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Goodell inherits healthy NFL, but much work lies ahead

In replacing Paul Tagliabue as the new NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell has some pretty big shoes to fill, and the league's perceived prosperity aside, not a lot of time to grow into them, writes Len Pasquarelli.

Updated: August 11, 2006, 12:41 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- The dead giveaway at every NFL owners meeting: When the limos begin queuing in front of the fancy hotel where the league's fraternity brothers are bivouacked, you know the boys are ready to bolt for the nearest small airport at which private jets are already revving their engines.

Limousines at league owners meetings are pretty much the equivalent of white smoke at a papal election. They represent two words: Done deal.

And so it was on Tuesday afternoon at around ...

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