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NFL roundup: Raven's Lewis to retire; Saints' Vilma wants names

The SportsXchange

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis wants to go out in style, announcing Wednesday that he will retire from the NFL at the end of this season, one that he hopes culminates with a Super Bowl victory.

"This will be my last ride," Lewis said. "I've ran my course. It's time for me to go create a different legacy."

Lewis will return to the Ravens' lineup for Sunday's wildcard game at home against the Indianapolis Colts, his first game action since injuring his triceps on Oct. 14.

Likely to one day be an NFL Hall of Famer, Lewis is retiring after 17 seasons in the NFL. He was a 13-time Pro Bowl selection, first-team All-Pro seven times, twice was NFL defensive player of the year and perhaps his highest honor of all, MVP of Super Bowl XXXV.

"I've done it, man," Lewis said in a statement to the media. "There's no accolade that I don't have individually, but I've never played the game for individual stats. I've only played the game to make my team be a better team."

---New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was angry that one of his teammates hid behind anonymous quotes to the New Orleans Times Picayune to criticize defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and the defensive unit that was arguably one of the worst in the league this season.

The Saints' defense allowed an NFL-record 7,042 yards to opponents this season. New Orleans also finished last among the 32 teams in the NFL in total defense, rush defense and was second-to-last in pass defense.

"To give up what we gave up can't be all talent," the unnamed player told the newspaper. "Look at where his units (have) been ranked before. I think one top 10?"

The same unnamed player told the newspaper that Saints players never had a say in Spagnuolo's defensive gameplan every week.

"He does have that good-guy persona, but he is a control freak and treats people like crap," the player told the newspaper. "(Spagnuolo has) no patience and zero personality. (He) has a way of pissing players and our defensive coaches off with how he says and does things. (I) think it's even harder after having (former defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams), who guys enjoyed."

Gregg Williams, the Saints' previous defensive coordinator before the Bountygate scandal hit prior to this season, has been fired, according to FoxSports.com, along with son and linebackers coach Blake Williams by the St. Louis Rams.

Like Saints head coach Sean Payton, Gregg Williams was suspended for the entire 2012 season for his role in the so-called Bountygate. Gregg Williams has not been reinstated by the NFL yet and has a contract that runs through 2014.

---Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, considered a frontrunner for the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job, interviewed Wednesday for the Kansas City Chiefs' position, according to ESPN.com.

Reid is scheduled to meet with the Cardinals on Thursday, but team officials told USA Today that is not the case -- not yet, at least.

ESPN said Reid expects to have a new job by week's end and is already assembling a staff of assistants. Reid spent 14 years at the helm of the Eagles, winning 130 regular season games and six divisional titles, but compiled a terrible 4-12 record this season that led to Reid's ouster.

The Cardinals interviewed Ray Horton, the team's defensive coordinator, Tuesday and Denver OC Mike McCoy is slated to meet with the Cardinals later this week.

The Cards' Horton is also reportedly slated to meet with both the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns about their head coaching vacancies.

Arizona also is rumored to be interested in University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly. USA Today reported Wednesday that several Cardinals officials were at Tuesday's practice session for the upcoming Fiesta Bowl, which will pit Oregon against Kansas State.

---CBSSports.com and several other media reports said Kelly is rumored to be the lead candidate for the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns.

Kelly reportedly met Tuesday with Browns CEO Joe Banner, who also spent time talking to the Cards' Horton, as well, according to reports.

SiriusXM radio also reported that the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in Kelly, who last year turned down an offer to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

---Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter met with the Chiefs on Tuesday, but announced that he'll remain with the team after reportedly agreeing to a new multi-year contract to remain as OC.

Koetter also cancelled scheduled interviews with both Cleveland and Philadelphia.

---While Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he remains "very proud" of quarterback Tony Romo, he also promised changes with a team that has now missed the playoffs the last three seasons.

Jones was unclear whether those changes may involve the fate of the team's head coach, Jason Garrett, and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

"I'm very disappointed. I thought we missed a great opportunity," Jones told KRLD-FM in Dallas. "I can assure our fans this, that it's going to be very uncomfortable from my standpoint, it's going to be very uncomfortable for the next few weeks and months at Valley Ranch. I can tell you change is necessary at 8-8. Change is in order when you spend the two seasons in a row down to the last two games and lose them, so we're going to have to have changes."

---Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was back at practice after sitting Tuesday with a hamstring injury. Green-Ellis missed this past Sunday's game because of the injury, but still leads the Bengals in rushing with 1,094 yards, and has also scored six touchdowns.

Also, safety Chris Crocker (quad) participated in stretching drills, while defensive end Wallace Gilberry (unspecified injury) missed practice for a second consecutive day.

---The Oakland Raiders signed six players to reserve/future contracts on Wednesday, guard Jason Foster, linebacker Jerrell Harris, defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, wide receiver Travionte Session, tight end Mickey Shuler and offensive tackle Jason Slowey.
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