London will hold the NFL's first regular-season game outside North America this year, the start of a campaign to take American football to a global audience.

The opponents have yet to be announced, but the Associated Press said yesterday the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants are front-runners for the game.

The most likely venue is the new 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium, which will open this spring after years of delays. The other candidate is 82,000-seat Twickenham, home of English rugby.

The game will be held between late September and mid-October. Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the teams, venue and date before the Feb. 4 Super Bowl in Miami.

Redskins. Washington fired linebackers coach Dale Lindsey, the first casualty of Joe Gibbs' worst season as a head coach.

Gibbs, who values loyalty and is reluctant to part with any of his assistants, decided to let Lindsey go after a 5-11 season in which the linebackers played poorly.

Falcons. Atlanta hired Brian VanGorder as its linebackers coach.

VanGorder, who served four years as Georgia's defensive coordinator, left the Bulldogs after the 2004 season to coach Georgia Southern, where he went 3-8.

New head coach Bobby Petrino retained quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, running backs coach Ollie Wilson and secondary coach Emmitt Thomas.

Musgrave and Thomas were on Ray Rhodes' staff with the Eagles.

Giants. Jerry Reese, New York's new general manager, said he was glad coach Tom Coughlin was retained and expected more from quarterback Eli Manning.

Reese, 43, was introduced during a news conference as the successor to Ernie Accorsi, who is retiring after nine seasons as GM.

Reese has been with the franchise since 1994 and was director of player personnel since 2002.

Reese becomes the NFL's third black general manager, joining Baltimore's Ozzie Newsome and Houston's Rick Smith.

Cardinals. Ken Whisenhunt formally joined Arizona as coach after three seasons as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator. The Cardinals hired the 44-year-old to replace Dennis Green, who was fired after going 16-32 in three seasons. Whisenhunt signed a four-year contract.

Whisenhunt becomes the Cardinals' eighth coach since the franchise moved to Arizona in 1988. The team has had one winning season in its 19 years in the desert.

Dolphins. The latest candidate to emerge for the Miami coaching job has a big edge in name recognition: He's a Shula.

Mike Shula interviewed for the job Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

Don Shula, Mike's father, coached the Dolphins for 26 years, holds the NFL record with 347 victories, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Two other candidates have interviewed with Miami twice: former Falcons coach Jim Mora and Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey.

Steelers. Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, one of three finalists for Pittsburgh's head coaching job, had his second interview.

The 34-year-old Tomlin is the same age former coach Bill Cowher was before the Steelers hired him in 1992. He hopes that is more than a coincidence, although he has been an NFL coordinator for only one season.

As the defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tomlin coached under Tony Dungy - the former Steelers player and who has led the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC championship game.

The Steelers plan to talk to their current defensive coordinator, Russ Grimm, again today.

Cowher, the Steelers' coach for 15 seasons, resigned Jan. 5 - 11 months after leading the Steelers to their first Super Bowl title in 26 seasons.

Chargers. Rookie tackle Marcus McNeill was added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, giving San Diego 10 players in the game. McNeill is an injury replacement for Bengals tackle Willie Anderson. The Pro Bowl will be played Feb. 10 in Honolulu.

Noteworthy. A man police consider a "person of interest" in the fatal drive-by shooting of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams has been cleared in an unrelated traffic case.

A warrant had accused Willie Clark, 23, of driving with a revoked license, but court officials determined the warrant should have named Clark's cousin, Stephen Howard.

Howard, 24, pleaded guilty to the charge.

Williams was shot early New Year's Day as he was riding away from a party at a Denver nightclub in a stretch Hummer.