The Bears added sportswriter Dennis Dillon to their 2005 training-camp roster yesterday. Brian Urlacher confirmed the transaction...

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CHICAGO — The Bears added sportswriter Dennis Dillon to their 2005 training-camp roster yesterday. Brian Urlacher confirmed the transaction.


“I’ll tell you what, it’ll be in my locker next year and I will look at it every day,” Urlacher said of Dillon’s article in The Sporting News that labeled him the most overrated player in the NFL.


Speaking with a tone of finality about a pulled left hamstring that likely will end his season, Urlacher took the opportunity at the podium to blast Dillon’s story as a publicity stunt.


In his first comments on the controversy that has spawned support for Urlacher across Chicago from the locker room to the board room, the Bears’ linebacker also thanked his teammates and coach Lovie Smith for their passionate defenses.


One gesture that particularly touched Urlacher came Monday when Smith crumpled a piece of paper and stormed away from a lectern at Halas Hall in response to the story.


“That was awesome,” Urlacher said. “He’s a great guy who stands behind his players. (But) it did surprise me.”


It did not surprise Urlacher, however, that the magazine chose him to be the poster boy for overrated NFL players.


“I know Chicago is a big market and it got a lot of pub,” he said.


“Maybe the guy had a personal agenda, I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t give him an interview one time and he’s mad at me. …


“What makes me mad is (scouts and analysts) say something and don’t put their name on it. If you’re going to say something in an article, put your name on it and say who you are.”


Emmitt wants to play another season


TEMPE, Ariz. — Fifteen seasons may not be not enough for Emmitt Smith.


The NFL’s most prolific running back sounds as if he would like to come back for a 16th, either with the Arizona Cardinals or with some other team.


“I don’t have no problem playing next year,” he said.


Smith, 35, stopped just short of saying for sure he will come back.


Smith has rushed for 732 yards in 202 carries, an average of 3.6 yards per carry, and has scored nine touchdowns.


The NFL’s career rushing leader with 18,150 yards, Smith is in the last year of a two-year, $7.5 million contract he signed with the Cardinals after leaving Dallas.




Notes


• The Dolphins are expected to present LSU coach Nick Saban with a contract proposal before the weekend is over and perhaps as early as today, an NFL source told the Miami Herald. The offer is to include a clear definition of Saban’s scope of power over Miami’s operation and a salary structure expected to average between $4 million and $5 million per year. The Dolphins are expected to interview at least one minority candidate in the coming days.


Ricky Williams, in an interview with “60 Minutes,” said a third failed drug test made him retire because he was scared people would find out. “The thing I had the most trouble with was that after you fail your third test, then it becomes public knowledge,” Williams said. “That’s one thing I couldn’t deal with at the time — people knowing that I smoke marijuana. That was my biggest fear in my whole entire life.”


• Carolina Panthers punter Todd Sauerbrun was arrested and charged with driving while impaired, said a police spokeswoman in Charlotte, N.C. He was released on $1,700 bond and will play this week, coach John Fox said.


• Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress will sit out tomorrow’s game against the New York Giants, missing his fourth consecutive start because of a sore hamstring. The Steelers (12-1) also might be without running back Duce Staley (hamstring), who missed practice and is listed as doubtful.


• Running back Larry Johnson will make his first start for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday against Denver.


• The Dallas Cowboys dropped quarterback Drew Henson to No. 3 on the depth chart, with Tony Romo moving up to No. 2 behind Vinny Testaverde.