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NFL roundup: Browns choose Pettine as coach

The SportsXchange

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was named head coach of the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.

The Browns made the hiring official after meeting with Pettine for a third time on Thursday. He will be 15th full-time head coach in franchise history.

Pettine joins the Browns after spending 2013 as the defensive coordinator for Bills and the 2009-12 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets. Pettine has helped his units to a top-10 finish in total defense in all five of his seasons as a defensive coordinator. Prior to joining the Jets, Pettine spent seven years (2002-08) with the Baltimore Ravens.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be back in the mix for the Browns' job. He was circled as a favorite to replace Rob Chudzinksi, who was fired after posting a 4-12 record in his only season as head coach.

--Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos back to the practice field for the first time since winning the AFC Championship game Sunday. The afternoon practice was a welcome trial for handling game conditions in East Rutherford, N.J.

Manning is 0-4 all-time in postseason games with a temperature of 40 degrees or below at kickoff.

"Anytime you can have somewhat of a situation you can simulate during practice that you might see in a game, it's always a good thing," Manning said.

--The Tampa Bay Buccaneers introduced Jason Licht as their new general manager on Thursday.

Licht, 42, who was named GM on Tuesday, spent the previous two years in the Arizona Cardinals' front office, including last season as vice president of player personnel.

"Our philosophy is going to be to build through the draft, that's where we find our stars, that's where we find the next generation, but also in the short term and long term we're going to supplement our roster through free agency but we're going to look for value," Licht said. "We're going to spend wisely."

The Bucs' general manager position opened up after the season, when the team let go GM Mark Dominik as well as head coach Greg Schiano.

--The Arizona Cardinals promoted Terry McDonough to vice president of player personnel on Thursday, replacing Jason Licht, who was named general managing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this week.

McDonough was hired in May as the Cardinals' Eastern regional scout. He has 22 years scouting in the NFL, and prior to his first season with the Cardinals, he was the director of player personnel for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

--Mike Munchak, fired earlier this month from his job as the Tennessee Titans' head coach, found work as Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive line coach.

Over three seasons as the Titans' coach, Munchak posted a 22-26 record and failed to guide the team to the playoffs. Munchak, 53, spent 31 years with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise. He lost his job in Tennessee after refusing to fire his offensive line coach and longtime friend, Bruce Matthews, a source close to the team confirmed to The Sports Xchange.

In Pittsburgh, Munchak replaced Jack Bicknell Jr., who was fired after just one season as offensive line coach. The Steelers wound up 27th in the NFL in rushing and 20th in total offense.

--St. Louis Rams left tackle Jake Long underwent reconstructive surgery recently on his knee, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.

Long was injured in the Rams' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers on Dec. 22. His right knee buckled while pass-blocking and tests later revealed that he had a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as well as a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL).

Long, who signed a four-year, $34 million deal with the Rams last March after spending his first five seasons with the Miami Dolphins, waited four weeks so his torn MCL could heal.

--Kicker Dan Bailey signed a seven-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys that keeps the restricted free agent from reaching the open market next month.

Bailey, 25, signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and has made 88 of 98 field-goal attempts with Dallas.

During that span, Bailey has a franchise-best eight game-winning field goals. With a continued stretch of 90.8 percent accuracy on field goals, Bailey would surpass Mike Vanderjagt as the most accurate kicker in NFL history (86.5 percent).

--Virgin America airline apologized to New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith on Thursday after he was asked to leave a plane last week after a disagreement with a flight attendant at Los Angeles International Airport.

The New York Post and New York Daily News quoted unnamed airport officials that said Smith was thrown off the plane for refusing to get off his cell phone prior to takeoff. The captain reportedly ordered him off the plane and the airline refused to re-book him on another flight.

Smith wasn't arrested and police didn't file an incident report, according to a public information officer for LAX police.

--The Chicago Bears hired Reggie Herring as linebackers coach and Paul Pasqualoni as defensive line coach, the team announced Thursday.

Herring, 54, has 33 years of coaching experience, including eight as a linebackers coach in the NFL. Pasqualoni, 64, has 42 years of coaching experience, including 22 as a collegiate head coach and six seasons as a NFL assistant.
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