Steelers' Rooney still guessing on Noll's future

Dan Rooney is president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he insists he doesn't know if Chuck Noll will be back as coach.

So, how could anyone else?


Noll has hinted he might retire after 23 seasons as the Steelers' coach, but he seemed uncertain about his plans at the news conference after Pittsburgh's 17-10 victory Sunday over the Cleveland Browns.

Before the Steelers office was closed for Christmas, Rooney said he "honestly" won't know Noll's plans until a meeting later this week.


"Obviously, the situation as far as who the coach is, is going to have something to say about who our quarterbacks are," Rooney said after talking to quarterback Bubby Brister, whose contract has expired.

* RAIDERS: Because of changes being made, coach Art Shell has closed practices this week for the first time since the franchise moved south from Oakland, Calif., to Los Angeles in 1982.

"I want to make sure nothing gets out," Shell said. "I don't want to leave it to chance. My main purpose was to keep things from getting out. Whoever's going to start at quarterback, that will probably get out anyway."

Rookie Todd Marinovich made his NFL debut for the injured Jay Schroeder, and he completed 23 of 40 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns.

* EAGLES: Quarterback Jim McMahon said that if he likes the size of the new contract that management puts on the table next month, he's not going anywhere.

"I think it's all going to come down to whether or not they offer me a fair contract," said McMahon, 32, who will become a Plan B free agent if he's not signed by February.

"I'd like to stay here. My family wants to stay here. They're tired of moving. Like I said earlier in the year, my kids have been to three different schools. It'd be nice to have them go to the same school again.

"They're getting older, and they want me to retire so we can stay in one place. But I've got a lot of football left, I feel, and I want to keep playing."