2 Minute Drill

By the Numbers  |  Quotable  
News & Notes  |  Star of the Day

Monday, Jan. 23, 2005; Page E07

By the Numbers

Times in their last four playoff games the Broncos have lost by at least 17 points.

Consecutive seasons in which a road team has won a conference championship game.

Home games the Seattle Seahawks have won this season, including the last two playoff games.

Days older Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be than Dan Marino was when he became the youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl. At 23 years 340 days, Roethlisberger will be the second-youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl.

"We're going home."

-- Steelers RB Jerome Bettis, after a 34-17 victory over the Broncos in the AFC championship game. Bettis is from Detroit, where Super Bowl XL will be played Feb. 5.

News & Notes

With Broncos Eliminated, Kubiak Free to Coach Texans

The Houston Texans will hire Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak to take over the worst team in the league and help decide what to do with the first pick in the draft.

Texans owner Bob McNair said during news conference yesterday that the hiring won't be completed until later in the week because the Texans could not negotiate a contract with Kubiak until the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs.

McNair's announcement came about an hour after Denver lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game.

"Hopefully, we'll have him down here by the middle of the week, and he will then be assembling a staff," McNair said.

McNair said he planned to speak with Kubiak later yesterday.

There's been speculation for weeks that Kubiak would become the Texans' second coach, replacing Dom Capers.

Capers was fired a day after Houston finished its season 2-14. He had led the team since its inception four seasons ago.

Houston won four games in its first season, five in 2003 and seven last season.

BILLS CLOSE TO HIRING JAURON: Former Chicago Bears coach Dick Jauron was in Buffalo and preparing to become the Bills' head coach yesterday, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press.

Reached on his cell phone, Jauron told the AP that he was in town but declined to comment, referring questions to the team.

A person with direct knowledge of the decision told the AP Jauron arrived to finish some details on his contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement had not been made.

A message left with Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold was not immediately returned.

Jauron went 35-46 in five seasons with the Bears and was the NFL coach of the year in 2001 after a 13-3 finish.

Jauron spent the past two years as the Lions defensive coordinator and finished last season as the team's interim coach after Steve Mariucci was fired in late November.

Jauron also was an assistant coach with Jacksonville and Green Bay.

The Bills were 5-11 this season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year -- the Bills' longest drought since the NFL merger.

MULARKEY JOINS DOLPHINS: Former Buffalo Bills coach Mike Mularkey is headed home to his native South Florida.

Barely a week after quitting as coach of the Bills, Mularkey agreed to become the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

Mularkey, 44, grew up in Fort Lauderdale, then played at the University of Florida. He was offered the Dolphins' job when he met Friday with Coach Nick Saban.

Scott Linehan, Saban's offensive coordinator last season, departed Thursday to become the coach of the St. Louis Rams.

Mularkey becomes the Dolphins' fourth offensive coordinator since May 2004, and the seventh since Gary Stevens was fired after the 1997 season.

Under Linehan, the Dolphins improved to 14th in the NFL in offense from 29th in 2004. They split two games last season with the Bills.

"I am looking forward to returning to South Florida and joining the Dolphins," Mularkey said in a statement.

Star of the Day

Ben Roethlisberger | QB | Steelers | 2nd season
Roethlisberger threw a pair of second-quarter touchdowns to help the Steelers reach the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1995 season. His first was a 12-yarder to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, and then he completed a 17-yard score to wide receiver Hines Ward to give Pittsburgh a 24-3 lead.

21 Completions, 29 Attempts, 275 Yards, 2 TDs

-- From News Services

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