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NFL notebook: Defensive guru Arnsparger dies at 88


The Sports Xchange

Bill Arnsparger, the coordinator of the Miami Dolphins’ famous “No-Name” and “Killer B’s” defenses, died Friday at age 88.

Arnsparger coached under Woody Hayes at Ohio State in the early 1950s and met Don Shula while they were assistants at Kentucky in the late 1950s. Shula hired Arnsparger to be his defensive line coach with the Baltimore Colts in 1964, and Arnsparger followed Shula to Miami in 1970 and built the “No-Name Defense” that helped Miami go 17-0 in 1972 and win consecutive Super Bowls.

Arnsparger also was a key figure in the careers of Dick LeBeau and Steve Spurrier. Arnsparger shared his zone defense principles with LeBeau, who then became the modern master of that scheme while with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.

As athletic director at Florida from 1986 to 1992, Arnsparger hired Spurrier, who went on to lead the school to six SEC championships and the 1996 national title.

—The Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees are valued at $3.2 billion by Forbes, making them the second-most valuable sports franchises in the world.

The Real Madrid soccer club is worth $3.26 billion, topping the list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams of 2015.

The NFL landed the most teams in the top 50, with 20 franchises. Major League Baseball had 12, the NBA 10 and soccer seven. The NHL landed one team on the list; the Toronto Maple Leafs are tied for No. 37 at $1.3 billion.

—Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne wants to play one more NFL season.

Wayne, who was in Indianapolis on Friday to receive a key to the city, told reporters he plans to play a 15th season in 2015. The Colts parted ways with Wayne in March after 14 seasons, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Wayne, who made the Pro Bowl six times, said some NFL teams have been calling him. “Ideal is playing one more year and hanging it up,” Wayne said Friday. “It’s something I’m excited about. I really am. I guess in due time we’ll figure out where it is.”

—Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has his sights set on winning the Super Bowl and breaking records after signing a five-year, $70 million deal.

Thomas, speaking at a news conference in Englewood, Colo., on Friday, said he “wanted to finish a Bronco, retire a Bronco” with negotiations now behind him.

“I still remember from draft day, I had no idea that I was going to be a Bronco,” Thomas said. “From that day on, I said I was going to be the best that I could be to help this team win a Super Bowl or win a lot of games. So far, we haven’t gotten the Super Bowl. We still have some work to do, and I look forward to working and getting a Super Bowl before I’m done.”

—Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan isn’t ready to comment on the arrest of offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who allegedly punched a boy and threatened to kill his family in Florida last weekend.

Kromer was arrested by sheriffs on a misdemeanor battery charge in Walton County, Fla.

The Bills placed Kromer on indefinite paid administrative leave on Tuesday.

—New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, acquired in a trade this offseason, has no desire to play for another team in his career.

In fact, the five-time Pro Bowl veteran made it clear he would retire before going to another team, saying the Jets uniform will be the last one he wears.

“If I’m cut tomorrow, I’ll retire. This will be my last team. After the Jets, I’m done,” Marshall tweeted while answering questions from his Twitter followers late Thursday night.

In May, the Jets reworked the Marshall’s contract after acquiring him in March from the Chicago Bears. The maximum value of Marshall’s amended contract is $26 million over the next three seasons, up from $24.3 million, including an additional $1.3 million in guarantees.

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