National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

Browns vow to 'get it right' with next coach

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Browns owner Jimmy Haslam understands the situation looks bad, even embarrassing. He bungled his first NFL coaching hire and can't afford to make another mistake.

Haslam vowed it will be different this time.

It has to be.

A day after firing Rob Chudzinski for failing to make the Browns better in just one season, Haslam explained his reasons on Monday for the shocking move when he was forced to answer some tough questions, including one from a fan who wondered if the "Three Stooges" were running his team.

"We understand the importance of continuity," Haslam said. "But I think it's really important to hear this: We also understand the importance of getting it right."

The Browns dumped Chudzinski on Sunday night, just hours after a 20-7 loss in Pittsburgh and less than a year after he was brought in to turn around a team that can't seem to get out of its own way.

Haslam and CEO Joe Banner cited an overall lack of progress in their decision to dismiss Chudzinski, who had the Browns at 4-5 before they lost their final seven games and finished 4-12 - the club's sixth straight season with at least 10 losses. Banner said the decision was finalized Saturday.

"As unpopular and undesirable as it is to sit here and acknowledge we didn't get it right, the fact that we're making a change makes a statement that we're not going to accept not being successful," Banner said.

Haslam knows there are skeptics wondering if this Browns regime has what it takes to transform a foundering franchise. Cleveland fans have spent years hearing broken promises and plans that go astray. Haslam, though, is committed to making good on his word to bring sustained success to the Browns.

"There will be a lot of people who say we should have given this staff a second year, a second chance," Haslam said. "And in our estimation, it was best to go ahead and make the change and try to get it right so that we can move forward and candidly, and most importantly, give the fans here the kind of winner they deserve."

Banner and Haslam have begun their search for Chudzinski's replacement. Banner said the team is still deciding whether to interview Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton for the opening. Horton interviewed with the Browns last season before the job went to Chudzinski, a lifelong Browns fan who was caught off guard by his ouster.

Banner said none of the other candidates interviewed last year will be considered again. That would appear to rule out Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be the frontrunner to be Cleveland's seventh full-time coach since 1999 because of his relationship with Browns general manager Michael Lombardi. The team requested permission to interview McDaniels as well as Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Haslam knows it's imperative to stop the constant turnover. The Browns have changed coaches four times in six years.

"We have to prove to you all we'll get the right guy," Haslam said. "We're confident we can do that. But until that individual comes in here and wins football games, talk is cheap. So actions speak loud."

The Browns do have a more attractive situation to lure a prospective coach than they did a year ago. Cleveland had five Pro Bowl players this season, the team has two first-round picks in May's draft and there's plenty of salary cap room to sign free agents.

"This is the crucial offseason for the Cleveland Browns," Haslam said. "If we get that right, we'll have a lot of positive press conferences. We feel a lot of pressure to get this right for our players, our fans and the city of Cleveland."

Chudzinski was told of his firing shortly after the team returned by bus from Pittsburgh.

"I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired," Chudzinski said in a statement released by the Browns. "I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. ... While clearly I would have liked to see the long-term vision through to the end, I am very grateful to Jimmy Haslam and the Haslam family for letting me live my dream."

Chudzinski has three years left on his contract worth a reported $10 million. He was emotional as he said goodbye to his players.

"It's unfortunate," wide receiver Josh Gordon said. "I can't say what's fair, what's not fair. The NFL, it's the business of the league. But I thought he would have more time than that.

"I figured any coach in the NFL would get at least two years. I didn't even know that was possible."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Brother of NFL QB Vick arrested in Ga.

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) Sheriff's officials in suburban Atlanta say the younger brother of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has been arrested for DUI and traffic violations.

Forsyth County deputies say in a report that 29-year-old Marcus Vick was pulled over early Monday in Cumming, Ga., for an expired tag and was questioned about marijuana after a deputy smelled the drug in his car.

Police say Vick was driving without a license and told officers he smoked pot about four hours before.

Investigators reported finding a large sum of money but no drugs inside the car. Vick is charged with DUI, driving without a license and driving with an expired tag. He's being held in the county jail on $4,100 bond.

Marcus Vick was a quarterback for Virginia Tech between 2002 and 2005. Michael Vick had played for the Atlanta Falcons.

Middle Tenn. loses 24-6 to Navy in Armed Forces

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Middle Tennessee State quickly found out how difficult it would be trying to stop Navy's triple-option offense.

The Midshipmen ran 10 consecutive times on the game's opening drive, with quarterback Keenan Reynolds going 3 yards for the first of his two touchdowns to put them ahead to stay in a 24-6 victory Monday in the Armed Forces Bowl.

"It hurts to lose this game, but I was really proud of how we played out there," Blue Raiders coach Rick Stockstill said. "It's hard to simulate on a scout team what Navy does."

Especially Reynolds, who increased his NCAA record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback to 31 while matching Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs, another sophomore, for the national lead this season.

Even though Reynolds lost two fumbles, matching his total during the regular season, the Blue Raiders (8-5) failed to convert into points either of the miscues. Both fumbles were recovered by linebacker T.T. Barber, the game's defensive MVP after Navy had driving inside the 20.

"After the first couple drives there we kind of settled in. We got acclimated to the speed of the game," Stockstill said. "After that, I thought the defense played fast, they played physical."

Navy (9-4), which won for only the second time in its last seven bowl games, still piled up 366 yards rushing.

The Blue Raiders were held to a season low in points. They had finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak, averaging nearly 43 points a game in that stretch - since a 34-7 loss on Oct. 12 at North Texas, about 40 miles away from the TCU campus where the bowl was played.

Logan Kilgore, the quarterback already with an MBA and a school-record 53 TD passes, was 19-for-33 passing for 218 yards with two interceptions in his final game for Middle Tennessee.

"I couldn't be more proud to be the quarterback the past four years at this university. We've been through a lot," Kilgore said. "The reason why I think this senior class is so special is because we came in, we were at the top going to the bowl games, we had a tough season and nobody pointed fingers. We've come back these last two seasons, back-to-back eight-win seasons, and I just think that we're making this a habit."

Cody Clark had field goals of 43 and 24 yards for Middle Tennessee. The longer kick came at the end of Middle Tennessee's opening drive.

Down 10-6 at halftime, the Blue Raiders drove to the Navy 7 on the opening drive of the second half. They went for it on fourth down instead of trying a short field goal. But fullback Corey Carmichael managed only a yard before getting taken down by Travis Bridges and George Jamison, who also had an interception.

Middle Tennessee played in a bowl a year after getting snubbed with the same 8-4 record in the regular season. That was in the Sun Belt Conference before moving to Conference USA this season.

"Well, last season we didn't get a bowl game. We had something to prove," said Barber, a sophomore. "Having another eight-win season this year was a great accomplishment."

Barber forced the first fumble late in the first half, jumping over the quarterback to pounce on the ball. The other came late in the third quarter when the Midshipmen drove from their own 6 to the MTSU 14 after stopping Middle Tennessee short on a fourth-and-2.

There was a scary moment in the final minute before halftime when Middle Tennessee receiver Marcus Henry and Navy cornerback Lonnie Richardson each crumpled after a hard tackle. Players from both teams quickly motioned to the sideline, and trainers sprinted to the players.

Henry and Richardson were side-by-side on the ground surrounded by their teammates and medical personnel. They eventually sat up, then got up and walked gingerly off the field with help.

Year in review: 2013 losses in sports

The soundtracks could not have been more different.

One was the stinging crack of the bat of yet another double in the gap and the folksy harmonica strains of some song from long ago. The other soundtrack was rough and grating - a snarling, profane, arm-flailing argument that often ended with home plate covered with dirt.

Stan Musial and Earl Weaver, men of disparate times and temperaments, died in 2013. The deaths of the two Hall of Famers, in an odd alignment of baseball's planets, came hours apart on Jan. 19.

Musial - Stan the Man, "baseball's perfect knight," as a statue inscription reads - was 92 when he died at home in suburban St. Louis. Weaver, the Baltimore Orioles' longtime manager, was 82 and on a Caribbean cruise.

They underscored a year of losses in sports: Emile Griffith and Ken Norton in boxing; Bill Sharman and Jerry Buss in basketball; Pat Summerall, on the football field and in the booth; Deacon Jones in the NFL; Ken Venturi in golf; and Michael Weiner, on baseball's labor front.

Musial, simply put, was one of the best hitters in baseball history. With his left-handed, corkscrew stance, he played with a proficiency and elegance during a 22-year career - all with St. Louis - that lifted the entire sport.

He won seven batting titles and was the MVP three times before retiring in 1963. He led the Cardinals to three World Series crowns in the 1940s. Even the Hall of Fame was overtaken by his body of work, surrendering to the scope of his achievements by saying on his plaque that he "holds many National League records."

"Stan will be remembered in baseball annals as one of the pillars of the game," Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson said. "The mold broke with Stan. There will never be another like him."

Musial played off-Broadway in St. Louis, never enjoying the mythic acclaim of Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams. But he never seemed to mind, happy to deliver season after season, all the while busting out tunes on his harmonica or delighting in his magic tricks. The word gentleman followed him wherever he went.

"I never heard anybody say a bad word about him," Willie Mays said. "Ever."

Surely that was not the case with Weaver. Opponents, umpires all had a few select words of their own for this 5-foot-6 pugnacious fighter in the dugout. But in Baltimore, where he managed for 17 seasons, a statue of him stands at Camden Yards.

"His passion for the game and the fire with which he managed will always be remembered by baseball fans everywhere," Orioles great Cal Ripken said.

Weaver understood what made players tick and how to coax the most out of a pitching staff. Let others bunt and move runners along; Weaver waited for the three-run homer. Baltimore went to the World Series four times under him, winning in 1970.

But the casual fan saw less of the managerial shrewdness than his nose- to-nose, hat-turned-backward, foot-stomping confrontations with the men in blue. This was someone who was once ejected from both games of a doubleheader. Former umpire Don Denkinger recalls the time Weaver came to home plate before a game and said he was quitting.

"I told him that if he ever ran out of money to call the umpires' association and we'd take up a collection for him," Denkinger said. "We'd do anything just to keep him off the field and away from us."

Like Musial, Griffith brought elegance to his craft. He died at 75 of pugilistic dementia.

Griffith was quick and savvy in the ring, flicking jabs and punishing opponents. One night of punishing work in 1962 would haunt Griffith for the rest of his life.

He battered Benny "The Kid" Paret on national TV to recapture his welterweight title. A comatose Paret died 10 days later. The fight shadowed boxing for many years. Griffith, suddenly cast in the role of villainous killer, was never the same. At times, he was afraid to leave his hotel.

Boxing was hit hard this year, losing two other champions, both heavyweights: Ken Norton, who in 1973 defeated Muhammad Ali and broke his jaw, was 70; Tommy Morrison, 44, who beat George Forman and later tested positive for HIV, but denied until his chaotic end that he had the AIDs virus. Carl "The Truth" Williams, who lost title fights to Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes, died of cancer at 53.

The Celtics-Lakers rivalry that once defined the NBA had a unifying thread in Sharman. He teamed in the backcourt with Bob Cousy in Boston and became one of the game's best foul shooters. He later coached the Lakers of Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West when they won 33 in a row, and as an executive presided over the team's Showtime run.

He made it to the Hall of Fame as a player and coach and died at 87. Two footnotes: Sharman introduced the pre-game shootaround; as a baseball player, he was called up by the Dodgers in 1951 and was in the dugout when Bobby Thomson hit his mighty home run.

The Laker family also lost its patriarch in Jerry Buss, 80, the owner who gave his franchise a celebrity dazzle in a city where there is no higher calling. His team won 10 championships and became the gold standard, from the Showtime era of Magic Johnson to Kobe Bryant.

Football in 2013 lost not its heart but its voice. Summerall, 82, spent 10 years in the NFL, kicking field goals for the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants. But it was afterward, behind a television microphone, where he became a steady, calming, intelligent presence, in everyone's living room, week after week. Tennis and golf also sounded a lot better with him around.

When Jones died at 74 football lost one of its Fearsome Foursome. He was a pass-rushing terror for the Rams who left his stamp not only on the bodies of countless quarterbacks but on the vocabulary of the game: He coined the term "sack."

Also gone was another fierce defensive end - L.C. Greenwood, 67, a key part of Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain" of the 1970s. The New York Jets are now without two players from their only championship team - receiver George Sauer and safety Jim Hudson. Art Donovan, the Baltimore Colts' star lineman, was 89 and kept the rollicking stories coming. He said the only weight he ever lifted was a beer can.

Football's coaching ranks thinned: Bum Phillips (Oilers, Saints), Jack Pardee (Bears, Redskins), Chuck Fairbanks (Oklahoma, Patriots), Don James (Washington), Paul Dietzel (LSU).

In baseball, Paul Blair, who could chase down a fly ball like few others and won two World Series titles each with the Orioles and Yankees, was 69.

Two key figures passed from the sport's union-management struggles - Ray Grebey and Weiner. Grebey, 85, tangled with Marvin Miller during the 50-day strike that split the 1981 season. Weiner succeeded Donald Fehr as head of the players' union in 2009. He inherited harsh terrain, with labor relations still rough. But in not much time, and with a lighter touch, he managed to smooth the field. He died at 51 of a brain tumor.

Auto racing's Dick Trickle, who embraced an unconventional name and let the good times roll on small tracks around the country, died at 71, a suspected suicide.

Sports in 2013 also mourned a man whose first love was boxing and who understood better than anyone just how much sway, how much force these games can carry. In 1995, when he stood in the middle of a Johannesburg stadium, wearing a green rugby jersey - the game of the apartheid regime now banished - he knew precisely what he was doing.

"Sport has the power to change the world," Nelson Mandela, 95, would say years later. "It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does."

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Contributing to this report were AP Sports Writers R.B. Fallstrom, David Ginsburg, Ben Walker, Dave Skretta, Ronald Blum, Greg Beacham and Gerald Imray.

Chiefs praise former TE Gonzalez's retirement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Even though Tony Gonzalez is retiring as a member of the Atlanta Falcons, the Kansas City Chiefs still view the 13-time Pro Bowl tight end as one of their own.

One day after Gonzalez reaffirmed that he'll never play another NFL game, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement that he'll "always be considered a part of the Chiefs family."

Gonzalez was drafted by the Chiefs and spent his first 12 seasons in Kansas City. He was traded to the Falcons in 2009, when it appeared that Atlanta was going to give him a better shot at playing in the Super Bowl that eluded Gonzalez his entire career.

At halftime of his final game Sunday, Gonzalez was presented with a half Chiefs, half Falcons commemorative helmet. Atlanta wound up losing 21-20 to the Carolina Panthers.

"On behalf of the entire Chiefs family, I want to congratulate Tony on an incredible career," Hunt said. "What he was able to accomplish during his time in the NFL is truly remarkable, and I have no doubt that Tony is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We were very blessed to have him in a Chiefs uniform for 12 seasons, and his contributions on and off the field were extraordinary."

Gonzalez pondered retirement last season, but after the Falcons came up just 10 yards short in the NFC title game, he put it off to make one more run at the Super Bowl. Instead, an abundance of injuries, poor offensive line play and a defense prone to big plays resulted in a 4-12 finish and a hollow ending to Gonzalez's brilliant playing career.

"Obviously it just wasn't in my cards, and I'm OK with that, honestly," Gonzalez said. "Don't ever look at me and say, `Well, he never won the big game.' I hope there's no glitch on my record because of that, and if you think that way, I don't know what you're talking about. I really don't because this is the ultimate team sport."

The Chiefs made the playoffs on three occasions with Gonzalez, twice losing in the divisional round and once losing a wild-card game. Along with losing the NFC title game last season, Atlanta also came up short in the wild-card round in 2011 and the divisional round in 2010.

Those playoff failures aside, Gonzalez still finished his career with NFL records for tight ends of 1,325 receptions, 15,127 yards receiving, 111 touchdowns receiving and 31 100-yard receiving games. He had 916 of those catches for 10,940 yards and 76 TDs in Kansas City.

"He's one of the all-time greats, a future Hall of Famer," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who never had Gonzalez on one of his teams yet always admired him from afar. "I'm proud to have known him, and still know him, and I'm hoping he enjoys retirement and does as well there as he does on the football field, which I'm sure he will with that Cal education."

Gonzalez said he had no regrets with the way his career ended, and he didn't sound as if he'll reconsider stepping onto the field again. Over 40 family members and friends were on hand for his final game at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

"This is like graduating to me," Gonzalez said. "I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss my classmates - my teammates. I'm going to miss my coaches - my teachers. I'm going to miss them."

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Associated Press writer George Henry in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Doctors give no prognosis for Michael Schumacher

GRENOBLE, France (AP) Doctors offered a grim assessment of Michael Schumacher's head injuries Monday, providing no prognosis for the Formula One driving great after his skiing accident in the French Alps.

Schumacher has been placed in a medically induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain, which suffered bruising and bleeding when the retired seven-time world champion fell and struck a rock Sunday while skiing during a family vacation.

"We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher," Dr. Jean-Francois Payen, the doctor in charge of Grenoble University Hospital's intensive care unit, said at a news conference.

"He is in a critical state in terms of cerebral resuscitation," said Payen, the chief anesthesiologist treating the 44-year-old German driver. "We are working hour by hour."

Schumacher's wife, Corinna, daughter Gina Maria and son Mick were at his bedside.

"The family is not doing very well, obviously. They are shocked," his manager, Sabine Kehm, told reporters.

Schumacher earned universal admiration for his uncommon driving talent, which led to a record 91 race wins. His single-minded dedication to victory sometimes meant he was denied the same affection during his career that he received Monday.

Schumacher "gave the image of someone indestructible, powerful," France's four-time F1 champion Alain Prost said on iTele TV channel. "It's a banal accident compared to what he's done in the past . It's just a dumb thing that ended badly."

Schumacher and his 14-year-old son were skiing Sunday morning in the French Alpine resort of Meribel, where the family has a chalet. He fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock.

By wearing a helmet, Schumacher had given himself a chance of survival, Payen said, though the protection was not enough to prevent serious injury.

Gerard Saillant, a trauma surgeon who operated on Schumacher when he broke his leg in a 1999 race crash, was at the hospital as a visitor. He told reporters that Schumacher's age and fitness should work in his favor.

Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, retired from the track for the second time only last year, after a three-season comeback.

Still, the hospital's neurology team, which is recognized as among the best in France, was cautious about Schumacher's prospects.

Doctors lowered his body temperature to between 34 and 35 degrees Celsius (93.2 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) as part of the coma, which essentially rests the brain, slowing its metabolism to help reduce inflammation after an injury.

The hospital, in a city that is the gateway to the French Alps, sees a large number of skiing accidents every year.

Schumacher has been seriously hurt before. In addition to the broken leg in a crash at the 1999 British Grand Prix, he also suffered neck and spine injuries after a motorcycle accident in 2009 in Spain.

An expert skier, Schumacher fell in a section of trails that slice down through a vast and, in parts, very steep snowfield. Although challenging, the snowfield is not extreme skiing. The runs are broad and neatly tended, and the ungroomed area in between - where the resort said Schumacher was found - is free of trees.

"He was in the deep snow. But it was not an off-piste track," Kehm said, suggesting Schumacher had not taken undue risks. "They were skiing on pistes, but in the moment that it (the accident) happened, it was not on the piste."

Meribel resort officials said Schumacher was conscious when first responders arrived, although agitated and in shock.

After the fall, Payen said Monday, Schumacher was not in a "normal state of consciousness." He did not respond to questions, and his limbs appeared to move involuntarily, the doctor said.

He was airlifted to a local hospital and then later brought to Grenoble. Doctors said that stopover was typical and did not affect his condition.

The French prosecutor in Albertville has opened an investigation into the accident, according to the Mountain Gendarmerie in Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The goal is to determine the circumstances and cause of the accident.

Formula One drivers and fans rushed to wish Schumacher a quick recovery.

"Like millions of Germans, the chancellor and members of the government were extremely dismayed when they heard about Michael Schumacher's serious skiing accident," German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in Berlin.

Sebastian Vettel, the Formula One racer for whom Schumacher was a boyhood idol, told German news agency dpa: "I am shocked and hope that he will get better as soon as possible."

Ferrari, which Schumacher raced for, also expressed its concern. Company President Luca di Montezemolo and race team leader Stefano Domenicali were in contact with the family, the company said in a statement.

Former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, who himself recovered from life-threatening head injuries at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, wrote on Instagram: "I am praying for you my brother!! I hope you have a quick recovery!! God bless you, Michael."

British former F1 champion Jenson Button posted that "Michael more than anyone has the strength to pull through this."

Some fans gathered outside the hospital Monday.

Nuravil Raimbekov, a student from Kyrgyzstan who is studying in Grenoble, said Schumacher has been an inspiration to him.

"I'm worried, of course ... But I still hope, and I will pray for him," he said.

During his career, Schumacher set an array of Formula One records. After initial success with the Benetton team, winning his first two championships in 1994 and 1995, Schumacher moved to Ferrari.

There, he helped turn the storied Italian team into the sport's dominant force. After initially retiring in 2006, he made a comeback in 2010 and raced for three years with Mercedes.

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DiLorenzo reported from Paris.

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Associated Press writers Lori Hinnant in Paris, Geir Moulson in Berlin, John Leicester in Super-Besse, France, Lauren Neergaard in Washington and Deborah Gouffran and Milos Krivokapic in Grenoble contributed to this report.

5 NFL coaches already fired

It didn't take long.

Barely 12 hours after the NFL's regular season ended, five head coaches were unemployed. Fired on Monday were Washington's Mike Shanahan, Detroit's Jim Schwartz, Minnesota's Leslie Frazier and Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano.

The Cleveland Browns didn't even wait that long, dismissing Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night after just one season on the job.

Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls in Denver in the 1990s, spent four seasons with the Redskins and was 24-40. Frazier had a little more than three seasons with the Vikings to compile an 18-33-1 mark, and Schwartz coached the Lions for five seasons, finishing 29-52.

Schiano only got two years with the Buccaneers, going 11-21. He had three years and $9 million left on his contract.

Tampa Bay also fired general manager Mark Dominik.

"It's tough for the players to see your coaches go. You never want to see anybody get fired," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "Me personally, I haven't had any, consistently, in my career. Third head coach, going on my fifth year and three head coaches. Add up everybody, it'll be six D-line coaches."

The Buccaneers, who also have fired the likes of Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, hired Schiano out of Rutgers in 2012 and went 6-4 before losing five of their last six games. They dropped their first eight games this season and finished 4-12.

One coach allegedly on the hot seat was retained: Rex Ryan, who has one more year on his contract, is staying with the New York Jets after a surprising 8-8 record in his fifth season at the helm.

While some of the fired coaches might have seen it coming, Chudzinski certainly didn't despite going 4-12 and losing his final seven games and 10 of 11.

"I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired," said Chudzinski, who grew up a Browns fan. "I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. It was an honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future success."

As the coaching searches begin, agents will float the names of their clients - Penn State's Bill O'Brien seems to be the hottest candidate and has interviewed for Houston's vacancy. The Texans (2-14), who own the top choice in May's draft after losing their final 14 games, released coach Gary Kubiak late in the season.

Whoever gets hired in each place will face mammoth rebuilding projects. Overall, the six teams seeking new coaches went 24-71-1.

Shanahan had one season remaining on a five-year contract worth about $7 million a season. He blamed salary cap restraints for part of the Redskins' collapse from NFC East champion in 2012 to 3-13 and eight consecutive losses.

Washington was hit with a $36 million salary cap penalty over two seasons for dumping salaries into the 2010 uncapped season, and Shanahan said it prevented the team from pursuing free agents it had targeted.

But his real undoing, along with the poor records in three of his four seasons, was a contentious relationship with star quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 did not speak with the media on Monday.

Frazier took over for Brad Childress in Minnesota for the final six games of 2010. He got the Vikings to the playoffs as a wild card last season, riding an MVP year from running back Adrian Peterson. But he never solved the Vikings' quarterback situation - three QBs started in 2013 - and the defense, Frazier's specialty, ranked 31st overall and against the pass.

"It's a harsh business," safety Harrison Smith said. "As a player, we all love coach Frazier, as a coach, as a man. You can't meet a better guy. And also as a player, we didn't make enough plays on the field. So you just feel like you let him down a little bit."

The Lions were considered an underachieving team the last two years under Schwartz. After a 6-3 start this year in a division where the Packers and Bears lost their starting quarterbacks for lengthy periods, Detroit fell apart down the stretch. It lost six of its last seven.

He had two years and almost $12 million remaining on his deal, signed after the Lions hired him to fix a team that went 0-16 in 2008.

"From where we were in 2008 to where we are now it's a big difference," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We owe a lot of that to him. He's a really smart guy and helped us get to where we are. Obviously, we didn't win as many games as we needed to or as we should have this year."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Proud Giants sticking with Coughlin after 7-9 year

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Tom Coughlin is returning as Giants coach despite New York missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

Giants co-owner John Mara told the 67-year-old Coughlin on Monday morning that he wants him to return for an 11th season with the team that he led to Super Bowl titles in 2008 and 20012.

There are some issues that have to be finalized later this week when Mara and Coughlin sit down with co-owner Steve Tisch and general manager Jerry Reese. There is an evaluation process to run through after a 7-9 season that began with six straight losses.

Changes in the coaching staff, particularly on offense, will be discussed. Coughlin also might get a contract extension so he does not enter next season as a lame-duck coach.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Spurs' Parker apologizes for 'quenelle' gesture

SAN ANTONIO (AP) San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is apologizing for a photograph that shows him making the same gesture with anti-Semitic connotations also made by French soccer star Nicolas Anelka this weekend.

The photograph shows Parker and a French comedian making a gesture known in France as a "quenelle," which critics describe as inverted Nazi salute. Parker said Monday in a statement released by the Spurs that the photograph was taken three years ago.

Parker, who is French, said he didn't know at the time that "it could be in any way offensive or harmful." He said he thought it was part of a comedy act.

The photo surfaced after Anelka made the same gesture celebrating a goal in an English Premier League game Saturday, causing an outcry in France.

No. 14 Louisville dismisses F Behanan from team

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville dismissed junior forward Chane Behanan from the team on Monday for another violation of university policy.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino did not specify what rule was broken but expressed disappointment that the 6-foot-6 forward had another setback just a month after being reinstated from a 26-day suspension for violating school policy. The coach said Behanan and the Cardinals (11-2) were informed of the decision on Monday morning.

Behanan was a key member of Louisville's national championship squad and was named to the Final Four all-tournament team. He had averaged 8.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and shot 67 percent from the field in 11 games this season backing up sophomore power forward Montrezl Harrell.

Pitino said "away from the lines he just did not do the right things. ... It sets our basketball team back immensely."

Behanan went scoreless with seven rebounds in Saturday's 73-66 loss to No. 15 Kentucky. The Cincinnati native averaged 9.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during his Louisville career.

"I want to apologize for letting down my family, teammates, coaches, (athletic director) Tom Jurich, this university and the Louisville fans," Behanan said in a statement released by the school.

Behanan's exit leaves the Cardinals thin in the frontcourt entering Tuesday night's American Athletic Conference opener at Central Florida and jeopardizes their hopes of repeating as champions.

After 6-8 Harrell, 6-5 junior small forward Wayne Blackshear and 6-10 redshirt freshman center Mangok Mathiang, Louisville's bench consists of 6-6 perimeter threat Luke Hancock; 6-9 senior reserve Stephan Van Treese; and 6-8 freshman Akoy Agau. On top of losing Behanan, Pitino also suggested that junior guard Kevin Ware could be redshirted after struggling to come back from last year's devastating leg injury sustained in the Midwest regional final against Duke.

Louisville's frontcourt problems were exposed by Kentucky, which outrebounded the Cardinals 44-36 and outscored them 42-24 in the paint. Behanan missed all three shot attempts and committed three turnovers in the game, and Pitino suggested he might have been distracted "because he knew without us knowing the hammer was about to fall."

Louisville's challenge now is avoiding further collapse without Behanan.

"Our front court, It's obvious from the North Carolina (loss) as well as the Kentucky game is the weak part of our basketball team right now," Pitino said. "Now, we have to jump up on the fly and play a very good Central Florida team on the road that presents a lot of problems up front. They are a team that shoots the 3(-pointer) great.

"Rebounding has been a problem for us from the beginning of the year, anyway. Now you're going to have to try to play a freshman, Agau. ... A lot of things we have to do, but we have no time to do it right now. We have to do it on the fly."

Behanan's dismissal ends a tumultuous early season for him. He was coming off the bench after starting 37 of 39 games during the Cardinals' title run last year.

Pitino announced on Oct. 17 that Behanan was suspended indefinitely following the unspecified violation. He was reinstated on Nov. 11 and returned the next day against Hofstra after meeting conditions that surprised his coach.

However, troubles continued to follow Behanan.

After returning from his suspension, Behanan's name came up again after his 2012 Final Four ring turned up for sale on a sports memorabilia late last month. The player's mother said he gave the jewelry to his grandmother and that it had been stolen from her home without her or Behanan's knowledge.

The website quickly removed the ring and returned it to the family. A university and police investigation later cleared Behanan from any involvement in the process.

Since then Behanan had been trying to regain the aggressive form that helped lead Louisville to its third NCAA title. He posted season highs of 13 points and 12 rebounds in his second game back against Cornell on Nov. 15 but now must choose between transferring to another school or turning professional.

Said Pitino, "I'm just worried about his future. I want him to overcome his problems and be successful in life."

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AP Freelance Writer J.J. Hysell in Louisville, Ky., contributed to this report.

Duke's Cutcliffe is Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year

ATLANTA (AP) David Cutcliffe, who led Duke to its first 10-win season and spot in the ACC championship game, was named the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year on Monday.

Eight former coach of the year winners attended the announcement: Bill Curry, Fisher DeBerry, Vince Dooley, Ralph Friedgen, Fred Goldsmith, Jim Grobe, Ken Hatfield and Dick Sheridan.

"There are a lot of great parts of this," Cutcliffe said. "I would have to say the greatest part is being on stage with men like these coaches.

"This is the most meaningful thing that has happened to me. When these gentlemen walked into the room, the meaning of the Bobby Dodd Award just took hold of me."

Cutcliffe's No. 22 Blue Devils will play No. 20 Texas A&M in Tuesday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl. This is the first time Duke will play in back-to-back bowl games. Duke is playing for its first bowl win since 1961.

Kansas State's Bill Snyder won the 2012 award, named for the former longtime Georgia Tech coach.

Cutcliffe also has been named the Walter Camp and Maxwell Award coach of the year honors this year.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl is taking over management of the Bobby Dodd Award in 2014 and arranged a dinner for the former winners.

"We aim to make this similar to the Heisman Trophy for players," said Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan. "We want this to be the Heisman Trophy for coaches."

Redskins fire coach Shanahan after 3-13 season

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Mike Shanahan's plan to restore order, professionalism and consistent success to the Washington Redskins disintegrated quickly in 2013, costing him his job Monday a day after the team finished a 3-13 season.

Shanahan was fired after a morning meeting with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen at Redskins Park, a formality expected for several weeks as the losses mounted and tension rose among Shanahan, Snyder and franchise player Robert Griffin III.

Shanahan went 24-40 in four seasons in Washington and had one year remaining on his five-year, $35 million contract.

Snyder will now be seeking his eighth head coach for his 16th season as an NFL owner - a span that includes just four winning seasons, two playoff victories and seven last-place finishes in the NFC East.

"Redskins fans deserve a better result," Snyder said in a statement. "We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs."

Shortly after his meeting with Snyder, Shanahan made a five-minute statement thanking fans, players, reporters and Snyder. Shanahan did not take questions, and he defended his efforts in rebuilding the Redskins while repeating his assertion that an NFL-levied salary cap penalty hindered his ability to improve the roster even more.

"We're better off today than we were four years ago," Shanahan said.

Shanahan's career regular-season record is 170-138 over 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders, Denver Broncos and Redskins, but his two worst years have come in Washington - 5-11 in 2011 and this year's 3-13. He captured Super Bowls titles with quarterback John Elway and the Broncos after the 1997 and 1998 seasons, but he won only one playoff game over his final 10 years in Denver and was fired after the 2008 season.

The selection of Heisman Trophy winner Griffin with the No. 2 overall draft pick and a season-ending seven-game winning streak propelled the Redskins to 10-6 record in 2012, their first division title in 13 years.

But Griffin was injured in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks and required major knee surgery days later, setting the stage for a year of conflict as the quarterback vowed to return in record time and felt empowered enough to openly challenge some of his Shanahan's decisions.

Griffin returned for Week 1 of the regular season - just as he said he would - but he wasn't the same dynamic player who won the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012.

The Redskins also struggled on defense and special teams, with Shanahan repeatedly citing the handicap of the two-year, $36 million salary cap penalty imposed by the league for the way Washington restructured contracts during the uncapped year of 2010.

Shanahan eventually benched Griffin for the final three games of the season. Even though Griffin was medically cleared to play, the coach said the move was best for the organization because it was important for the quarterback's development that he be healthy for the upcoming offseason. Griffin was clearly unhappy with the decision.

Snyder's search for a new coach presents plenty of intrigue. He's tried nearly every angle: the hot college coach with no NFL experience (Steve Spurrier), the franchise icon (Joe Gibbs), the promising youngish coordinator (Jim Zorn) and the established demand-control-over-everything big names (Marty Schottenheimer and Shanahan).

Snyder's hands-on reputation and history of developing close relationships with star players have made candidates wary of the job, and his ties with Griffin did nothing to help matters this year.

"We are going to take a smart, step-by-step approach to finding the right coach to return the Redskins to where we believe we should be," Allen said. "We will analyze accurately and honestly all of the decisions that were made over the past year."

Shanahan demanded - and received - contractual control over all football matters when he joined the Redskins, and he repeatedly emphasized the need to run a disciplined organization with a sense of decorum. Snyder met Shanahan's requests to upgrade the Redskins Park facility, spending millions on a new practice bubble and other amenities.

Shanahan weeded out the disgruntled players - most notably Albert Haynesworth - but ultimately was unable to stymie what he called the "circus atmosphere" that has permeated the Redskins under Snyder.

Leaks, rumors and power struggles were just as bad as before, as were the losses. The Redskins' 2013 record was their worst since 1994, and the season-ending eight-game losing streak is their longest in more than 50 years. Shanahan leaves with the same regular-season winning percentage (.375) in Washington as Spurrier and Zorn.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

NFL says officials erred on KC's missed field goal

SAN DIEGO (AP) The NFL says referees erred in not penalizing the San Diego Chargers for an illegal formation on a missed 41-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Succop of the Kansas City Chiefs with four seconds left in regulation on Sunday.

Succop was wide right on the kick, and the Chargers went on to win 27-24 in overtime to claim the AFC's final playoff spot.

The NFL says in a statement released Monday that had the penalty been assessed by referee Bill Leavy's crew and the ball moved up 5 yards, it would have allowed the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal.

San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper. The rule says no more than six players can be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper.

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