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Andy Reid wants to coach somewhere in 2013

Andy Reid AP

Andy Reid is expected to be fired as the Eagles’ head coach after Sunday’s season finale, and after an extremely difficult year it might make sense for Reid to take some time off.

But Reid doesn’t plan to do that: Reid told reporters on Friday that his plan is to be a football coach in 2013.

I want to coach,” Reid said. “That’s what I want to do.”

Reid has already been linked to San Diego, where Chargers coach Norv Turner is also widely expected to be fired next week. If the Chargers choose someone else, however, there may not be any other teams willing to offer him their head-coaching jobs just yet.

Still, at age 54, Reid doesn’t sound like a man who’s ready to call it quits. Or even like a man who wants to take a year to recharge before returning to the sidelines. Reid wants to go right on coaching, somewhere.

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103 players secure early entry to the draft

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 to win the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Getty Images

The incoming class of NFL players has been supplemented by the players who have achieved special entry to the process.

The NFL has announced that 95 players have been granted “special eligibility” for the draft by meeting the (unfair and arbitrary) three-year eligibility rule. Eight other players, including Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (pictured), have obtained degrees despite having college football eligibility remaining.

That’s down one from 2016, but it’s a continuation of a trend that has seen the numbers spike since the NFL adopted a rookie wage scale in 2011. The restricted earnings at the top of the draft create an incentive to get to the NFL and begin the process of putting in years toward the second contract, because that’s where players now get paid in large amounts.

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Brian Gutekunst withdraws from 49ers G.M. search

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

There were two Packers executives included among the candidates for the 49ers General Manager job, but it appears neither one of them will be making the move to Santa Clara.

A day after director of football operations Eliot Wolf withdrew from the search, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst has also pulled his name from consideration. Schefter reports that Gutekunst has signed a new deal with the Packers, which was also the case for Wolf.

Both men were on a list of candidates invited back for a second interview. Vikings assistant G.M. George Paton and Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough are believed to be the other candidates for the position.

The 49ers are expected to hire Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as their head coach and reports earlier this week had the team planning conversations between Shanahan and the G.M. candidates after the NFC Championship Game.

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Vikings make a couple of coaching moves

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings looks on against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedExField on November 13, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Vikings promoted Pat Shurmur to offensive coodinator after Norv Turner’s departure last season and they’ll be keeping him in that role this year, which left them in need of a new tight ends coach.

Mike Klis of KUSA reports that former Broncos assistant Clancy Barone will fill the position. Barone served as the Broncos tight ends coach in 2009, coached the offensive line in 2010, moved back to work with the tight ends from 2011-14 and then went back to the offensive line for the last two seasons. He’s also served as a tight ends coach for the Chargers and Falcons, who initially brought him to the NFL as an offensive line coach in 2004.

Adam Caplan of ESPN backs up Klis’ report and adds that the team will move Kevin Stefanski from running backs coach to quarterbacks coach. Stefanski has been with the Vikings since 2006 and worked as the tight ends coach and an assistant quarterbacks coach over the course of his time in Minnesota.

Kennedy Polamalu is expected to be the team’s new running backs coach.

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Vance Joseph shares his thoughts on the AFC title game

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 23:  Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Devin McCourty #32, Duron Harmon #30 and Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on October 23, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos coach Vance Joseph knows the two participants in the AFC title game very well. As the defensive coordinator in Miami, he faced the Patriots and Dolphins twice this year.

So I asked Joseph during his visit this week to PFT Live which team has the edge.

“I’ll tell you this about the Patriots, it’s the most efficient football team in the NFL,” Joseph said. “So if it’s there to get, that team’s gonna get it. Pittsburgh is probably the most resilient team in the NFL. It never looks pretty. They always have little lulls during the season but it’s a tough, gritty football team.

“So that being said I’m not sure who’s gonna win. It’s gonna be a great game between two different styles of football teams. One team’s very efficient and one team’s a tough, resilient bunch that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer so it’s gonna be a good football game. Tom Brady is obviously a great player, Hall of Fame player so is Big Ben [Roethlisberger]. With Pittsburgh’s weapons, they’re gonna be able to score points with [Le’Veon] Bell and [Antonio] Brown. You know, I think whoever scores the most points wins Mike, how about that?”

It’s no surprise that Joseph chose his words carefully; he’ll be competing with both teams soon. In a way, he already is.

But his points are valid. He’s basically saying that the Patriots are the better overall football operation, but that the Steelers can never be counted out. In other words, “That’s why they play the games.”

On Sunday night, they will. Hopefully, it will be a great one.

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Packers center J.C. Tretter has knee surgery

GREEN BAY, WI - MAY 10: J.C. Tretter #73 of the Green Bay Packers runs through some warms ups before the start rookie camp at the Don Hutson Center on May 10, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers have been without center J.C. Tretter since a Week Seven knee injury, and it doesn’t appear he’s going to be back anytime soon, if at all.

Via Wes Hodkiewicz of the team’s official website, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tretter had knee surgery Tuesday, and wouldn’t be available this week.

The fact they’ve kept him on the roster this long remains a bit of a surprise, and the surgery now suggests the possibility of some degree of recent setback.

Corey Linsley has been starting in his place since the initial injury.

Tretter is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

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Artie Burns: I have to be ready for Tom Brady to come after me

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 25:  Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers signs autographs for fans before the start of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Steelers defense rounded into form down the stretch this season and ranks among the best defenses in the league over the course of the nine-game winning streak that the team carries into Sunday’s AFC title game against the Patriots.

Two of the players who have seen their playing time go up at the same time the defense’s play has improved are safety Sean Davis and cornerback Artie Burns. The two rookies have played almost every snap over the course of the winning streak and they have helped settle a secondary that was leaky in the first half of the season.

That was when the Patriots beat the Steelers 27-16. The rookies only played 38 snaps between them in that game, leaving Burns feeling like Tom Brady is going to be testing them often on Sunday.

“That’s what he does,” Burns said, via “He’s a savvy vet. That’s what savvy vets do; they go after rookies. I’m prepared for it. It’s a challenge. I’ve just got to be ready.”

Passing the test won’t guarantee the desired outcome for Pittsburgh — the Patriots ran for 140 yards in the regular season win — but it would likely make for a tighter game than the last one.

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Pursuit of Vic Fangio says plenty about 49ers search

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 30:  Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during pre-game warm ups before their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on December 30, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 49ers may not like their neighbors to the not-too-distant north, but they currently seem to be trying to take a page from the playbook of long-time Raiders owner Al Davis. How else can anyone explain the decision to pursue a defensive coordinator before hiring a head coach?

Well, here’s how it can be explained. It can be explained by acknowledging what’s already well known in league circles: Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is getting the job, and the 49ers are in the process of lining up possible candidates to join Shanahan’s staff. The Falcons can hardly complain; they did the same thing two years ago, wink-nod hiring Seahawks offensive coordinator Dan Quinn while the Seahawks still were playing.

The other unusual aspect of this specific situation is that neither Kyle Shanahan nor his father have any experience working with Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who previously worked for the 49ers in that same capacity. Some are interpreting the move to interview Fangio as a dynamic driven by someone other than Shanahan. Which possibly underscores the influence of Paraag Marathe, a factor that possibly has been causing some G.M. candidates to bow out.

Regardless, it’s odd to see a team trying to interview coordinators before having a coach. The truth most likely is that the 49ers have a coach.

Meanwhile, the report of San Francisco’s interest in Fangio and Chicago’s refusal to grant permission for him to interview for the job would seem to conclusively put to rest the idea that Fangio was in trouble. The Bears had an opportunity to get out from under Fangio’s contract, and the Bears declined.

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Zach Orr says he’s “forced to walk away” because of neck condition

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Linebacker Zach Orr #54 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates in the first half of the Buffalo Bills vs. the Baltimore Ravens game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Ravens linebacker Zach Orr is retiring not because he wants to, but because doctors are telling him he has to.

Orr says an examination on a herniated disc revealed that he has a rare neck condition that could result in a serious, life-changing injury if he continued to play. As a result, he’s walking away from football at age 24.

“I’m blessed and thankful that I’m able to walk away from the game in good health,” Orr said.

After initially making the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2014 by playing special teams, Orr emerged as a very good starting linebacker in Baltimore during the 2016 season. There was talk that he could be due for a big contract this offseason, but now he’s done playing football entirely.

Still, Orr seemed to be in good spirits, saying that he’s going to stay active in his community and in mentoring young men. Ravens coach John Harbaugh and G.M. Ozzie Newsome both called Orr a fine young man who has a bright future ahead of him. Just not on the field.

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NFL confirms games at Wembley Stadium in Weeks 3-4 of 2017

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars throws the ball over Eric Weddle #32 of the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game on September 25, 2016 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Ravens defeated the Jaguars 19-17. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL has confirmed the two games that will be played at Wembley Stadium in London in Week Three and Week Four of the 2017 season.

The Jaguars will “host” the Ravens in Week Three on Sunday, September 24, and the Dolphins will “host” the Saints a week later on October 1.

Jacksonville has agreed to give up a home game each year to play in London. The Dolphins agreed to give up one home game as part of the deal that awarded Miami the Super Bowl in 2020.

The NFL has also confirmed that the Browns will play a “home” game against the Vikings at London’s Twickenham Stadium, and the Rams will play a “home” game against the Cardinals there. Those games are expected to take place in Weeks 7-8, although specifics have not been announced.

The Rams are giving up one home game in each year that they’re playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Browns gave up a home game just because they’re a rebuilding team that doesn’t have a huge ticket demand.

The Raiders are also expected to play a “home” game against the Patriots in Mexico City in 2017.

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Jordy Nelson dealing with illness, still could play Sunday

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Trevin Wade #31 of the New York Giants tackles Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Getty Images

Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson is dealing with an illness in addition to broken ribs as the Packers finalize preparations for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in Atlanta.

Nelson missed last week’s win in Dallas due to injury. Packers Coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that the illness kept Nelson away from the team facility Friday because the Packers worried it might be contagious.

If Nelson gets healthy, McCarthy made it sound like he could be in uniform Sunday. McCarthy said Nelson practiced more on Thursday than the team anticipated he would and is “making progress.”

Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison are all battling injuries, but McCarthy said all three wide receivers “will be given every chance” to play Sunday.

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NFL denies that it gave Lady Gaga a mandate not to mention Donald Trump

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 30:  Lady Gaga performs during the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret) Getty Images

The story is a couple of days old, but it’s inauguration day, so anything regarding the incoming or outgoing president takes on extra relevance. reports that Lady Gaga, who’ll headline the halftime show at Super Bowl LI, has been asked not to mention politics or Donald Trump during the event.

“Lady Gaga was told by the NFL that she cannot say anything or bring anything up about the election, or mention Donald Trump,” said.

The league denies it.

“The Super Bowl is a time when people really come together,” the league told in a statement. “Lady Gaga is focused on putting together an amazing show for fans and we love working with her on it; we aren’t going to be distracted by this.” The league also called the matter “nonsense from people trying to stir up controversy where there is none.”

There is no controversy yet, but it would hardly be the first time the Super Bowl halftime creates controversy. From Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction to M.I.A.’s middle finger, the league has had unfortunate events during the gigantic stage that the biggest event in American sports provides.

Regardless of anything the NFL has or hasn’t said to Lady Gaga about what she can or can’t say or do, her rights and responsibilities undoubtedly have been outlined in detail in the contractual documents that were signed weeks ago. And if the league didn’t have the foresight to ensure that Lady Gaga won’t create some sort of spectacle via an attempt to interject politics into a musical event, the league has only itself to blame if/when she does.

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Report: Ravens’ Zach Orr to retire at age 24

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 18: Inside linebacker Zach Orr #54 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after making an interception in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at M&T Bank Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

After becoming a starter and having his best season in 2016, Ravens linebacker Zach Orr is planning to retire, at age 24.

Orr decided to retire despite the Ravens attempting to talk him out of it, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. According to Mike Garafolo, Orr played through a cracked bone in his shoulder late last season. He did not miss a game until Week 17, after the Ravens had been eliminated from playoff contention. The Ravens said he missed the finale because of a neck injury.

Just yesterday a report surfaced that Orr and the Ravens were making progress on talks for a new contract, but that is apparently not the case.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of North Texas in 2014, Orr was at first primarily a special teams player but had a strong season last year on defense and appeared to have a bright future in the NFL. Now he appears ready to walk away.

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As youngest head coach, Sean McVay plans to earn players’ respect

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - JANUARY 13:  The Los Angeles Rams announce today in a press conference the hiring of new head coach Sean McVay on January 13, 2017 in Thousand Oaks, California. McVay is the youngest head coach in NFL history.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) Getty Images

New Rams coach Sean McVay is only 30 years old, an age his players may associate more with a teammate than with a head coach. But McVay isn’t worried about whether players will listen to a coach who’s not much older (or maybe even a little younger) than they are.

McVay said today on PFT Live that he thinks his hard work will earn the respect of players.

“I think that respect will be earned over time,” McVay said. “It’s not something that comes in one day, I think it’s something that will be earned over time.”

McVay said that he and his coaching staff will make the players better, and that’s what players respond to.

“I think the biggest thing is letting these players see by our preparation, our process, day in and day out, how serious we are about our football and how that can lead to us winning games,” McVay said. “It’s about helping these players reach their highest potential, that plan, that process, the way we coach, lead, teach and motivate on a day-in, day-out basis, I think our players will feel.”

That’s ultimately what a coach is judged on: If McVay wins, people will quickly forget that he’s the youngest coach in the NFL.

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Sean Smith, Austin Howard recovering from shoulder surgery

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Sean Smith #21 of the Oakland Raiders walks to the locker room before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cornerback Sean Smith’s first season with the Raiders got off to a shaky start when he was benched in the first game of the season, but he was able to rebound from that low to turn in a solid season in the Oakland secondary.

Smith did that work despite a shoulder injury that forced him to miss one game and led him to an operating room recently. At a Thursday press conference, Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie said that Smith had shoulder surgery and said, via Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group, that the team expects Smith to be “just fine” for next season.

Smith isn’t the only Raider on the mend after shoulder surgery. Right tackle Austin Howard went for a repair of a torn labrum that he said he initially suffered in training camp.

Howard was able to start 10 regular season games and their playoff loss to the Texans after the injury.

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Broncos planning to give Paxton Lynch a chance to be starter

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Paxton Lynch #12 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

With a new head coach and a new offensive staff in place in Denver, the Broncos have an opportunity to go in a new direction.

That direction is apparently not a trade for a veteran such as Tony Romo.

According to Mike Klis of KUSA, the Broncos are prepared to give 2016 first-rounder Paxton Lynch a chance to win the starting job this offseason, and want to push him toward that goal.

That means OTAs and minicamps will be more significant than normal, if they’re trying to determine if he’s ready to handle it.

If not, there’s some level of trust in Trevor Siemian, and his experience could still be a factor.

But if the Broncos are making it known they want Lynch to have a chance to make the job his own, it could signal that they’re not about to invest heavily in a contract such as Romo’s.


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