Ryan Leaf returned to the Chargers yesterday, apologized to GM Bobby Beathard and his teammates for the outburst that got him suspended and then started throwing passes again.

"Concerning the reason for suspension, the incident, it was something that you can't do," the second-year quarterback said.

LOSING SEMANTICS: Listening to Keyshawn Johnson's explanation for his tirade after the Jets' defeat at Indianapolis was confusing business. At various times, Johnson admitted using the term "losers," although he was careful to include himself in such an indictment. "I didn't call any players losers," he said. "I said I will not accept losing. Why should I? I'm supposed to accept losing?"

STRONG-ARM ANALYSIS: Dolphins Coach Jimmy Johnson says Dan Marino's arm strength has not changed. Not this week. Not this season. Not in the last four years.

"I watch him every day in practice. I've watched every day for the last four years, and I don't see any difference in the arm strength," Johnson said.

COWHER IN, STEWART OUT: Bill Cowher insists that, much like the Steelers' offense, he isn't going anywhere. But as he dismissed questions about his own status yesterday, saying, "I'm planning to be here," Cowher raised doubts about floundering QB Kordell Stewart's future in Pittsburgh. Cowher said 37-year-old Mike Tomczak probably will be the starting quarterback the rest of the season, beginning Thursday in Jacksonville.