Sports Shorts

Thursday, February 8, 2001 at 1:00am

RB Robert Smith calls it quits

Minnesota Vikings running back Robert Smith has decided to retire at age 28, following an injury-filled football career. He initially announced his intentions to the Cleveland Plain Dealer Wednesday in a brief statement and thanked all of his supporters. Smith ends his Vikings career with 6,818 rushing yards and led the team in rushing six consecutive seasons, tying the team record by Chuck Foreman. Smith played in every game this past season, the first time he had done so in his eight-year career, leading the NFC in rushing with 1,521 yards. The Ohio State product had battled assorted injuries throughout his career and underwent his third knee operation last week.

Williams fills staff with familiar faces

New Buffalo Bills head coach Gregg Williams surrounded himself with some familiar faces on his coaching staff as he officially named Jerry Gray defensive coordinator and Ronnie Vinklarek offensive line coach Wednesday. Gray had been an assistant coach for the last four seasons with the Tennessee Titans and was the defensive backs coach for the last two years under Williams, who was the defensive coordinator. Vinklarek served as quality control and defensive assistant coach last year with Tennessee after coming over from Oklahoma State, where he was the offensive line coach.

United and NY Yankees align

YankeesNet, the parent company of the New York Yankees and famed English soccer powerhouse Manchester United, are teaming up in an unprecedented deal to share marketing information and sell promotional items in each other

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