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NFL roundup: Gase bows out of Browns coaching search

The SportsXchange

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase informed the Cleveland Browns he is withdrawing from consideration for the team's head coaching position.

Gase called the Browns on Tuesday, informing them he would not interview and wants to focus solely on the Super Bowl. Denver will meet the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Gase did not meet with the Browns. He informed the franchise that he wouldn't interview during the allowed window the first week of January -- during a bye week for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. At the time, he told the Browns he was putting off all interviews until the Broncos are eliminated from the playoffs.

Gase is the third coach to withdraw from consideration for the job, joining Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Cleveland reportedly maintains interest in Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, but an interview with Quinn wouldn't likely take place until Feb. 3.

The Browns also are reportedly planning a second interview with Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will interview with the Browns, Fox Sports reported Tuesday. This is the first time Koetter has been tied to the Cleveland job.

--San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that running back Frank Gore broke his right ring finger during Sunday's NFL title game loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Harbaugh said at his press conference that he wasn't aware that Gore suffered an injury until after the game.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reported that Gore, who had just 14 yards on 11 carries on Sunday, will have minor surgery to repair the injury.

--After winning the coin toss Tuesday, NFL great Jerry Rice picked New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn for his Pro Bowl team.

That means Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles are on Deion Sanders' team.

Since Rice chose the captain group, Sanders' team will have the first pick in Tuesday and Wednesday night's drafts. Both night's drafts begin at 8 p.m. ET.

--The NFL announced that Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo has been selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl in place of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

Orakpo, 27, had 10 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown in 2013, rebounding from a 2012 season lost to a torn pectoral.

--The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Jason Licht as their general manager, multiple media outlets.

Licht, 42, spent the previous two years in the Arizona Cardinals' front office, the last season as vice president of player personnel.

--The Philadelphia Eagles hired former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave as their quarterbacks coach.

Musgrave, 46, takes over for former Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor, who left to become the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator last week.

--Longtime New England Patriots assistant coach Pepper Johnson announced he is leaving the organization.

Johnson, linebackers coach the past two seasons, has been on the staff of Bill Belichick since 2000 for the head coach's entire tenure in New England.

--New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib was not seriously injured in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos, according to MassLive.com.

Talib, named to the 2013 All-Pro team, suffered no structural damage in his knee in the collision with former teammate Wes Welker. Talib left the game with what was initially announced by the Patriots as a rib injury. The Patriots said 10 minutes later Talib suffered a knee injury.

--New York Giants owner John Mara plans to talk contract with head coach Tom Coughlin in the near future.

Mara said the 68-year-old Coughlin, the oldest coach in the NFL, has been focused on making improvements necessary to get the team back in contention after a 7-9 season in 2013. Coughlin has one year remaining on his contract.

--Further proof that the mission to build a coach staff with quarterback Matthew Stafford in mind was not lip service, the Detroit Lions hired Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator.

Lombardi, the grandson of Vince Lombardi, was quarterbacks coach of the New Orleans Saints and has been with the franchise since 2007.

--Vance Joseph was hired as assistant defensive backs coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Joseph will assist Mark Carrier. He was secondary coach with the Houston Texans for the past three seasons.

--Coach John Harbaugh said the Baltimore Ravens are narrowing their search for the offensive coordinator position vacated when Jim Caldwell was named head coach of the Detroit Lions last week.

Scott Linehan, former offensive coordinator of the Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach Kirby Smart, former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and current Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler were interviewed.

--The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms on a two-year contract with punter Dave Zastudil.

Zastudil (6-3, 220) finished his 12th NFL season and third with the Cardinals after joining the team in 2011. He is coming off the best two seasons of his career, including in 2013 when he averaged 45.7 yards per kick on 78 punts with a 40.1-yard net average and tied for the league lead with 35 punts inside the 20-yard line. He set career highs in 2012 with an NFL record 46 punts inside the 20-yard line along with a 46.5-yard average on 112 punts with a 41.4-yard net average.

--The San Francisco 49ers today announced that long-time team executive Paraag Marathe will be promoted to team president, as Gideon Yu is stepping down from that role.

Yu will continue on as a co-owner of the club.

--Renee Fleming will sing the National Anthem before Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Feb. 2.

A world-renowned soprano, Fleming is a four-time Grammy winner, including the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Fleming has also performed at the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and during the Beijing Olympics. At a White House ceremony last July, the President awarded Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America's highest honor for an individual artist.

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