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Published: Friday, 2/2/2007

Moorehead to face dad's team

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE COLUMNIST
Colts receiver Aaron Moorehead faces the media in a venue he first experienced at age 5 when his father, Emery, played. Colts receiver Aaron Moorehead faces the media in a venue he first experienced at age 5 when his father, Emery, played.
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MIAMI - When Chicago last won the Super Bowl 21 years ago, 5-year-old Aaron Moorehead was a regular in the locker room.

His father, Emery, was a sturdy tight end for the Bears, who destroyed the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

But Aaron didn't attend the game at the Superdome in New Orleans, instead staying home with his sister.

Come Sunday, Moorehead will square off against his dad's team - the Bears - in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium. He hardly can contain his excitement.

"I think it's something that I've grown up thinking about," said Aaron, whose cousin is former NBA basketball player Brad Daugherty. "I've grown up knowing that this was the position I wanted to be in. Growing up with a dad who played in the NFL, it's not a far-fetched dream. You look at it and say, 'Hey, I've been through this before.'

"I've been through it with him. I see him all the time with his buddies. These guys have played in the NFL. So it's not like I haven't been around it."

The Mooreheads are the ninth father-son combination to reach the Super Bowl. Aaron is the second to play against his father's old team.

Emery, a 52-year-old real estate agent in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, started for a Bears team considered among the greatest ever. He's also part of an NFL alumni chapter that has a deal with a local company to give $200 to a scholarship fund every time the Bears sack the quarterback.

Emery plans to root for both the Bears and his son, who had three catches for 23 yards in the AFC championship game.

"He's not necessarily 100 percent or anything," Aaron said. "He's kind of on the fence right now. He wants me to do well. He wants us to win. He's been a Bears fan his whole life. He loves the fans in Chicago. He feels like the fans in Chicago definitely deserve another championship."

Emery had a 12-year career in the NFL, playing for the Bears, New York Giants and Denver Broncos. He caught two passes for 22 yards in the Super Bowl.

STILL WAITING: Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera keeps getting interviewed for head coaching jobs in the NFL, but he is 0-for-6 since the end of the 2005 season. However, Rivera reportedly has emerged as the latest candidate to replace Bill Parcells as coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

"I haven't talked to anybody in Dallas," Rivera said yesterday. "Nobody has told me anything."

ESPN.com also reported that leading candidate Norv Turner told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that if he got the job he'd want Rivera as defensive coordinator.

Four of Rivera's head coaching interviews came at the end of this season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Mike Tomlin, the Miami Dolphins opted for Cam Cameron, the Arizona Cardinals tabbed Ken Whisenhunt and the Atlanta Falcons plucked Bobby Petrino from the college ranks.

Because he coached a team in the playoffs, Rivera could only interview on the Bears' playoff-opening bye week. And the NFL teams with vacancies quickly moved on and hired other people.

"Honestly, the only thing that is really disappointing is the way the process is handled," Rivera said. "You make a couple of final lists, they tell you they'll get back to you and obviously they want to talk to you again.

"But the longer we went in the playoffs, the tougher it was for teams to sit back and be patient."

OLD FRIENDS: Colts linebacker Rob Morris can't wait to get on the field against the Bears.

His roommate at Brigham Young, John Tait, is a starting offensive tackle for Chicago.

Morris, who has moved from middle linebacker to the strong-side spot, will be lining up almost directly opposite Tait.

"That's going to be fun," Morris said. "I guess that since I'm on the outside now, I'll be looking at him right in the eye for most of the day. I'm ready to get out there."

WAYNE'S WORLD: Colts Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne can't quit thinking of his late brother, Rashad.

He was killed Sept. 24 in a traffic accident.

Reggie expects his brother to be on the field with him Sunday, at least in spirit.

"There's not much time that goes by that I don't think about him," said Wayne, who had a career-high 86 catches for 1,310 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season, and 15 receptions for 155 yards and one score in the playoffs. "A lot of my success came through him."



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