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3 QUARTERBACKS NEED GOOD SHOWING AS THEIR NEW TEAMS END PRESEASON

SHARE 3 QUARTERBACKS NEED GOOD SHOWING AS THEIR NEW TEAMS END PRESEASON

Jim Miller replaced Neil O'Donnell, who replaced Boomer Esiason. All three quarterbacks have something to prove tonight in their final exhibition games.

Earlier this week, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher announced that Miller, a three-year pro who has never started an NFL game, had won the starting job over Kordell Stewart and Mike Tomczak."I don't know if there was any real clean-cut winner," Cowher said. "I don't think it serves any purpose to be specific because really it was a decision where all three had justification to say that they could have been the guy."

Miller has tonight's game against the Eagles in Philadelphia to prepare for the Steelers' season opener Sept. 1 at Jacksonville.

O'Donnell, Miller's predecessor in Pittsburgh, signed with the Jets in the off-season and had good numbers in the first three exhibition games. He has completed 23 of 31 passes for 201 yards but no touchdowns.

The Jets play at Oakland against the Raiders.

Esiason, whose departure from New York led to O'Donnell's arrival, has struggled in Arizona. He has yet to lead the Cardinals into the end zone, and they are averaging less than nine points in three exhibition games.

Arizona visits the Atlanta Falcons.

The final exhibition weekend opened Thursday night in Chicago, and the game between the Chiefs and Bears was called off in the third quarter when a thunderstorm sent lightning crackling across Soldier Field.

Tonight's other games are Baltimore at Buffalo, Detroit at Cincinnati, Miami at Tampa Bay, Carolina at the New York Giants, Jacksonville at Denver, Minnesota at New Orleans, San Diego at St. Louis, Washington at New England and San Francisco at Seattle.

Dallas plays Houston at Orlando, Fla., and Green Bay is at Indianapolis Saturday night to end the exhibition season.

Chiefs-Bears

Kansas City was ahead 14-10 in the exhibition finale for the teams and was credited with the victory.

The storm began at halftime and pounded the lakefront area for a half-hour before the game was stopped. Players slipped and fell on a field soaked by a storm that featured loud thunder and lightning.

Referee Red Cashion finally sent the teams to their locker rooms with 4:20 left in the third quarter, and then moments later was told by NFL officials that the game was called off for the safety of the players and fans.

Bengals

Cincinnati linebacker Andre Collins ended his holdout and reported to the team. The Bengals had offered a one-year, $770,000 contract and had the right of first refusal. No other team made a competing offer.

Collins contended he was an unrestricted free agent, but the team won the arbitration case. Collins held out in protest. Collins, a seven-year veteran, started only five games last season and wanted to go to a team where he would start.

Eagles

Philadelphia signed quarterback T.J. Rubley and offensive guard Guy McIntyre and waived running back Vaughn Hebron.

Rubley spent the exhibition season with the Denver Broncos before being released Monday. He played with the Los Angeles Rams for three years before spending 1995 with Green Bay.

McIntyre, who has played in five Pro Bowls, started all 16 games for the Eagles last season after spending most of his career with San Francisco. He was signed to give the Eagles depth on the line after Tuesday's release of another former 49er, Steve Wallace.

Hebron made the Eagles as a rookie free agent in 1993 and appeared in all 16 games in that season and in 1994. He missed last season with a knee injury.

Packers

Brett Favre is seeking a contract extension on par with Troy Aikman's $50 million deal. A new pact would include a stipulation that the Green Bay Packers quarterback forfeit some of that money if he violates the NFL's substance abuse policy, his agent said.