NFL: Seahawks fire offensive coaches
What’s expected to be an offseason makeover for the Seattle Seahawks is starting with their coaching staff.
The Seahawks fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach Tom Cable on Wednesday. Bevell was in charge of calling plays, while Cable was responsible for a run game and offensive line that failed to meet expectations.
It was a stunning sweep for head coach Pete Carroll, who has been immensely loyal to his assistants during his tenure. Carroll’s only other significant firing was offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates following the 2010 season, Carroll’s first in Seattle.
Seattle has been backsliding since appearing in the Super Bowl three years ago. The Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 after going 9-7 this season.
Shazier attends Steelers’ practice
Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier won’t play again this season.
Yet he remains very much a part of the team even after injuring his spine against Cincinnati last month. Shazier attended practice on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing spine stabilization surgery on Dec. 6.
Shazier posted a photo on Instagram from the team’s indoor training facility as Pittsburgh prepared to host Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs. Shazier is pictured in a wheelchair wearing sweatpants and a Steelers jacket, a visit that gave his teammates a needed jolt.
Alabama’s Ridley entering the draft
Alabama junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley is entering the NFL draft.
Ridley announced his decision in a Twitter post, two days after the Crimson Tide won the second national championship of his three-year career. Widely projected as a first-round pick, Ridley led the Tide in receiving with 63 catches for 967 yards.
Other juniors who declared for the draft Wednesday included: Stanford cornerback Quenton Meeks, Clemson receiver Deon Cain and Louisiana State running back Derrius Guice.
Group wants probe of Raiders’ hire
The Fritz Pollard Alliance is calling on the NFL to investigate whether the Oakland Raiders violated the “Rooney Rule” when they hired Jon Gruden as coach.
Fritz Pollard Alliance counsel Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru issued a statement Wednesday expressing concern that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates.
Davis said Tuesday after introducing Gruden as the team’s new coach that he believed that Gruden was “all in” to take the job during a meeting on Christmas Eve. Davis fired Jack Del Rio a week later and the team officially hired Gruden on Saturday.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday he interviewed two minority candidates before Gruden’s hiring was announced. Those candidates were Oakland tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said he would be ready for Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game at Philadelphia after missing Tuesday’s practice for personal reasons. ... Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said running back DeMarco Murray (knee) would not play against the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round on Saturday. ... The New Orleans Saints placed left guard Andrus Peat and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel on injured reserve and added offensive tackle Bryce Harris and defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton to their active roster. The decision to place Peat on injured reserve had been anticipated since he was carted off the field Sunday with a fractured fibula during the Saints’ playoff victory over Carolina. ... The Chicago Bears hired Harry Hiestand for a second stint as their offensive line coach. Hiestand, who worked for the Bears from 2005 to 2009, spent the last six seasons coaching Notre Dame’s offensive line.
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