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Niners' Whitner in studio; '80s flashback; '40s pioneer

San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner was a big reason why the 49ers had one of the most feared defenses in the NFL this past season. Tune in to NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET and hear from Whitner on the 49ers' surprising 2011 season and how the team plans to get over the hump in 2012.

Here's what else is on tap for Tuesday:

» The NFL Scouting Combine is more than just a series of 40-yard dashes. Michael Lombardi says the event offers enticing action to the keenest eyes, both on and off the field.

Mayock: 2012 draft rankings

With the NFL Scouting Combine around the corner, Mike Mayock updates his position-by-position rankings for the 2012 NFL Draft. **More ...**

» With Van Halen's reunion album making noise on the charts, Jason Smith revisits a 1986 playoff game between the Jets and Chiefs and finds that nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

» Packers backup QB Matt Flynn will be in high demand when free agency opens on March 13. Check out a list of the notable 2012 free agents.

» Ben Roethlisberger said last week he had yet to hear from new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. On Monday, the quarterback told a reporter that was still the case.

» Two decades before the Civil Rights Act, and a year before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, Kenny Washington was the first African-American to play in the modern NFL.

» The NFL has grown from humble roots to a league with a global fan base, and it's not stopping. Take a look at the sport's evolution.

» The March edition of NFL Magazine captures the story of Eli Manning's triumphant season in New York, plus much more. Subscribe now and save up to 75 percent off newsstand prices.

» Happy birthday to free-agent wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who turns 29 on Tuesday. Also celebrating a birthday Tuesday is former NFL running back Terry Allen, who turns 44.

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