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AUSTIN, July 24 - Chad Hennings is the John Wayne type. He doesn't say
much. But don't rile him unless you want trouble.
Charles Haley did one day last year. He finally tested Hennings'
patience and the next thing he knew, he was pinned up against a locker.
Haley didn't mess with Hennings again.
``I don't go around saying a lot,'' said the Dallas Cowboys defensive
end. ``I do have a limit on how far my patience can be pushed.''
The Cowboys hope Hennings takes his 6-foot-6, 292-pound frame and this
kind of attitude into the 1997 season because a depleted defensive line
needs him until Leon Lett can return from his NFL suspension from the
first 13 games of the season.
``We're going to need a big season from Chad, and I think we'll get
one,'' said defensive coordinator Dave Campo. ``What you see is what you
get with Chad. He's not a flashy, big-play kind of guy. But he's good
and solid. He's an excellent NFL player. We have a lot of young players,
and we've got to get a lot out of Chad and Tony Casillas until these
Hennings, who received a four-year extension on his contract from owner
Jerry Jones in the off-season, had an excellent 1996 season, with 31
solo tackles and logged 4.5 quarterback sacks.
``There's a lot of pressure on the older guys on the team like me to
produce this year until Leon can get back,'' Hennings said. ``I know
I'll have some heat on me. I got double-teamed at times last year, and I expect to be double-teamed even more this season.''
Jackson, who finds peace every summer in the Montana wilderness far
from the noise and chaos of professional basketball, is coming back to
the Chicago Bulls.
One final year. One final quest for yet another title that would be the
celebrated team's sixth of the decade.
``I know the city of Chicago is breathing easier,'' the coach's agent,
Todd Musburger, said Wednesday after Jackson agreed to a one-year deal
worth $6 million.
But the collective sigh is not just because Jackson, the 51-year-old
guru, is returning. It's because his coming back all but ensures that
Michael Jordan will do the same.
Jordan, the most popular, recognizable and perhaps wealthiest athlete
on the planet, used strong-arm tactics against Bulls management and
owner Jerry Reinsdorf, threatening retirement if Jackson wasn't
Several times down the stretch run to the Bulls' fifth championship,
Jordan said he had no interest in breaking in a new coach or being part
of a rebuilding program.
``Michael's support was not only a statement of tremendous loyalty from
a superstar to his coach, but it's something that had to weigh on their
psyches,'' Musburger said.
Jackson, who owns the best playoff record of any coach in NBA history,
didn't touch on the tough negotiations in a release from his Montana
``I'm grateful for a team that loves to work together and with a great
coaching staff we are once again prepared to conquer that monster - an
``I am pleased that Jerry Reinsdorf and the management of the Bulls
have concurred and will allow us a chance to do it once again.''
One more chance appears to be all he'll get.
``I want to emphasize this will be his last year,'' general manager
Jerry Krause said.
Not so fast, said Musburger.
``Phil is looking forward to next year. We don't know what will happen
after that,'' he said.
Bulls spokesman Tom Smithburg would not divulge financial terms of
Jackson's deal, except to say the salary is the highest ever for an NBA
coach who is not also a general manager.
There were reports the Bulls offered Jackson $4.3 million for one year
and that Jackson was seeking $6 million. A source close to negotiations,
who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that
Jackson got what he wanted.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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