The Cleveland Browns hired Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to be the 14th head coach in franchise history and he vowed Friday to bring his favorite boyhood team a winner.
The team made the announcement Thursday night, ending a search that included Oregon coach Chip Kelly and former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, among others.
Chudzinski received a four-year contract worth slightly more than $3 million per year, The Plain Dealer reported.
"I am excited about this opportunity," Chudzinski, 44, said Friday at a news conference in Cleveland. "I'm excited about the chance to bring back what I grew up in and the feeling that this city, this region and this area has in the Cleveland Browns.
"I was the kid in the backyard playing and pretending I was Ozzie Newsome, Brian Sipe or the greats that played for Cleveland. The tradition of this franchise is such that the people here want a winner. I would not miss the chance for the world. We're going to win here. "
Chudzinski, a Toledo, Ohio, native, spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Panthers. He served as offensive coordinator of the Browns in 2007-08 and had a previous stint with Cleveland in 2004 as tight ends coach. Chudzinski also was an assistant with the San Diego Chargers in 2005-06 and 2009-10.
Chudzinski replaces Pat Shurmur, who was fired as head coach after the Browns finished 5-11 this season.
Norv Turner is expected to be named the Browns' offensive coordinator, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Turner, who was fired Dec. 31 as head coach of the San Diego Chargers, will be reunited with Chudzinski. The two worked together in San Diego during the 2009 and 2010 seasons before Chudzinski left to become the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator.
---The Dallas Cowboys didn't waste much time finding a new defensive coordinator to replace Rob Ryan.
Just three days after ousting Ryan, the Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin for the position on Friday. The team confirmed the news on its website.
The 72-year-old Kiffin had left his job as USC's defensive coordinator in December to pursue a return to the NFL.
Kiffin brings plenty of experience to the Cowboys. One of his stops during 26 years as an NFL assistant was at Tampa Bay, where he worked as defensive coordinator for 13 seasons.
---New Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid filled two key positions on his staff Friday as the team announced the hiring of Bob Sutton as defensive coordinator and Doug Pederson as offensive coordinator.
Sutton, 61, comes to the Chiefs after 13 seasons with New York Jets, where he was the defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2008 and also a linebackers coach. Sutton also was a head coach at Army.
Pederson, 44, is a former NFL quarterback who worked under Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles as an offensive assistant the past four years.
---Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday that he will not request a long-term contract and that he will not hold out this summer.
After leading the NFL in rushing in 2011, Jones-Drew held out for 38 days in seeking a new contract, skipping the team's training camp and preseason. Jacksonville did not blink, refusing to renegotiate because Jones-Drew still had two years left on a five-year, $31.5 million contract.
"I went to them last year," he said. "It didn't work out. I'm not going to reach out to them because, you know, I just feel like I tried that last year (and) it didn't work."
Jones-Drew ran for just 414 yards with one touchdown before a foot injury in October sidelined him for the rest of the year.
The 27-year-old running back made $4.45 million in 2012 and is due $4.95 million in 2013, the final year of his contract.
Jones-Drew had surgery on his left foot Dec. 28 and will be out until at least May.
---The NFL Players' Association has decided against pursuing a formal investigation into the handling of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's knee injury in last Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game.
Griffin appeared to suffer the injury in the first quarter but remained in the game. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said the rookie requested that he continue to play and Shanahan obliged.
The Redskins lost to the Seattle Seahawks.
Under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, the players' union is allowed to request a formal inquiry. The NFLPA made an informal inquiry earlier this week, seeking answers to discrepancies in how the Redskins' medical staff addressed Griffin's situation.
The NFL fined Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams $7,875 on Friday for making contact with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman after Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game.
---The San Francisco 49ers listed defensive end Justin Smith to probable on the team's injury report on Friday.
Smith missed the 49ers' last two games because of a partially torn left triceps tendon. The Sacramento Bee reported that Smith will wear a hollow carbon fiber brace, which is similar to one that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis wore in last week's playoff game.
---Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Friday that running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as probable with a sprained foot.
Carroll said he expects Lynch to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
"Miss the flight? Doesn't show up in Atlanta?" Carroll said. "He's fine, he'll be all right."
Lynch was limited in practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday.
He has rushed for 100-plus yards in five straight games, including 132 with a touchdown last week against the Washington Redskins.
---Baltimore Ravens guard Jah Reid won't return for the Ravens' AFC playoff game Saturday against the Denver Broncos after the team placed him on injured reserve Friday.
A toe injury kept Reid out of last Sunday's AFC wild-card win over Baltimore and from practicing this week. He had started the last seven regular-season games.
Among the probables were Anquan Boldin (shoulder), linebacker Ray Lewis (triceps), safety Ed Reed (Shoulder) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee).
---Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is scheduled to interview with the San Diego Chargers and new general manager Tom Telesco on Friday and former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt will follow Smith on Saturday.
Smith was fired by the Bears -- the same day San Diego canned Norv Turner -- after nine seasons despite a 10-6 record in 2012. He coached the Bears from 2004-12. He had an 81-63 record, including three NFC North division championships and a Super Bowl appearance in the 2006 season.
---The Atlanta Falcons promoted Lionel Vital to director of player personnel, replacing David Caldwell, who was hired as the Jacksonville Jaguars' general manager.
Vital, a 23-year veteran in scouting and player personnel, served as the Falcons' associate director of player personnel in 2012 following four years as the team's assistant director of player personnel.
---Retiring New York Jets special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff called the situation with quarterback Tim Tebow a nightmare.
"It was a mess, it was an absolute mess," Westhoff told WQAM radio in Miami. "You can say whatever else you want, it was really a mess. I was very, very disappointed.
"As an NFL quarterback, he's very limited in some things. And if you throw him right in the middle of a drop-back passing offense, he will look very, very average at best. But if you incorporate him in different facets of your offense, I think he can be a factor. That's what I felt we were going to do, but we never did it."