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Defensive great Bubba Smith dies
Was part of Colts team that won Super Bowl

Former NFL defensive star Bubba Smith, who found a successful second career as an actor, died Wednesday at age 66.

Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said Smith was found dead at his Baldwin Hills home. Winter said he didn't know the circumstances or cause of death.

Police spokesman Richard French added the death does not appear to be suspicious.

The top overall pick in 1967 after a sensational career at Michigan State, Smith spent five seasons with Baltimore and two seasons each with Oakland and Houston. He won the 1971 Super Bowl with the Colts.

One of the most feared defensive ends in the game, Smith often drew two blockers, yet was effective enough to make two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team. His best work actually came in college, and Smith was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He was an All-American at Michigan State.

As an actor his most memorable role was playing Moses Hightower, the soft-spoken officer in the "Police Academy" series. He also appeared in such television series as "Good Times," "Charlie's Angels," and "Half Nelson," and was a regular in the ground-breaking Miller Lite commercials featuring retired players.


Around the league

* Players and owners are debating drug testing, benefits and the player conduct policy disciplinary process as they work to complete the collective bargaining agreement. The league year is set to begin at 4 p.m. EDT today. That's when players who signed new contracts will be allowed to practice for the first time if the players approve the CBA.

* Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson likely will stay overnight at a hospital after suffering a seizure at training camp at Lehigh University, trainer Rick Burkholder said. Patterson dropped to the ground between plays during a morning practice Wednesday, and the player began violently shaking. Patterson's agent JR Ricket said in a statement that the player is "in no pain and doing well." To replace Patterson and the injured Trevor Laws (hip), the Eagles signed former Buffalo Bill Anthony Hargrove and Derek Landri to one-year contracts. Both are defensive tackles.

* The New York Giants are no longer interested in trading disgruntled defensive end Osi Umenyiora. In an email sent Wednesday to Umenyiora's agent Tony Agnone, the Giants ordered him to cease speaking to other teams about a trade.

* Detroit rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley underwent foot surgery and will miss "a significant portion of training camp," the team said. Fairley had a small fracture in his left foot and will miss three to four weeks.

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