Former Cincinnati Bengals coach Sam Wyche will be named coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, broadcast reports and team sources said last night.
Cincinnati stations WCPO-TV, WKRC-TV and WLWT-TV reported that Wyche had been offered the job and had accepted. They said that Wyche would not confirm the reports.
He will sign a long-term contract worth about $550,000 per season and will keep Floyd Peters as defensive coordinator.
* VIKINGS: Three Minneapolis TV stations reported that Stanford coach Dennis Green would become the next coach, but other sources say president Roger Headrick still is undecided between Green and Jets defensive coordinator Pete Carroll.
* PACKERS: Richie Petitbon, Redskins assistant coach for defense, says he is interested in coaching the team and hopes club officials wait to interview him.
"I believe if somebody is interested they should wait," Petitbon said. "For the life of me, I can't understand what the hurry is."
Redskins general manager Charley Casserly said he would deny interview permission for assistants until after the team's final game.
Meanwhile, Bob LaMonte, the agent for 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren said the Packers had made an offer to his client to coach the team.
XTC * Giants owner Wellington Mara, former Raiders punter Ray Guy, former Chargers wide receiver Charlie Joiner and former 49ers coach Bill Walsh are first-time finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Among the nominees are ex-Colts tight end John Mackey and ex-Redskins running back John Riggins.
The induction class will be announced Jan. 25. The finalists were picked by a mail vote by a 66-person selection committee.
* VIKINGS: Running back Her schel Walker, 29, was added to the Ottawa Rough Riders' negotiation list, and the Canadian Football League team's owner says a big effort will be made to sign him.
* EAGLES: Harry Himes, the lawyer for Wes Hopkins, is appealing a decision by the league to bypass Hopkins, the NFC's Pro Bowl alternate at free safety, in favor of adding a strong safety, the Bears' Shaun Gayle, to replace injured free safety Tim McDonald of the Cardinals. Hopkins would get a $50,000 bonus for making the team.
* STEELERS: Pittsburgh will end its first round of coaching interviews today by talking with Chiefs defensive coordinator Bill Cowher.
The front-runners are said to be Steelers defensive line coach Joe Greene, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt and 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren. Also interviewed: Bears coordinators Vince Tobin and Greg Landry, former Patriots coach Rod Rust, WLAF coach Mike Riley and Steelers assistants Dick Hoak and John Fox.
* RAIDERS: An arrest warrant was issued for quarterback Todd Marinovich in Torrance, Calif., after he failed to appear for an arraignment on a misdemeanor disturbance charge.
* American Indian leaders said after a meeting with NFL assistant counsel David Cornwell that they still plan to demonstrate during the Super Bowl to protest the use of Indian nicknames and symbols.
The 15 nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as announced yesterday:
/%Al Davis. . . . . . . . .. . . owner
Wellington Mara. . . ..........owner
Bud Grant. ... . ..... ... . . coach
Bill Walsh.. . .. ..... ...... coach
John Riggins.. .. . . .. .running back
Willie Galimore. ....... running back
Charlie Joiner. . . .. .. wide receiver
Lynn Swann. ..... . ... . wide receiver
John Mackey. . ...... .. ..,. tight end
Bob Brown. . ...... ...offensive lineman
Dan Dierdorf. . ...... offensive lineman
Tom Mack. . .......... offensive lineman
Carl Eller. .......... defensive end
Lem Barney. . ... .....cornerback
Ray Guy. . ... ... ....punter