Ulbrich joins Seahawks staff
Advertiser News Services
Former University of Hawai'i and recently retired San Francisco 49ers linebacker Jeff Ulbrich has joined Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle.
Ulbrich, a one-time starter with the 49ers who later became one of the 49ers' special teams' standouts, was named assistant special teams coach for the Seahawks.
Ulbrich, a star for UH in 1998-99, played part of last season with the 49ers before going on injured reserve with a concussion and later retiring.
He was drafted in the third round in 2000 by his hometown team (he was born in San Jose) and played his entire career with the 49ers.
Ulbrich was one of several new coaches added to Carroll's staff. Carroll left USC to become the Seahawks coach after the season.
The team confirmed yesterday that defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Dan Quinn will return next season. Carroll had said Jeremy Bates is joining him from Southern Cal as his offensive coordinator.
Ken Norton Jr. is the new linebackers coach, Brian Schneider is coaching special teams, Alex Gibbs is the offensive line coach, Jedd Fisch is the quarterbacks coach, Sherman Smith is coaching running backs, Pat McPherson has tight ends and Jerry Gray is coaching defensive backs.
DE FREENEY IMPROVING
Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell says injured star Dwight Freeney is rapidly improving as the Super Bowl approaches.
The All-Pro defensive end has not practiced since tearing a ligament in his right ankle in the AFC title game.
Indianapolis plays the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in Miami. Colts left guard Ryan Lilja joined the injury list yesterday and sat out because of a bad back.
PRACTICE CUT SHORT
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton shortened practice by about 20 minutes yesterday, trying to ensure his players are fresh for the Super Bowl.
Temperatures were close to 80 degrees when New Orleans began practice outdoors at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Players removed their shoulder pads for the last 40 minutes of the workout.
Reserve running back and special teams regular Lynell Hamilton (sore left ankle) did not practice for a second straight day.
LT BELIEVES HE'S OUT
LaDainian Tomlinson says he believes he has played his last game as a San Diego Charger.
The running back told The San Diego Union-Tribune yesterday that he has thought for a while he would be let go by the Chargers.
His comments come after more than a month of saying he did not know what would happen.
The NFL's most valuable player in 2006 has two years remaining on his contract. He is due a $2 million roster bonus March 5 and would be paid$5 million in total salary in 2010.
"All discussions about the future will take place later this month. No decisions have been made," Chargers spokesman Bill Johnston wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
OUTSIDE THE LINES
OWNERS LOOKING AT LOCKOUT
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith says the chance of a lockout after next season is a "14" on a scale of 1-to-10.
Painting a bleak labor outlook yesterday, Smith said the NFL would receive $5 billion from its network television deals even if no games are played in 2011. He regarded that as proof owners are preparing for a lockout.
"Has any one of the prior deals included $5 billion to not play football?" Smith said, referring to previous collective bargaining agreements that were extended or redone. "The answer's no."
Smith reiterated the union's demand that the NFL's 32 teams open their books and show who is losing money and how much. Citing financial reports by the community-owned Green Bay Packers, Smith wondered how such a small-market franchise can make a $20 million profit while other teams claim they are losing money.
But he noted that the Packers did have a profit decline, which NFL executive vice president and chief counsel Jeff Pash said was 40 percent.
EX-STEELER 'BULLET' DUDLEY
Bill Dudley, a Hall of Fame player who in 1946 with the Pittsburgh Steelers led the NFL in rushing, punt returns and interceptions, has died. He was 88.
Dudley had a stroke Saturday and was admitted to Lynchburg (Virginia) General Hospital, son Jim Dudley said yesterday. He said his father had not been ill before the stroke and died in his wife's arms.
"Bullet" Bill Dudley was a runner, passer, punter, kicker and defensive back during his nine-year NFL career, highlighted by a 1946 season in which he was the league's Most Valuable Player.