PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL : Expansion Date Depends on Settling Labor Issue

Associated Press

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue restated that expansion could be delayed if the league does not get the labor agreement it has been without for four years.

Tagliabue made the statement as he and other league officials began meeting with representatives of the 10 cities seeking franchises for the scheduled expansion in 1994.

The commissioner said the NFL is sticking to its timetable, under which finalists will be designated in March and two franchises chosen next fall.

But Tagliabue added: "If labor-management problems are not resolved, we may not go forward."

Oakland and Jacksonville, Fla., were the first two cities to make their presentations before a group that included Tagliabue and league President Neil Austrian.

Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Bubby Brister said mopping up in the final minutes of a blowout loss to Houston would have been "throwing me to the wolves" and "humiliating" and he doesn't regret his refusal to play.

Brister declined offensive coordinator Joe Walton's suggestion that he replace Neil O'Donnell with six minutes left in the Steelers' 31-6 defeat Sunday. Brister has a torn ligament in his right knee and hasn't played since Oct. 14.

Afterward, Brister said: "I'm no mop-up man" and suggested that Walton wanted him to play only because the offensive coordinator and O'Donnell had argued on the sidelines.

"I don't think it's fair to put me in a game in that situation," Brister said. "We had no chance to win it and all you're going to do is get killed. If Neil were hurt, I would have been glad to play. But he was fine."

Steeler Coach Chuck Noll and Brister met for 10 minutes Tuesday. "There wasn't any profanity. . . . There wasn't any cussing," Brister said. "We talked about what's gone on in the past, and the future."

Noll said that he won't fine Brister for his remarks.

Tim Worley and Terry Long, the only two players suspended this season for violating the NFL's drug policy, were added to the Steelers' practice squad.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed free-agent quarterback David Archer.

Eagle quarterback Jim McMahon is hospitalized because of four broken ribs. Jeff Kemp, who replaced McMahon the past two games for victories over Houston and New York, is expected to start Sunday. Rookie Brad Goebel is the other backup.

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