight BCS bowl 
appearance, Carroll is being courted by the Atlanta Falcons, 
according to an internet report. Apparently, the Falcons have 
been trying to set up a meeting with the former Jets and 
Patriots coach, and this meeting could come as soon as this 
weekend, if logistically possible. Carroll is one of a few 
candidates that Atlanta wishes to interview, others including 
Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and possibly Giants 
defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The Falcons have been 
without a head coach since Bobby Petrino left with three games 
remaining in the season. He soon returned to the college ranks 
by accepting the Arkansas job. Many feel that Carroll would 
only return to the NFL is he was given full control over a 
team. While that doesn't initially look possible in 
Atlanta -- since the team is searching for a general 
manager -- sources say that Carroll might be given additional 
responsibilities. 


Bates out as Broncos defensive coordinator after one season

Denver Broncos defensive boss Jim Bates resigned on Tuesday 
after the team limped to a 7-9 record in his first year on 
the job.  Bates' departure was expected. The Broncos finished 
19th in overall defense and 30th against the run. "I had the 
opportunity to stay," Bates said in a written statement."
(Coach Mike Shanahan) has been very fair with me, and the final 
decision, for the Broncos and for me, was to step aside."
Bates, whose title was assistant coach-defense, had success 
with his system with the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins, 
but the Broncos were unable to master it. Bates said he was 
"very saddened that things did not work out." There was no 
immediate word on a replacement. Team spokesman Patrick Smyth 
said the Broncos would have no comment beyond Bates' statement.

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Former Bears coach Jim Dooley dies at age 77

Jim Dooley, who succeeded George Halas as head coach of the 
Chicago Bears, died Tuesday, his daughter said. He was 77.
Lisa Trace said her father, who coached the Bears from 1968-71, 
had been ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou 
Gehrig's disease, for the past 10 years and died at Lake Forest 
Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. He had been in the intensive care 
unit for the past three weeks and had developed pneumonia, Trace 
said. "The Chicago Bears was his life until he died," Dooley's 
wife, Elaine, told the Associated Press on Tuesday night. "He 
couldn't get to the games in his later years, but he never missed 
watching a game, never missed yelling." Dooley spent nearly three 
decades with the Bears as a wide receiver, head coach and later 
as an assistant coach alongside Mike Ditka. Dooley, born in 
Stoutsville, Mo., was the team's first draft pick from the 
University of Miami in 1952. "When Jim was first drafted, he 
called ... coach Halas and said, 'What's my bonus?'" Elaine 
Dooley recalled. "Halas said, 'Your bonus is you're drafted for 
the Chicago Bears.'" He played until 1961, with some time off for 
military service. Seven years later, Jim Dooley took over for 
Halas. Dooley was 20-36, including a 1-13 season in 1969, but 
coached Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus. After a stint 
working in the packing business, Dooley returned to the Bears in 
1981 and was assistant coach until 1990. Dooley is survived by 
his wife, daughter, four sons and 16 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were pending. 

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Niners hire Mike Martz to be new offensive coordinator

Mike Martz claims he can put together a fantastic offense with 
mostly the same San Francisco 49ers who made up the NFL's worst 
unit in 2007. It's just the type of brash confidence everybody 
expects from Martz - and Mike Nolan believes every word of it.
Nolan hired Martz to be his offensive coordinator Tuesday, 
tasking one of the NFL's most polarizing coaches with 
reinventing an offense that sank to historic lows last season.
Martz has been on a rocky coaching road for the past three years, 
but he tormented the 49ers for six years during his greatest 
successes with their NFC West rival St. Louis Rams. Martz built 
the so-called Greatest Show on Turf over seven seasons, honing 
a remarkable passing game while the Rams reached two Super Bowls.
After the Detroit Lions fired him last week following two seasons 
as their offensive coordinator, Martz - who coached alongside 
Nolan in Washington a decade ago - jumped at the chance to 
resurrect the franchise that redefined offensive football in 
the 1980s under Bill Walsh. "There are a lot of really 
outstanding pieces there that we just need to tie together," 
Martz said. "If we can do that, they're so well-established in 
special teams and on defense, I think the potential and the 
opportunity there is pretty exciting. It's not a challenge, 
it's an opportunity, and that's the part I enjoy." Martz sees 
boundless promise in a San Francisco offense built around 
talented running back Frank Gore, who reminds him of Marshall 
Faulk. Of course, Martz also inherits an undistinguished 
offensive line, a weak receiving corps and a burgeoning 
quarterback controversy. He didn't even blanche at taking a 
job with Nolan, whose job could be in jeopardy if the 49ers 
post a sixth straight losing season in 2008. "You've got to 
remember, I've been on the hot seat, too," said Martz, who 
has been fired twice in just over two years. "I believe that 
I have such a great feel for who Mike is. ... In this league, 
it's a year-by-year proposition anyway."

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