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He Has a Lott of Support as a Future Coach

He’s still playing, but NFL coaches expect New York Jet safety Ronnie Lott to join their ranks in the future.

In its endless quest to leave no public relations stone unturned, the NFL quizzed the five head coaches who are starting their first years with their respective teams.

The most interesting result of the page full of trivia? Maybe that when asked to name one player, current or retired, who would make a great head coach, three of the four who responded to that question named Lott, a certain Hall of Famer.

Pete Carroll of the New York Jets, June Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and Norv Turner of the Washington Redskins were the Lott fans. The Arizona Cardinals’ Buddy Ryan listed Mike Singletary. Barry Switzer of the Dallas Cowboys did not answer the question.

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Add coaches: Not that he can help it, but Switzer stands out a bit among his NFL-grown peers. When asked what was the greatest team they ever competed against, Carroll and Turner named the 1985 Chicago Bears. Ryan, who was defensive coordinator of that Bear team, and Jones picked the late-'70s Pittsburgh Steelers.

And Switzer? The 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Trivia question: Who holds the record for most rushing yards in an NFL regular-season opening week game?

‘Tis better to receive: San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young says he is discovering that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have receivers complaining that they should be thrown to more often.

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“Brent Jones hasn’t been covered on any play in his life--in his mind,” Young said in Inside Sports magazine. “I’m sure Jerry (Rice) basically feels the same way. But you like to have guys like that, guys who want the ball.

“I was talking to an NFL quarterback the other day who said, ‘You’re lucky. I’ve got five guys who don’t want the ball. They all leave the huddle hoping I won’t throw to them.’ ”

Trivia answer: O.J. Simpson, who gained 250 yards in 29 carries for the Buffalo Bills against the New England Patriots to open the 1973 season.

Quotebook: San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler: “The AL West race is like the Hotel California: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

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