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Matt Hasselbeck

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Marc Trestman hired as the next Chicago Bears head coach!


Marc Trestman Chicago Bears Marc Trestman hired as the next Chicago Bears head coach!

The Chicago Bears hired Montreal Alouettes Coach Marc Trestman on Wednesday to replace the fired Lovie Smith and gave him two basic tasks — fix the offense and lead the team to the playoffs on a consistent basis.

It’s the first head coaching job in the NFL for Trestman, 57, a longtime assistant in the league who spent the last five seasons coaching the Canadian Football League’s Alouettes and led them to two Grey Cup titles. Trestman was an offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders.

Chicago General Manager Phil Emery cast a wide net in his search, meeting with at least 13 candidates.

Trestman wasted little time starting to assemble his staff.

A person familiar with the situation said the Bears hired New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as their offensive coordinator, hoping to revive a unit that often sputtered with Mike Tice calling the plays. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced.

The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, reported on their website that special-teams coach Joe DeCamillis was leaving to become Chicago’s assistant head coach/special-teams coordinator.

For Chicago, the moves come after a 10-win season in which the Bears fell apart after winning seven of their first eight games.


Posted on: Chicago Bears

AFC Championship Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots


usp nfl  afc championship baltimore ravens at new england patri 4 3 r536 c534 AFC Championship Preview: Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

Who could have predicted this: the New England Patriots will once again get to battle for the right to appear in the Super Bowl. The Patriots dominated the Houston Texans in what was a rather boring blowout in the end, despite a late comeback attempt on the part of Houston.

The Patriots will face the Baltimore Ravens at home in the AFC Championship game. The Ravens, of course, beat the Denver Broncos to earn their place in the championship game. Who do you think will win this game? You could always test your luck with some online sports betting.

And so we come to two legends facing off. Will Ray Lewis say goodbye to the NFL with a second Super Bowl berth, or will Tom Brady continue to add to his impressive collection of prizes with a sixth Super Bowl appearance?

We’ll find out next Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET, when the Ravens and Patriots will appear in the AFC Championship game.


Patriots ready to move on despite missing Gronkowski for the remainder of the playoffs…



Rob Gronkowski AP Photo jpg Patriots ready to move on despite missing Gronkowski for the remainder of the playoffs...

Per Mercury News:

The New England Patriots have done just fine without Rob Gronkowski.

On Sunday, they’ll see whether that continues or if their valuable tight end’s absence will keep them from a second straight Super Bowl appearance.

Michael Hoomanawanui filled in well enough after Gronkowski broke his left arm on the Patriots’ seventh offensive play of their 41-28 win over the Houston Texans in Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game. He’ll probably do it again in the conference championship game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Gronkowski had season-ending surgery Monday, a person with knowledge of the operation said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the surgery.

Hoomanawanui didn’t catch any passes. But Gronkowski, who had 90 receptions last season and 55 in 11 games this season, had no catches in the Patriots’ two games against Houston this season. And they dominated both contests.

Gronkowski was sidelined for the 42-14 rout on Dec. 10, the third of five games he missed after breaking his left forearm while blocking on an extra point late in a 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18. The Patriots went 4-1 in his absence.

The Patriots also played without running back Danny Woodhead on Sunday after he hurt his thumb while running with the ball on their first offensive play. Former Cal star Shane Vereen stepped in and scored three touchdowns — two on receptions and one on a run.

Woodhead returned to the sideline but never got back in the game, although coach Bill Belichick said Monday that he could have played.

Panthers: A person familiar with the situation says Carolina interviewed Pat Shurmur and former Raiders coach Hue Jackson for its vacant offensive coordinator position.

The Panthers are looking to replace Rob Chudzinski, who left to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns last week, replacing Shurmur. Jackson, currently an assistant coach with the Cincinnati Bengals, was the Raiders’ head coach in 2011.

Eagles: Former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt interviewed with Philadelphia as the team’s search to replace Andy Reid entered its third week.

Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is scheduled to return Tuesday for a second interview.

The Eagles also were scheduled to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday, bringing the total number of known candidates to 11.

Bears: Seattle coach Pete Carroll said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Bradley were “heading toward second interviews” for Chicago’s head-coaching job.

ESPN, citing sources, reported the Bears also will conduct a second interview with Marc Trestman, head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

Colts: Indianapolis hired Jimmy Raye as its new vice president of football operations. He replaces Tom Telesco, who was named San Diego’s general manager late last week. Raye spent the last five seasons as the Chargers’ director of player personnel, where he was in charge of the team’s pro and college scouting departments and assisted with player personnel matters.

Belcher case: Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he shot his girlfriend nine times and then killed himself in front of his coach and general manager, an autopsy released Monday showed.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner report on Belcher, 25, raised new questions about whether police should have done more before the Dec. 1 murder-suicide. Officers found Belcher sleeping in his idling car about five hours earlier but let him go inside a nearby apartment to sleep it off.

At the time of the autopsy, Belcher’s BAC was 0.17, more than twice the limit of 0.08 percent for Missouri drivers, and it was likely higher when he shot girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, 22, at the couple’s Kansas City home.


Mike Mularkey gets the boot in Jacksonville!




mike mularkey 154531217 620x350 Mike Mularkey gets the boot in Jacksonville!

The Jacksonville Jaguars dismissed coach Mike Mularkey after one season, the team announced Thursday.

New general manager Dave Caldwell and owner Shad Khan will discuss Mularkey’s firing at a 4 p.m. ET news conference.

Mularkey becomes the eighth NFL coach fired since the regular season ended. Two of those teams have since hired new coaches, with Andy Reid, who was fired by the Eagles, taking over the Chiefs and Doug Marrone joining the Bills.

The Jaguars fired general manager Gene Smith last week but left Mularkey in limbo until a new GM was hired. Caldwell was named to the job this week.

“I informed Mike today that he will not return as head coach of the Jaguars,” Caldwell, who worked with Mularkey when both were with the Falcons, said in a statement. “I know Mike well and do not want anyone to misinterpret the rationale behind my decision. Mike is an excellent coach and I am sure he will succeed in his next stop in the NFL.

“However, I must do what I believe is best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and immediately explore every avenue possible to turn our football team around. For that to happen as seamlessly as we want, and as quickly as our fans deserve, I feel it is in everyone’s best interests for an immediate and clean restart.”

Among candidates for the Jaguars coaching job are expected to be 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Falcons special-teams coach Keith Armstrong, league sources told ESPN.

Roman and Caldwell were teammates and roommates in the 1990s while attending John Carroll University.

The Jaguars had already given their assistant coaches permission last week to look for other jobs.

In the 51-year-old Mularkey’s first season, the Jaguars finished 2-14 in 2012, the worst record in franchise history.

Jacksonville lost eight games by 16 points or more this season. Not even Jacksonville’s inaugural team in 1995 — a group composed of mostly rookies and street free agents — was overmatched as often. Coach Tom Coughlin’s ragtag bunch finished 4-12 back then, losing four games by at least 16 points. The 4-12 record had been the worst in franchise history.

“Mike Mularkey is leaving our organization with my utmost respect,” Khan said in the statement. “Mike gave the Jaguars everything he had on and off the field, and his efforts as our head coach will always be appreciated. Mike will land on his feet soon. Until then, I wish nothing but the best for Mike and his family.”

Mularkey signed a three-year contract on Jan. 11, 2012, getting a second chance to be a head coach six years after resigning with the Buffalo Bills.

His return was shaky from the start.

His best player, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, skipped offseason workouts as well as training camp and the preseason in a contract dispute. His first draft pick, receiver Justin Blackmon, was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI in June. And his team was riddled with injuries, including key ones to linebacker Daryl Smith and Jones-Drew.

Even things Mularkey had control over went awry.

He had to backtrack after saying Chad Henne would compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting job in March but later declaring Gabbert the starter before training camp began. He created a stir by threatening to fine players up to $10,000 for discussing injuries. He initially played rookie receiver Kevin Elliott over Cecil Shorts III early on. And he really irked some players with tough, padded practices late in a lost season.

He also may have mishandled injuries to receiver Laurent Robinson (four concussions before going on IR) and Jones-Drew (who admittedly should have had foot surgery sooner). Dating back to his final season in Buffalo, Mularkey has lost 20 of his last 23 games.

Mularkey has a 16-32 career record.


Is Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame to coach the Philadelphia Eagles?


usp ncaa football  notre dame at southern californ 4 3 r560 Is Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame to coach the Philadelphia Eagles?

“Leaving is not an option. I don’t even think about it,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Saturday, when he was holding court at the BCS media day at Sun Life Stadium. “I think from my perspective I’ve got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever,” he added.

Five days later – and two days after his Fighting Irish were dismantled by Alabama in the championship game – USA TODAY Sports confirmed reports that Kelly had met with the Philadelphia Eagles about its vacant head coach position.

If Kelly does leave Notre Dame for the NFL, it would mark one of the most unprecedented coaching moves in college football history. Consider:

Kelly would be the first Notre Dame coach to leave voluntarily for another position in nearly 70 years. The last was Ed McKeever, who traded in the Fighting Irish for Cornell after the 1944 season. From a report in the St. Petersburg Times on Feb. 28, 1945:

McKeever apparently elected to leave an insecure berth at Notre Dame in favor of a regular vacancy at Cornell. Last August, Notre Dame officials announced that (Frank) Leahy, who is now in the South Pacific but then was in the United States, had signed a long-term contract to begin with his release from the service.

Every other Notre Dame coach from McKeever through Charlie Weis has left either through retirement (like a Dan Devine or Ara Parseghian) or was fired for below-average results (Weis, Willingham, Davie, Faust and others).

Kelly would be only the seventh coach to accept another position aftercompeting in a BCS bowl. The others: Butch Davis (Miami) in 2000, Steve Spurrier (Florida) in 2001, Bobby Petrino (Louisville) in 2006, June Jones (Hawaii) in 2007 and Randy Edsall (Connecticut) and Jim Harbaugh (Stanford) in 2010.

While many coaches have taken another position before a BCS game – even Kelly did so prior to the 2010 Sugar Bowl, when he left Cincinnati for Notre Dame, and Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren did so in 2012 – he would join a short list of coaches who went through the game itself before accepting another offer. (Several coaches have taken another job but still coached through the BCS game.)

Kelly would be the first coach to leave a school immediately after coaching in the BCS National Championship Game. While other coaches who reached the BCS title game have eventually moved on (Larry Coker, Jim Tressel, Frank Solich, even Saban), none have done so immediately after the game itself.


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