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Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Rams' Cooper Kupp still learning his most valuable lessons with 49ers ahead

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Rams receiver Cooper Kupp this week was announced as the NFL offensive player of the year by the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a candidate to collect a similar accolade when the annual NFL Honors program is broadcast before the Super Bowl.

But as the Rams prepare to play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC ...Read more

New GM Adofo-Mensah gets to work, says what he wants in next Vikings coach

Sports / Football /

As new Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah told it in his introductory news conference on Thursday, he logged off his first Zoom interview with the team on Jan. 17 convinced he'd met his match.

"I was catching up with [Browns GM Andrew Berry] afterward, and I was just like, 'Man, they were so detail-oriented, so process-driven,'" said ...Read more

Where things stand with the Seahawks' defensive coordinator opening as NFL teams make hires

Sports / Football /

An NFL coaching hiring cycle that has been one of the most patient in recent memory finally began to percolate some on Thursday.

And as teams like the Broncos (Nathaniel Hackett) and Bears (Matt Eberflus) began to fill head-coaching vacancies it raised the question of where things stand with Seattle's search for a defensive coordinator.

...Read more

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Bears hire Matt Eberflus as the franchise's 17th head coach: 'We will do everything in our power to bring a Super Bowl championship back to Chicago'

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Citing his experience, passion, character and attention to detail, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles named Matt Eberflus the 17th head coach in franchise history Thursday evening.

Eberflus, 51, was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator the last four seasons. He takes on his first head-coaching job after 13 years as an ...Read more

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As dominoes fall in NFL coaching cycle, Dolphins prepare for second round of interviews

Sports / Football /

As dominoes begin to fall in the NFL coaching carousel, the Dolphins are taking their time and preparing for another round of interviews.

According to NFL Network, the Dolphins plan to conduct their second round of interviews early next week. Candidates reportedly expected to receive a second interview include Cowboys offensive coordinator ...Read more

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Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu returned to practice field Thursday ahead of AFC title game

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs coach Andy Reid had expressed optimism that safety Tyrann Mathieu would be back on the practice field Thursday.

A day later, Reid's words proved prophetic.

Mathieu, who suffered a concussion in last Sunday's playoff win against the Buffalo Bills, was able to practice on Thursday alongside his teammates as the Chiefs...Read more

Benjamin Hochman: With NFL quarterbacks such as Mahomes and Allen, the evolution has been televised (and retweeted)

Sports / Football /

Thirty years ago, a 21-year-old St. Louisan sat on a barstool and proclaimed: “There will never be a better quarterback generation than this one. Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, John Elway, are you kidding me?”

Ten years ago, a 21-year-old St. Louisan sat on a barstool and proclaimed: “There will never be a better quarterback ...Read more

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Saints march into Byron Leftwich sweepstakes

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Bucs may not have seen the last of Byron Leftwich. He could play them twice a year.

The New Orleans Saints have asked permission to interview Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator for their head-coaching job, the Tampa Bay Times confirmed.

Saints head coach Sean Payton resigned after 16 years on Wednesday, providing a ...Read more

How the 49ers have learned to finish strong after early-season wobbles

Sports / Football /

The 49ers are still stinging from the one that got away, and believe they are built to finish.

Finishing games is more of a concept than something printed in black and white in a football manual and distributed by coach Kyle Shanahan. It can be complementary or specific to a phase of offense, defense or special teams. It can be a play made by ...Read more

Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America/TNS

Greg Cote's NFL conference championship picks

Sports / Football /

Sorry, no space to talk about last week. (Oh how I wish). Yeah we laid a goose egg in the divisional round. Got all four games wrong. This is our 31st season of NFL picks in the Herald (since 1991) and I don’t ever remember rolling an 0-4 in the postseason. Granted, there were three upsets, but I didn’t see any of ‘em. The upset I did ...Read more

Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Dan Wiederer: An open letter to new Bears coach Matt Eberflus. Welcome! Now understand the colossal challenge you just accepted.

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Dear Coach Eberflus,

Congratulations on your new gig. And welcome to Chicago. What an amazing opportunity! You’re going to love it here. (For a little while anyway.)

This is your time now, your chance to take the steering wheel of a franchise that has a rich history in a football-crazed city with a fan base that’s both ...Read more

49ers' Shanahan likes teammates' support of Jimmy Garoppolo before NFC title game

Sports / Football /

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The 49ers' long-standing mantra of "I Got Your Back" is now being incorporated into the NFL's playoff advertising. It's also being put to use by 49ers players in defending Jimmy Garoppolo.

Defensive end Nick Bosa and tight end George Kittle spoke up after Saturday night's win in Green Bay to say Garoppolo has unfairly ...Read more

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Sean Payton says Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys have not made contact about coaching job

Sports / Football /

Owner Jerry Jones has yet to come out and publicly endorse Mike McCarthy as the Dallas Cowboys head coach for 2022 one week refusing to do so under the guise of needing to evaluate the staff.

But Jones has also not made any contact with former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton about the Cowboys coaching job.

Hiring Payton, who served as a ...Read more

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Bears will hire Matt Eberflus as the franchise's 17th head coach

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Matt Eberflus will be the 17th head coach of the Chicago Bears, according to league sources.

In his first move as Bears general manager, Ryan Poles on Thursday hired Eberflus from a group of finalists that included Dan Quinn and Jim Caldwell.

Eberflus, 51, was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator the last four seasons. He ...Read more

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Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will be back with Cowboys in 2022

Sports / Football /

FORT WORTH, Texas — While owner Jerry Jones is continuing to evaluate the coaching staff, the Dallas Cowboys got some good news Thursday morning when defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has made it clear he is returning for the 2022 season.

Six teams had requested head coaching interviews with Quinn.

He was a finalist for jobs with Denver ...Read more

Big Ben's clock: A timeline of Roethlisberger's Steelers career

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — As Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hangs up the cleats, let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-live some key dates from his 18-year career.

April 24, 2004 — The Steelers select Roethlisberger with the No. 11 overall pick after Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were off the board with the first and fourth picks.

...Read more

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Ben Roethlisberger officially retires after 18 seasons with Steelers

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger made official Thursday morning what he has been indicating for weeks — he is retiring after an 18-year career as one of the greatest players in Steelers history.

Roethlisberger made the announcement via a video message on social media and did not conduct a press conference, preferring to do so without fanfare...Read more

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America/TNS

Chicago Bears will hire Matt Eberflus as the franchise's 17th head coach

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Matt Eberflus will be the 17th head coach of the Chicago Bears, according to league sources.

In his first move as Bears general manager, Ryan Poles on Thursday hired Eberflus from a group of finalists that included Dan Quinn and Jim Caldwell. Eberflus, 51, was the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator the last four seasons.

He ...Read more

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Mac Engel: 'I do have leverage.' The day when Joe Burrow was noncommittal about the Bengals

Sports / Football /

The king of the Queen City, Joe Burrow initially sounded reluctant about going to Cincinnati.

Long before he saved the worst franchise in North American sports, Joe Burrow sat in a chair at the Fort Worth Club and didn't commit to an answer because he knew exactly what he was doing and what he was saying.

He was 23 and coming off a perfect ...Read more

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From bad to Super Bowl contenders: 4 key decisions that turned the 49ers' season around

Sports / Football /

Let's consider the state of the San Francisco 49ers all the way back on Nov. 8. It was the Monday after the team got shellacked by the division-leading Arizona Cardinals, 31-17, behind backup quarterback Colt McCoy.

That game has been a popular discussion point because of how bad things appeared. It was the fifth loss in six weeks. It negated ...Read more