Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Atlanta will see if USC's Carroll has interest in NFL return

Atlanta will see if USC's Carroll has interest in NFL return

Late Tuesday night,, citing multiple sources, reported that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is pursuing USC coach Pete Carroll according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to the story, the Falcons "might be willing to grant Carroll far-reaching responsibilities." The Falcons on Tuesday said they were extending their simultaneous searches for a new head coach and general manager.

On Tuesday,�the Falcons were granted permission to interview Tennessee defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. That interview is slated for this week. But the team was denied permission to talk to New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Faneca an option for Seahawks?

With it sounding like All-Pro guard Alan Faneca is leaving Pittsburgh and free agency two months away the Seattle Seahawks might consider adding Faneca even though he'd come at a hefty price?

Given Seattle's issues with a young and still learning Rob Sims at left guard and aging Chris Gray at right guard. And the�running game hasn't been the same since Steve Hutchinson departed.

Faneca could be just what the Seahawks are looking for according to the Seattle Times.

Will Ravens consider Marvin Lewis for heading coaching job?
The Baltimore Ravens have interviewed five men for their head coaching opening — none with previous experience. Mike Preston, columnist for the Baltimore Sun, asked�what if the Ravens could get an established head coach in exchange for draft picks? Would they be willing to make the swap?

"No, we're not at that point, not yet," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said Tuesday.

But they could be soon, and one name that keeps popping up is Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, the Ravens defensive coordinator from 1996 through 2001. Lewis is still revered in Baltimore because he was the architect of the Ravens' 2000 Super Bowl-winning defense, one of the best in league history.

Lewis has long coveted the Ravens' coaching job, and there's no question he would come to Baltimore in a heartbeat. But he has three years left on his contract, so the Bengals would demand compensation.

Patriots get good news on the injury front

The New England Patriots got good news on the injury front Wednesday according to

Starting right tackle Nick Kaczur (foot), starting right guard Stephen Neal (shoulder), and tight end Kyle Brady (foot) all taking part in at least part of the team's full-pads practice inside Gillette Stadium. Running back Kyle Eckel (stomach) was the only player not present for the portion of practice open to the media, which included stretching and positional drills.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are known for their physical play, which will put an added emphasis on controlling the line of scrimmage in Saturday's playoff game, so the Patriots would naturally like to be at full strength on the offensive line.

Jets expect Pennington to return in 2008
Chad Pennington will be back in a New York Jets uniform in 2008 the New York Post reported.

That was one of the strongest and most significant messages to come from Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum yesterday during a press conference at Weeb Ewbank Hall.

"I expect Chad to be back," Tannenbaum said. "At the end of the day, Eric (Mangini) will decide who plays and who doesn't play, but it will be based on who gives us the best chance (to win)" between Pennington and Kellen Clemens.

McNabb takes his plea for playmakers to the internet

Donovan McNabb has taken his pitch for more weapons to the blogosphere and intensified it the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In his blog on, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback wrote Monday that he hoped his team would "secure some playmakers in all three phases of the game" during the off-season, continuing a campaign he started near the end of the season. Maybe some of those playmakers are already on the roster but have struggled with injuries, myself included, that have held us back a little," McNabb blogged.

He used the New England Patriots as an example of a team that "went outside their locker room and stocked up on playmakers last year."

Carroll, Cowher, Grimm candidates in Washington?

The Washington Post reported that many�in the NFL believe Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will pursue Bill Cowher, who won a Super Bowl in Pittsburgh and works for CBS but has said he is not interested in coaching next season.

Other possibilities, according to some sources, are Southern California Coach Pete Carroll — if Snyder is willing to forget the pro struggles of the last college coach he hired, Steve Spurrier — and former Redskins great Russ Grimm, a longtime NFL assistant with strong ties to Gibbs.

The NFL requires that all teams interview a minority candidate for head coaching vacancies. Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis assistant head coach-quarterbacks; Mike Singletary, San Francisco assistant head coach-defense; Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier; and Atlanta offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, a former Redskins staff member, are possible contenders.

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