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Players of the Week, Lawton, Browns and more

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 NFL News - Thursday, December 6,2007
... Players of the Week, Lawton, Browns and more...

Journeyman Lawton finding niche with Indianapolis

After not being wanted in Buffalo or New York, fullback Luke 
Lawton has finally found a home with the Indianapolis Colts.
Lawton, who has been used primarily as a short-yardage and 
goal-line blocker for the Colts, has become a fan favorite 
at the RCA Dome. Not bad for a guy who's been cut by Buffalo, 
Atlanta and both the New York Jets and the Giants.
The Colts released the 27-year-old Lawton, who played the 
first six games mainly on special teams, in October but re-
signed him Nov. 27. That was just five days before Lawton 
scored the decisive touchdown in the fourth quarter of last 
week's 28-25 win over Jacksonville, scoring off a 1-yard 
shovel pass from quarterback Peyton Manning. It was his 
first pro pass reception and his first pro touchdown.
"I probably got 50 phone calls after the game," Lawton 
said Wednesday. Some friends, though, said he needed to work 
on his celebratory spike, which was marred by a sore shoulder.
Lawton enjoys the support from friends and fans. Nearly every 
time the 6-foot, 245-pounder throws his body around on special
teams or makes a tackle on a kickoff or punt return, fans 
react with shouts of "Luuuke!" when his name is announced.
"Luke's one of those guys I think everyone roots for. He's a 
guy who was the underdog. He wasn't a highly drafted guy, 
didn't come in with a lot of hype. But he's played well for 
us," coach Tony Dungy said.

Browns lose special teams ace Griffin; sign LB Bockwoldt

The Cleveland Browns lost one of their top special teams 
players, placing linebacker Kris Griffin on injured reserve 
Wednesday. Griffin was fourth on the Browns with 14 tackles 
on special teams. He injured his right knee on the opening 
kickoff Sunday against Arizona. The team signed linebacker
Colby Bockwoldt, who played in 48 games with 24 starts for 
New Orleans and Tennessee from 2004-2006. 

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Players of the Week


Week 13

Offense - QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis

Defense - LB Shawne Merriman, San Diego

Special - K Rian Lindell, Buffalo


Week 13

Offense - QB Tony Romo, Dallas

Defense - LB Lofa Tatupu, Seattle

Special - KR-WR Aundrae Allison, Minnesota


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	Steelers' Smith guarantees upset of New England

Defensive back Anthony Smith is so certain the Pittsburgh 
Steelers will end the New England Patriots' unbeaten season, 
he is guaranteeing a win Sunday in Foxborough. The Patriots 
(12-0) may have the perfect record, Smith said Wednesday, but 
it should be New England that is worried about the Steelers 
(9-3) rather than the other way around. "People keep asking me 
if we're ready for the Patriots," Smith said. "They should be
 asking if they're ready for us." Is Smith so confident that he 
is willing to copy one of former Pittsburgh linebacker Joey 
Porter's familiar motivational ploys by guaranteeing the Steelers
will win? "We're going to win," Smith said. "Yeah, I can 
guarantee a win. As long as we come out and do what we got 
to do. Both sides of the ball are rolling, and if our special 
teams come through for us, we've got a good chance to win."
Despite Smith's abundant optimism, no other Steelers are 
designating Sunday as guaranteed win day. Linebacker James 
Farrior, cautioning that Smith hasn't been in the NFL long 
and may not realize what he is saying, doesn't think the 
Patriots will pay any attention. Smith, a third-round pick 
from Syracuse in 2006, became the starter at free safety only 
after Ryan Clark needed spleen surgery in late October.

    Vegas hearing delayed a day in 'Pacman' Jones case

The arraignment of Adam "Pacman" Jones was rescheduled for 
Thursday because a co-defendant missed a flight and was unable 
to attend the hearing. The suspended NFL player was expected 
to plead no contest to a reduced charge in a Las Vegas strip-
club melee that preceded a triple shooting, which left a man 
paralyzed. Defense attorney Robert Langford said Robert "Big 
Rob" Reid, Jones' bodyguard and co-defendant, failed to make 
a flight from Los Angeles and could not get to Wednesday's 
hearing. Jones has agreed to a plea deal that will get him 
probation in return for his testimony about the gunman who 
opened fire outside the club at the end of NBA All-Star 
weekend in February. The Tennessee Titans cornerback is 
expected to get up to one year of probation for his plea to 
conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct, a gross misdemeanor.

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