Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse plans to meet today with coach Richard Williamson to fire him and his assistant coaches, according to a report today in the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel.
"He's going to fire Richard, and I think he wants to give the assistants as much time as possible to find other jobs," a team source told the Sentinel.
Williamson, who has spent the past two days in Orlando, had been scheduled to meet with Culverhouse tomorrow. But Culverhouse apparently has changed the timetable to end speculation about Williamson's future.
Williamson and other team officials, including Culverhouse, could not be reached for comment.
Two newspapers reported yesterday that Culverhouse is willing to pay Parcells more than $1 million a year to return to coaching and that he wants an answer by this weekend.
The Tampa Tribune, quoting an unidentified source, said Parcells has been offered a multiyear contract worth $1.5 million annually, a deal that would make him the highest-paid coach in the NFL.
The Orlando Sentinel said Parcells met with Culverhouse in New Jersey on Monday, their second meeting in as many weeks. The offer is for five years, and Parcells has been given assurances of havingcomplete responsibility for personnel decisions, the newspaper said.
Parcells reportedly is also under consideration for the Green Bay Packers coaching job that opened when Lindy Infante was fired last weekend.
* COWBOYS: Coach Jimmy Johnson said quarterback Steve Beuerlein will start Sunday against the Bears, with Troy Aikman the backup. It will be the fifth consecutive start for Beuerlein, who took over as quarterback when Aikman suffered a sprained knee Nov. 24 against the Redskins.
The Cowboys won that game and have gone 4-0 with Beuerlein as their starter.
Johnson said Aikman isn't at full health and Beuerlein is too hot to bench.
* BEARS: Starting linebacker John Roper is doubtful for Sunday's game, trainer Fred Caito said. Roper pulled a hamstring and strained a calf muscle early in the 49ers game.
Wide receiver Anthony Morgan is out with an ailing hamstring.
Running backs Neal Anderson and Brad Muster, who have battled sore hamstrings, will play.
* BILLS: Wide receiver James Lofton, who sprained his ankle Dec. 15 in the victory over the Colts, is expected to be available for the playoff opener Jan. 5.
"He's further along than we would have thought at this point," coach Marv Levy said. "He seems to be making good progress."