Jan 16 (The Sports Xchange) - The Minnesota Vikings hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their next head coach, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.
Zimmer, a 20-year veteran assistant coach, spent the past five seasons as defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Zimmer will replace Leslie Frazier, who was fired after the 2013 season.
Before joining the Bengals, Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys from 2000 to 2006 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2007.
Zimmer, 57, who has never been a head coach at any level, becomes the third head coach hired since current owners Zygi and Mark Wilf bought the team in 2005.
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The Cincinnati Bengals moved quickly to choose a replacement for Zimmer.
According to multiple reports, the Bengals promoted linebackers coach Paul Guenther to lead the defense.
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The Miami Dolphins named Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor as their new offensive coordinator.
Lazor, 41, replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired after two seasons as Miami's offensive coordinator. The Detroit Lions were reported to be close to hiring Lazor for the same position.
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The Washington Redskins announced the promotion of former tight ends coach Sean McVay to offensive coordinator on new coach Jay Gruden's staff.
The move was reported nearly a week ago and finally confirmed by the team.
The Redskins also named Brian Baker as outside linebackers coach and Ben Kotwica as special teams coach.
The 27-year-old McVay worked with Gruden while both were on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff in 2008 and also with the Florida Tuskers of the UFL in 2009 when McVay was tight ends coach and Gruden the offensive coordinator.
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New York Giants longtime tight ends coach Mike Pope will not be retained.
Pope joined the team in 2000 and is expected to be a coveted hire for teams seeking to round out their coaching staff.
In addition, running backs coach Jerald Ingram will not be retained.
The Giants hired Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator on Tuesday. McAdoo was previously tight ends coach with the Green Bay Packers.
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Tom Brady did not practice with the New England Patriots on Wednesday in preparation for the AFC Championship game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos because of illness, according to multiple reports.
ESPNBoston.com reported that Brady will be good to go for the game. He said last week that he had a cold but still took every snap in the Patriots' divisional-round playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Backup Ryan Mallett, the only other quarterback on the Patriots' roster, took snaps with the first-team offense and also handled the scout team.
Brady and the Patriots travel to Denver for what will be a 15th meeting between Peyton Manning and the Brady-Bill Belichick Patriots.
Brady is 2-1 in head to head games against Manning in the postseason and 10-4 overall.
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Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, who suffered a concussion in last week's playoff win, did not practice Wednesday as the team prepares for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Coach Pete Carroll said Harvin was meeting with doctors.
Harvin will need to receive separate clearances both to return to practice and to play Sunday.
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Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy was added to the Pro Bowl roster, replacing Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson informed the NFL he is unable to participate due to injury. Peterson ended the season with a right foot injury.
The 2014 Pro Bowl is Jan. 26 in Honolulu. Teams will be selected in a draft format for the first time in the history of the game, with captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders making selections.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton was named to the Pro Bowl.
Overton made his first Pro Bowl after playing in all 16 games.
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Peyton Manning is playing for another type of trophy, but the decorated quarterback of the Denver Broncos added another personal honor Wednesday.
Manning, who set NFL records in passing yards (5,477) and touchdown passes (55) this season and who led the Broncos to the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. He was selected as the 2013 NFL Most Valuable Player and the Offensive Player of the Year, chosen in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America.
Manning's prolific season could be extended into Super Bowl XLVIII, with the Broncos taking on the New England Patriots and Tom Brady in Sunday's AFC Championship game.
St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn, who led the NFC with 19 sacks and led the NFL in sack yards (145), was selected as the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year.
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As the Cleveland Browns' search for a new coach drags on, owner Jimmy Haslam wrote a letter to season ticket-holders asking them to be patient while the team pursues the right candidate for the job.
The Browns, who finished 4-12 in 2013, fired coach Rob Chudzinski after one season.
During the search, several candidates who interviewed for the job withdrew from consideration, including New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
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Terry McAulay has been named the referee for Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, the third Super Bowl assignment for the 16-year NFL game official.
McAulay, who entered the league as a side judge in 1998 and was promoted to referee in 2011, also worked Super Bowls XXXIX and XLIII. He has officiated 12 previous playoff games in all, including six conference championships.
McAulay's crew has 110 seasons of NFL officiating experience and will consist of umpire Carl Paganelli, head linesman Jim Mello, line judge Tom Symonette, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Dave Wyant and back judge Steve Freeman. Each of the officials has at least 10 years of NFL experience, with Steenson and Wyant leading the way with 23 season each.
(Editing by Gene Cherry)