Catching up with old Cougs

OH, THE VAGARIES of the NFL. Just two weeks after Green Bay waived offensive tackle Barrett Brooks and filled his roster spot with former Rose Bowl Cougar <b>Chris Jackson</b>, the Pack up and waives Jackson to resign Brooks.

That's pretty much been the story of Jackson's professional career --- always on the fringe of making it. Twice the scrappy Fab Five receiver was one of the last players cut by the Seahawks coming out of training camp; in 1999 a practice squad assignment with Tennessee evolved into action in one regular season game before injury sidelined him; and earlier this season he was with the Packers until a week before the regular season opener.

Last week in his latest stint he saw action on special teams in the Packers' win over Carolina.

Alas, Jackson knows he always has a home in Los Angeles with the Avengers of the Arena League if the NFL doesn't come calling again.

Jackson, the 2000 Arena League rookie of the year after grabbing 91 passes for 1,325 yards and 26 TDs, is considered one of the game's biggest stars. He is signed through 2004 --- a level of security foreign to most Arena players.

IN OTHER COUGAR news on the pro front, defensive end Rob Meier, in his third season with Jacksonville, just signed a three-year contract extension. He's the Jags' No. 2 guy left DE.

We have just one thing to say about Drew Bledsoe's work in Buffalo this season: Cougarrriffic!

Jason Gesser isn't the only Cougar with sore ribs. Old Copper Bowl Coug Lewis Bush, the Chiefs starter at strong side linebacker, injured his ribs two weeks ago and is still nursing them along.

Alamo Bowl Cougar Brian Walker, the best safety never to get a Pro Bowl nod, has been battling a bad toe the last two weeks but has been upgraded to questionable for the Lions this weekend. In the three games he's played this season, Walker has made hay -- 13 tackles (one a sack) and 2 forced fumbles).

And speaking of Cougars playing for Detroit, kicker Jason Hanson last week set the franhcise record for most career field goals when he booted his 245th trey from 49-yards-out against Minnesota. The previous record holder was Eddie Murray.

Down in New Orleans, former Cougars Scott Sanderson and Steve Gleason are each holding down No. 2 spots for the 5-1 Saints --- Sanderson at left offensive tackle and Gleason at safety. Gleason is also a terror on special teams and has seven stops so far this season. Another ex-Cougar, linebacker Curtis Holden, is on the Saints' injured list and out for the season.

NOTABLE NOTES: Ex-Cougar receiver Milton Wynn, late of Tampa Bay, recently had a tryout with the 49ers but has yet to be picked up.

One of Chris Jackson's Fab Five teammates, Kevin McKenzie, won a championship ring when his San Jose Sharks captured the Arena League title in August.

The granddaddy of all Cougars in the Arena League, Calvin Schexnayder, is now with the Tampa Bay Storm after an record-shattering eight seasons with Arizona Rattlers. He joined the Storm midway through this past season. In 1998, he earned AFL Offensive Player of the Year honors. He holds league records for single-season receiving yards (1,982), single-season receptions (136), single-season receiving touchdowns (44), games with 100 yards or more (11), and consecutive games with 100 or more receiving yards (7).

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