In 1978 the Los Angeles Rams were happy to let successful coach Chuck Knox resign because owner Carroll Rosenbloom said the team was dull.
Yesterday, the Rams were "giddy with excitement" to announce that Knox is being brought back to replace John Robinson as coach.
Knox, who led the Rams to five straight NFC West championships in the mid-1970s as the 15th coach in franchise history, was given a four-year contract reportedly worth $700,000. Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, Rosenbloom's widow, also has given Knox considerably more power than Robinson, who resigned last month.
Knox will be a vice president as well as head coach and will have final say on the college draft and player personnel.
"I do remember one thing Carroll Rosenbloom told me," said Knox, "that I might be back someday. And I'm back. There always was a little thing in the back of my head that said it might happen."
* BRONCOS: Although Denver might be without its starting center Sunday, the team apparently will get a bonus it hadn't counted on -- the return of wide receiver Mark Jackson from a dislocated wrist.
Jackson began practicing with the team yesterday and, if he shows no ill effects, could be activated for the AFC championship game against Buffalo.
Jackson was the Broncos' leading receiver with 33 catches for 603 yards when he suffered what was thought to be a season-ending injury against Seattle on Nov. 24.
* OILERS: General manager Mike Holovak will return next season and the Oilers will get to work soon on quarterback Warren Moon's contract, owner Bud Adams said.
* VIKINGS: President Roger Headrick might have to offer Dennis
Green the team's coaching job today if he doesn't want the Stanford coach to withdraw his name from consideration, as he did with the Steelers yesterday.
Green has told several sources within the Stanford athletic department that he hopes to know by today whether Headrick plans to hire him. He will speak at the team's football awards banquet tonight and recruits are due on campus tomorrow and Green has told associates he wants the matter resolved.
* GIANTS: Fired assistant head coach Ron Erhardt said he had a storehouse of knowledge that rookie coach Ray Handley could have used, but didn't.
Erhardt even got the impression that Handley felt insecure with him on the staff, a charge that Handley later declined to address.
"I really don't have any comment on that," Handley said in a telephone interview from Giants Stadium.
* BENGALS: Cincinnati, with the worst defense in the NFL last season, is hiring former Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Lynn to rebuild its defense.
Lynn lost his San Diego job when the Chargers fired head coach Dan Henning and his staff after a 4-12 season.
* SEAHAWKS: New Seattle coach Tom Flores made his first change today, hiring Larry Kennan as offensive coordinator.
Kennan spent last season as head coach of London of the World League of American Football, guiding it to an 11-1 record and the league championship.
* NFL: Eagles owner Harry Gamble was named to the NFL Competition Committee by commissioner Paul Tagliabue, replacing the late Bengals owner Paul Brown.