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NFL notes: Tense words between Childress, Belichick

Published: Thursday, Sept. 6 2007 12:07 a.m. MDT

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings coach Brad Childress is the typical tight-lipped NFL coach, but he opened up on a radio interview last weekend. And Childress revealed an apparently tense conversation he had with Patriots coach Bill Belichick about a couple of players each team wanted to pass through waivers and put on the practice squad.

Childress said Belichick called to ask him not to claim tight end Garrett Mills, offering to avoid picking up a player the Vikings cut as a reward. Childress declined.

"He didn't really care for that," Childress said Sunday morning on WCCO-AM. "He was trying to leverage, but you always find out who is honest and straightforward."

So the Vikings claimed Mills, the Patriots claimed linebacker David Herron, and Childress later realized he said too much.

"That's a case of me being a little too colorful," he said at his Wednesday news conference. "You guys wonder why I stand up here and go, 'Yep, no, and maybe so.' Bill's and my conversation should stay between Bill and myself."

Belichick didn't have much to say about it when asked on Monday.

"I talked to a lot of people in the league over the course of the last few days," he said. "That's part of the whole process of player transactions and so forth. I'm sure that all of the coaches in the league are trying to get their team ready for opening day and the regular season, and I'm trying to do the same thing."

Mills didn't want to comment on being in the middle of it.

"I have a lot of respect for coach Belichick and Scott Pioli and the whole Patriots organization," he said. "I don't know what happened and I'm here now, that's all that matters."

GOODELL COMMENTS: Commissioner Roger Goodell has no knowledge that any other NFL personnel are involved in an Internet drug operation being investigated by the Albany (N.Y.) District Attorney's office.

The investigation led to the recent suspensions of New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.

"We have been in touch with them for several months now, working with them, and we have responded, reacted and dealt with all of these issues," Goodell said Wednesday after attending a stadium groundbreaking for the new Meadowlands home of the Jets and Giants. "We'll continue to stay in touch with them."

HAMILTON'S STREAK ENDING: Ben Hamilton's streak of 5,407 consecutive snaps since becoming the Denver Broncos' starting left guard in 2002 is about to end.

Chris Myers will get the start Sunday at Buffalo because doctors have ordered Hamilton not to do any type of physical activity for two weeks in hopes his post-concussion symptoms will finally fade.

Hamilton, who banged helmets with a teammate in camp a month ago and sat out the entire preseason, remains optimistic he'll be back in the lineup soon.

"I'm feeling good. It's kind of a day-by-day deal, and once I start feeling better, I'll definitely be practicing and ready to go," Hamilton said Wednesday. "I'm not too scared. The doctors say I will definitely feel better."

RAIDERS' QB STILL A SECRET: For an organization that prides itself on secrecy, the Oakland Raiders are having a fun time keeping their starting quarterback from the public.

Coach Lane Kiffin said Wednesday he will keep the Detroit Lions guessing whether Josh McCown or Daunte Culpepper will start in the opener Sunday.

"It's simply a matter of always trying to gain a competitive advantage," Kiffin said.

Kiffin said he told the quarterbacks who won the job on Tuesday and that the rest of the team found out during practice Wednesday.

SKINS QBS: Todd Collins is the No. 2 quarterback for the Washington Redskins, with Mark Brunell demoted to No. 3.

The news was hardly a surprise, given that Collins has been working with the second-string unit during practice, but coach Joe Gibbs waited until Wednesday to inform his players.

"I was disappointed, but it's coach's decision," said Brunell, a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who hasn't played third-string since he was with Green Bay in the early 1990s. "It could've gone either way simply because you have two guys that are certainly qualified to be a backup."

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