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NFL roundup: Jay Gruden signs on with Redskins

The SportsXchange

Jay Gruden signed a five-year deal to become the eighth head coach of the Washington Redskins since Daniel Snyder bought the franchise in 1999.

"We've got to forget about the past and look toward the future every day," Gruden said Thursday at his introductory press conference.

Gruden replaces Mike Shanahan, who was fired four years into a five-year deal at the end of the 2013 season, which ended with a franchise-worst eight consecutive losses while questions about quarterback Robert Griffin III's health and leadership poisoned the locker room.

Gruden, who has yet to speak to his vacationing quarterback, will call his own plays and have some input in personnel but does not have final say on player moves.

--Hue Jackson was named to replace Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.

Jackson, the Bengals' running backs coach and special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis, has rich experience as a play-caller at Southern Cal and Cal and was offensive coordinator of the Redskins (2003), Atlanta Falcons (2007) and Oakland Raiders (2010). Jackson was head coach of the Raiders in 2011.

--Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin proclaimed himself ready to play in Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

"I'm feeling great," Harvin said Thursday after practice. "I didn't have any setbacks. These practices have been very good. I'm really confident about this game."

Harvin has missed all but one game this season after hip surgery on Aug. 1 for a torn labrum. He played 19 snaps against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 17 in his only appearance.

--Kansas City Chiefs personnel director Chris Ballard is not joining good friend Lovie Smith as general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ballard, according to Sirius XM, was blocked from accepting the job by the Chiefs because the position did not include increased responsibility. Ballard would not have held final say in personnel decisions with the Buccaneers. However, NFL Network's Albert Breer said it was Ballard's call not to interview. Smith, the Bucs' new coach, and Ballard worked together with the Chicago Bears.

Smith filled out his Tampa Bay coaching staff with Marcus Arroyo as quarterbacks coach, Joe Cullen as defensive line coach, Andrew Hayes-Stoker as wide receivers coach, Dave Kennedy as head strength and conditioning coach, Larry Marmie as senior defensive assistant, Hardy Nickerson as linebackers coach, Kevin O'Dea as special teams coordinator, Mikal Smith as safeties coach, Tim Spencer as running backs coach, Ben Steele as offensive quality control and Matt Wiegand as assistant offensive line coach.

--Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been added as a selection to the 2014 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Thursday.

Jeffery is replacing Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who is unable to participate due to injury. Jeffery will be making his first career Pro Bowl appearance after ranking sixth in the NFL in receiving yards (1,421) and seventh in yards from scrimmage (1,526, which ranked second in the league among wide receivers). Jeffery had 89 receptions and seven touchdown catches in his second year in the NFL, ranking 10th in the league in receptions.

-- For those keeping tabs on America's least liked team, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo should be recovered from back surgery and ready to go when the team begins began OTAs in May, according to team owner Jerry Jones.

Romo missed the final game of the 2013 season because of back surgery to repair a herniated disk. It was his second back surgery in eight months as he had a procedure to remove a cyst from his back last April, causing him to miss in the entire offseason program.

--New York Giants running back David Wilson will need to have an operation on a herniated disk in his neck during the offseason, general manager Jerry Reese confirmed Thursday.

The 22-year-old Wilson missed the final 11 games of the Giants' season due to the neck injury. He finished with 146 rushing yards on 44 attempts and a touchdown.

-- Former Houston Texans quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell will interview for the New York Giants' offensive coordinator position, ESPN.com reported Thursday.

The Giants have been interviewing this week for the job that became open when Kevin Gilbride retired after the season. Dorrell and most of the other coaches were let go in Houston when Bill O'Brien took over as the Texans' head coach.

---New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow faces charges of synthetic marijuana possession, according to East Hanover (N.J.) police.

Winslow's Nov. 19 arrest for possession of Fubinaca came eight days after his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances ended. The charge is a third-degree offense and, if convicted, he could face up to five years in prison. He appeared in court in Morristown, N.J., on Dec. 30.
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