NFL-National Football League roundup


Jan 8 (The Sports Xchange) - Johnny Manziel is ready to make the jump from Texas A&M to the NFL.

"After long discussions with my family, friends, teammates, and coaches, I have decided to make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft," Manziel said in an open letter to Texas A&M fans. "The decision was not an easy one. Anyone who has ever watched a football game at Kyle Field knows that leaving that atmosphere, those Saturdays with excitement, color and noise, will be hard for me."

The Texas A&M redshirt sophomore, the No. 2 quarterback in the rankings and 17th overall, was only a two-year starter, but a prolific one. He was nine yards shy of becoming the first sophomore to total 10,000 yards from scrimmage.

Manziel promises to be one of the most polarizing prospects leading up to the May draft. While he has dazzled with his playmaking ability in college, questions remain about his arm strength and whether he possesses the leadership qualities to become the face of an NFL franchise following a tumultuous offseason after winning the Heisman Trophy last season.

He racked up 7,820 yards and 63 TD passes and 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns rushing.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is open to playoff expansion down the road but is not as keen on the possibility of reseeding teams in the postseason.

On adding two more playoff teams, Goodell said Tuesday night in an interview in New York, "That is under serious consideration. We think it's one of the great things about the NFL, besides the fact that it's unscripted. Every team and their fans start the season with hope.

Goodell did not mention a time frame for expansion, but he said there is the potential for games on Fridays and Monday.

"It's something that the competition committee looked at last year and thinks there are some real benefits from a competitive standpoint," Goodell said. "They're going to study some aspects of that because when would those games occur and one team would get a bye in each conference and you'd have six games on the weekend.

"So would you have three on Saturday, and three on Sunday? Or do you get one on Friday and two on Saturday and two on Sunday and one on Monday? I think those are the kinds of things we want to evaluate."

On reseeding playoff teams based on records, Goodell said, "I don't think there is momentum for that. There may be momentum in the media. That happens when you see San Francisco going to Green Bay, but one of the premises we start with every season is that your first objective is to win the division. And when you win the division, you should have a home game."

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The Tennessee Titans completed an interview with Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, the team announced Wednesday.

Caldwell is a 36-year coaching veteran who began 2012 as Baltimore's quarterbacks coach and was elevated to offensive coordinator in December of that season before the Ravens' run to winning Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

The interview occurred one day after the Titans interviewed Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

A number of candidates are being interviewed this week to replace Mike Munchak, who was fired on Saturday after three seasons and a 22-26 record.

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The Washington Redskins team officials met Wednesday with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to interview for the head coach opening.

Up next is Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, who is set to interview on Thursday, according to

Franklin is also reportedly a candidate for the Cleveland Browns' head coach opening, and may be in the running for the Penn State opening.

Gruden is the fourth confirmed candidate to interview with the Redskins, joining Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor has interviewed for the vacant offensive coordinator position with the Dolphins, multiple media outlets reported.

The Dolphins conducted fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman after two seasons on Monday.

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Despite posting consecutive 4-12 records in his two years on the job, Dennis Allen will remain the Oakland Raiders' coach.

Team owner Mark Davis held a meeting with Allen on Tuesday night and confirmed Allen's status.

Allen has two years remaining on his contract.

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Mike Tice was named offensive line coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Tice was last offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears for three seasons and did not coach in the NFL last season.

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Romeo Crennel interviewed to be the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans, and is expected to be hired for the position by new head coach Bill O'Brien.

O'Brien and Crennel would maintain the 3-4 defensive scheme employed by fired coordinator Wade Phillips, who served as interim head coach after Gary Kubiak was fired.

Crennel did not coach in 2013 but was head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs (2010-12) and Cleveland Browns (2005-08) since rising to prominence as defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots from 2001-04.

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Former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak and former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak interviewed with the Detroit Lions for their head coaching vacancy.

Kubiak, fired in December after eight seasons with the Texans, is one of the candidates to replace Jim Schwartz, who was ousted after the season.

The 53-year-old Munchak was fired by the Titans on Saturday after posting a 22-26 record in three seasons.

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New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration for the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job after interviewing with the team last week.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that McDaniels had an "awesome" meeting with the Browns, but he was hesitant to take the job because of the team's shortcomings. Cleveland finished in last place in the AFC North with a 4-12 record in 2013. (Editing by Gene Cherry)

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