WISNIEWSKI RESIGNS FROM RAIDERS COACHING STAFF: ALAMEDA (AP) — Oakland Raiders assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski has resigned his position because of personal reasons.
The team announced Thursday that Wisniewski will remain in the organization as an ambassador.
Wisniewski was an eight-time Pro Bowler with the Raiders during his career. He joined the coaching staff last year and remained when new coach Dennis Allen took over.
But he decided a few weeks ago to step down. The team made the announcement days before the start of training camp.
The Raiders will not fill Wisniewski's position on the coaching staff this season. Offensive line coach Frank Pollack will handle the duties on his own.
Wisniewski's nephew, Stefen, is slated to start at center for the Raiders.
NFL LAUNCHES WELLNESS PROGRAM FOR PLAYERS: NEW YORK (AP) — In an offseason marked by Junior Seau's suicide and scores of lawsuits over brain injuries, the NFL on Thursday launched a comprehensive wellness program for current and retired players — including a confidential mental health phone line.
"There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an email Thursday to more than 11,000 players announcing NFL Total Wellness. "This service is here for you."
An outside agency will run NFL Life Line, a free consultation service to inform players and family members about the signs of crisis, symptoms of common mental health problems, as well as where to get help. Experts in suicide prevention and substance abuse are among those involved in developing and administering the program.
The website for the program also features special video messages from various NFL stars, including Brett Favre, Michael Irvin, Michael Strahan, Herschel Walker, Jevon Kearse and Cris Carter, urging players to get help and letting them know they are not alone.
MALISSE ADVANCES TO FARMERS CLASSIC QUARTERFINALS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fifth-seeded Xavier Malisse advanced to the Farmers Classic quarterfinals Thursday, beating Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-3 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
The 32-year-old Malisse, from Belgium, will face two-time tournament champion Sam Querrey on Friday
"I'll try to put as many returns (as possible) in play, that's the first thing," Malisse said. "But I think I've just got to go out and look at my own game. Try to concentrate on what I'm doing, keep trying to hit serves like that and be aggressive."
In other second-round matches, fourth-seeded Nicolas Mahut beat Paolo Lorenzi 7-5, 7-6 (7), sixth-seeded Marinko Matosevic topped Tobias Kamke 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, and Ricardas Berankis beat Igor Andreev 6-4, 7-5.
PATRICK CONSIDERING RETURN TO INDY 500 NEXT SEASON: INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danica Patrick is back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Could a return to the Indy 500 be next?
As Patrick spent Thursday preparing for the Nationwide race at Indianapolis on Saturday, she also was looking ahead to next season, when she plans to move up to a full-time Sprint Cup Series schedule. And as part of that move up to Cup, she'd apparently consider "doing double" duty next May — running the Indy 500 and NASCAR's race at Charlotte on the same day.
"I would love to do it," Patrick said. "I've said that all along. I love this track, I love the race, I feel like I've had really good races. I feel like it was always one of my strongest races of the year in IndyCar. So I feel like that's something that I would love to do, and maybe it'll happen and maybe it won't."