The Oakland Raiders are beginning their second season as the only team in the National Football League with a member of a minority group as head coach -- Tom Flores.
The Mexican-American Flores also has a black assistant on his staff in Willie Brown, defensive backfield coach.
Willie Wood is the first black in modern times to be a head coach, for Toronto in the Canadian Football League. There are five blacks joining the staffs of National Football teams this season.
There was a promotion to a position of responsibility at Los Angeles, where Lionel Taylor moved up from receiver coach to offensive coordinator. The Rams also have hired Hewritt Dixon as offensive backfield coach.
Paul Warfield gave up a career as a sportscaster in Cleveland to become assistant director of pro personnel for the Browns.
The Detroit Lions have hired Mel Phillips, the former San Francisco cornerback, to coach their defensive backfield.
The Dallas Cowboys have named Al Lavan to coach their running backs and the 49ers have appointed Milt Jackson to handle their receivers and special teams.
The other black assistant coaches are Billy Joe, coach of the Philadelphia Eagle running backs; Billy Matthews, running backs, San Francisco; Elijah Pitts, offensive backs and special teams, Buffalo Bills; Ernie McMillian, offensive line, Green Bay; Earnel Durden, offensive backs, San Diego, and Bob LeBetter, running backs New York Jets.
Owner Joe Robbie talked last month with Joe Thomas about rejoining the Miami Dolphins as the "adviser." Don Shula is in the last year of his contract, and this will be Dan Devine's last season at Notre Dame. Devine said he would like to win a Super Bowl.
He took Green Bay to an NFC Central Division title in 1972, with a 10-4 record, but dropped to 5-7-2 and 6-8 after that, and was gone.
Smile when you address tight end Junior Miller of the Atlanta Falcons by his actual first name -- Selvia.
Deacon Jones, new Hall of Fame enshrinee, told John Hall of The Los Angeles Times he is not going to follow the Rams out of the city. "I haven't given up on L.A.," he said. "When I leave, I'm going to Heaven." h
Rams coaches have picked all-time teams for their regimes and George Allen (1966-1970) picked Roman Gabriel as his quarterback. Gabriel still leads the NFL with the lowest percentage of interceptions in a career, 3.31 percent in 4,498 attempts, followed by Bert Jones of Baltimore 3.52 percent in 1592 attempts.
Despite a brisk sale of single-game tickets on Monday, inspired by a souped-up offense, the Baltimore Colt season ticket sale was at 26,000, lowest since 1975.