League looking for ways to honor Upshaw

August, 21, 2008
8/21/08
4:13
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE -- Expect the NFL to offer moments of silence for Gene Upshaw at its preseason games this weekend and to come up with a way to honor the NFLPA executive director and Pro Football Hall of Famer over the course of the regular season.

Titans center Kevin Mawae, president of the NFLPA, said he discussed those possibilities today with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Mawae has been on the phone all day and just carved out a bit of time to talk with the media and take some questions. Before that he was on a conference call with the executive committee, which voted unanimously to make NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen the interim executive director. After that, Mawae was to be part of a call with the players' advisory council.

The PA won't seek a permanent replacement for Upshaw until March, at the earliest, Mawae said.

He plans to travel with the Titans to Atlanta later this afternoon and play in Friday night's game against the Falcons.

Here's the best of what he said about Upshaw:

"A lot is going to be said about what Gene's done or hasn't done for the former players and what he's doing for the current players, but I don't think anybody will ever question his passion for the league and for the players of this NFL. We're at a time in this league right now that the money is far greater than it's ever been, the players are getting a bigger share than they ever have before in the past, our benefit levels are the greatest of any sport in the country and it's all because of what Gene has done and the passion that he's put into his work."

"People can say what they want to say about Gene. If some people didn't like him, he was too brash, he didn't stroke them the right way, but Gene always told you the truth. Gene got the job done is what it boiled down to. His legacy will go on forever. He was a great player, obviously, being in the Hall of Fame, but he was also a great leader to the NFLPA. The things that we have accomplished over the past and the things that we are establishing now are a great deal because of what Gene has done."

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