Sunday, April 09, 2006

Former Steelers, Giants lineman Jim Clack dies at 58

Jim Clack, a guard on two Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers teams in the 1970s, died of heart failure. He was 58.

Clack had fought neck and throat cancer for about four years before his death at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, wife Susan Clack said.

Clack, who helped the Steelers win Super Bowls following the 1974 and 1975 seasons, played in 146 NFL games between 1971 and 1981. He played for Pittsburgh for seven season before joining the New York Giants in 1978 and playing for four more years.

Born in Rocky Mount, Clack attended Wake Forest and entered the school's hall of fame in 1991. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

He returned to North Carolina after his football career, developing commercial and residential real estate and owning a restaurant. He started a sales training business and worked as a motivational speaker.

Clack also is survived by his stepchildren, Joseph and Lindsay Curtis, both of Wilmington.
A funeral is scheduled for April 10 at Cornerstone Baptist Church with burial at Westminster Gardens in Greensboro. A memorial service in scheduled for April 11 at Lakeside Baptist Church in Rocky Mount.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

CB Clements a no-show at Bills minicamp

Nate Clements was a no-show when the Buffalo Bills opened a voluntary minicamp because he failed to accept a one-year contract as the team's franchise player.

New coach Dick Jauron said it was important for the star cornerback to attend camp to learn the new defensive system Jauron and coordinator Perry Fewell are implementing.

"We'd like to have him in, but we also understand his position in this thing," said Jauron, who took over after Mike Mularkey's abrupt resignation in January. "It'll straighten itself out over time one way or the other. We obviously value his abilities a great deal."

The Bills designated Clements their franchise player in February. The move means the Bills are committed to paying him about $7.2 million next season. The two sides are attempting to negotiate a long-term contract.

Clements' agent, Todd France, said there were "no new developments at this time," in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Clements doesn't have to accept the offer, and the Bills can withdraw the deal at any time.
Buffalo's first-round pick in the 2001 draft, Clements is a five-year starter who leads the team with 20 interceptions, four of which he's returned for touchdowns.

The three-day minicamp ends April 9.

Two other players -- running back Willis McGahee and linebacker Takeo Spikes -- also were absent.

Jauron said McGahee had a scheduling conflict, but it's possible he will attend the final two days of camp. Spikes continues to recuperate after having surgery to repair an Achilles' tendon he tore in Week 3 of last season.

Spikes isn't expected to fully recover until the start of training camp in July.


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