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Dolphins bench QB Chad Henne, will start Chad Pennington against Titans

11.10.10 at 3:27 pm ET
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The Miami Dolphins have decided to bench starting quarterback Chad Henne and start backup Chad Pennington this Sunday against the Titans, reports. Pennington hasn’t started a game since Week 3 of the 2009 NFL season.

Henne, who threw three interceptions last weekend in a 26-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, has led the underachieving Dolphins to a 4-4 record thus far in the 2010 season, good enough for third place in the AFC East.

Henne this season has thrown for 1,900 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions, with a passer rating of 78.2.

Read More: Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, Mimi Dolphins, Rumor Mill

League won’t issue a fine given in Le’Ron McClain spitting incident

11.10.10 at 3:24 pm ET
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After allegedly spitting on Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder during last Sunday’s matchup, Baltimore Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain will not be handed a fine by the NFL, a league spokeman said. reported that McClain was not handed a fine after he reared his head back, appearing to spit on Crowder, but the fullback denied actually spitting on him.

The league announced on Wednesday that Director of Football Operations Merton Hanks has reviewed the tape from Sunday’s game, as well as had several conversations with John Parry, the referee in the area of the alleged incident, and has decided that there is no conclusive evidence that the spitting incident ever occurred. Therefore, no disciplinary actions will be taken following these allegations.

Read More: Channing Crowder, LeRon McClain, Rumor Mill,

Rookie cornerback and former teammate Joe Haden says Cam Newton is being targeted

11.10.10 at 3:18 pm ET
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Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden, who lived with current Auburn quarterback Cam Newton during Newton’s tenure at the University of Florida, said that he talked to Newton through a phone conversation on Tuesday night, and that Newton is not personally worried about the allegations against him.

Haden told the Associated Press that he considers Newton his best friend, and that Cam is, “not letting this stuff get to him too much. He said, ‘Joe, I got a plan and everything is going to work out for the best.'”

Newton is accused of academic cheating while with the Gators, and having phone conversations with his father about asking a MIssissippi State recruiter for money in order to play at that school.

Haden told the AP that he believes Newton is being targeted because he is playing so well for Auburn right now.

Read More: Auburn Tigers, Cam Newton, Joe Haden, Rumor Mill

Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal could play against Heat

11.10.10 at 3:14 pm ET
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After sitting out five games due to a knee injury, Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal has returned to practice and said he may play Thursday night against Miami in South Beach, the Associated Press reports. O’Neal, who wore a leg sleeve and knee pads in practice on Wednesday, said that he is still experiencing pain just below his right knee.

The center is averaging 8.7 points per game along with 5.3 rebounds per game this season. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that he isn’t sure whether Shaquille O’Neal and fellow center Jermaine O’Neal, who is currently experiencing pain in his left knee, will be playing for the team against the Heat.

“Likely neither, maybe both,” Rivers told the Associated Press. “Who knows?”

Read More: Boston Celtics, doc rivers, Rumor Mill, Shaquille O'Neal

Vikings players call for coach Brad Childress to be fired

11.10.10 at 1:43 pm ET
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According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, six players on the Vikings  have expressed their dislike of coach Brad Childress and their request that he be fired from his position. The players who expressed their feelings towards their coach were not named but made statements to the paper showing the team’s disapproval.

“We got too many good football players, and we won’t lay down like Dallas,” a player said.

“As much as I hate Childress, I will keep playing,” another player said.

The Vikings are 3-5 on the season and sitting third in the NFC North, just one year after playing in the NFC championship game. Minnesota travels to Chicago to face the 5-3 Bears this Sunday.

Read More: Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings, Rumor Mill,

Steelers put LT Max Starks on IR

11.10.10 at 11:04 am ET
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The Steelers have suffered a major loss on their offensive line, as starting left tackle Max Starks was put on injured reserve Wednesday. The team reported that Starks experienced stingers in his neck during the Steelers’ 27-21 win over the Bengals on Monday night and will undergo neck surgery. The 28-year-0ld Starks is expected to make a full recovery and be back for the 2011 season.

Starks has been one of the most consistent linemen in Pittsburgh for the last seven years, and the team is not very deep on the offensive line. To fill his roster spot, the Steelers have activated offensive tackle Chris Scott, who missed the team’s first eight games with a foot injury, from the physically unable to perform list. The team may consider moving veteran right tackle Flozell Adams to the left side or try backup Jonathan Scott at left tackle.

With a reconstructed offensive line, the 6-2 Steelers will host the 6-2 Patriots on Sunday in a game that matches up two of the best teams in the AFC.

Read More: Chris Scott, Flozell Adams, Jonathan Scott, Max Starks

LEEInks List: NFL coaches on the hot seat

11.10.10 at 10:25 am ET
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To no one’s surprise, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fired Wade Phillips Monday, the first head coaching move in the NFL this season. Phillips’ painful season ended after the Cowboys were demolished on Sunday Night Football against the Packers. While Phillips now can take some time to work on his golf game and catch up on his lawn work, there are several other coaches who will have to sweat out the second half of the season.

Here is a list of the top 10 coaches on the hot seat:

10. Norv Turner, Chargers (4th season)

The one man who perennially finds his name on this list is Turner. Despite leading the Chargers to the playoffs in each of his first three years and receiving an extension this past offseason through 2013, Turner still makes the list. Until he can get this talented squad to the Super Bowl and actually win the big game, Turner will be at risk. Starting the season 4-5 certainly doesn’t help any coach’s job security, especially with losses to the Rams, Seahawks and Raiders. He should survive this year, but missing the playoffs could make things really hot for him next season, especially if the Chargers have another slow start.

9. Gary Kubiak, Texans (5th season)

While Kubiak has taken the franchise to new levels, he has yet to take the Texans to the playoffs and his time is running out. Owner Bob McNair gave Kubiak a vote of confidence in February by extending Kubiak through 2012, but that was after the team finished with its first winning record (9-7) last year. This season, the Texans jumped out to a 3-1 record and looked like legitimate playoff contenders but have lost three of their last four and sit tied for last in the AFC South. Without a playoff bid this season, which looks increasingly unlikely with a tough schedule to finish the season, Kubiak could feel the heat being turned up.

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Read More: Brad Childress, Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones, Wade Phillips

Report: Yankees GM plans trip to Arkansas to meet with Cliff Lee

11.10.10 at 10:20 am ET
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According to a item on the New York Post website, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will fly to Arkansas on Wednesday to meet with free agent pitcher Cliff Lee. The Yankees already contacted Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, Sunday night to express their interest in the left-handed ace.

Read More: brian cashman, cliff lee, Rumor Mill,

Report: NHL considers having captains select All-Stars

11.10.10 at 10:09 am ET
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NHL executive Brendan Shanahan presented an idea to GMs on Tuesday for a new All-Star Game format. Though Shanahan was reluctant to discuss the idea with the media, saying a formal announcement would be made soon, The Canadian Press reported that two captains will choose players from either conference to make up the teams for the 2011 game in Carolina. Fan balloting would still select the starters, and the captains would then pick the rest of the players from a pool assembled by the league’s hockey operations department.

“We’ve worked for a little while now on this idea, this concept, closely with the NHLPA,” Shanahan said. “They like the idea. Some of the players that they’ve talked to ‘€” potential All-Stars ‘€” they seem sort of excited and energized by it.”

An NHLPA spokesman said the organization has been working closely with the league to “revamp” All-Star weekend, and is looking forward to announcing the details soon. “We know what it is and we know what it’s not,” Shanahan said. “It’s an entertaining, fun game. Fans like to be entertained by the players showing their competitive spirit with a big smile on their face. It’s not  Stanley Cup final, it’s not an Olympic Games. It’s never going to be that.”

The expectation is that the teams will be determined during a live television event at the start of All-Star weekend.

Read More: Brendan Shanahan, NHL, Rumor Mill,

Former Bulls guard Quintin Dailey dead at 49

11.10.10 at 8:41 am ET
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Quintin Dailey, a former University of San Francisco All-American and Bulls first-round draft pick, was found dead in his Las Vegas home on Monday. According to a Clark County Coroner’s Office spokeswoman, Dailey died naturally of hypertensive cardiovascular disease. He was 49.

At USF. Dailey became one of the best offensive players in Dons history, scoring 1,841 points in three years before the Bulls chose him with the seventh overall pick of the 1982 draft. Dailey spent four of his 10 NBA seasons with the Bulls, averaging 16.4 ppg in 272 career games. He then went on to play for the Clippers and SuperSonics.

Dailey’s NBA career, as well as his time at USF, was punctuated by off-court controversies. He was charged in February of 1982 with attempted assault with intent to rape a USF nursing student and received three years probation after pleading guilty to aggravated assault. The other charger were dropped. Dailey also reportedly twice violated the NBA’s drug policy for cocaine use, and admitted to being paid for work he didn’t do while a USF. These incidents helped persuade USF to shut down its once-storied basketball program in 1982. The program was resurrected again in 1986.

After retiring in 1992, Dailey settled in Las Vegas. He worked as a youth supervisor for at-risk kids with the Clark County Park and Recreations Department and officiated youth basketball games. Dailey is survived by his daughter, Quinci, and son Quintin Jr., a basketball player at Eastern Michigan.

Read More: Chicago Bulls, Quintin Dailey, Rumor Mill,