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NFL notebook: Browns hire Panthers coordinator Chudzinski as new coach

| Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 2:36 p.m.
Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski instructs players during a practice in Charlotte, N.C. A person familiar with the decision said Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, that the Browns hired Chudzinski as their new coach. (AP)

A person familiar with the decision said the Browns hired Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as their new coach.

Chudzinski will become the Browns' sixth full-time coach since 1999. the source said. The 44-year-old Chudzinski has spent the past two seasons with the Panthers. He has had two previous stints with the Browns as an assistant coach.

Chudzinski, who grew up in Ohio and rooted for the Browns as a kid, interviewed with the team Wednesday. He has spent the past two years working with quarterback Cam Newton.

The Browns have been searching for a coach since firing Pat Shurmur on Dec. 31 after a 5-11 season.

Jaguars fire Mularkey

The Jaguars fired coach Mike Mularkey after just one season, the worst in franchise history.

New general manager David Caldwell made the announcement two days after he was hired, giving him a clean slate heading into 2013. Caldwell said he wants to immediately explore every avenue possible to turn the Jaguars around.

Mularkey, who went 2-14 this season, became the eighth head coach fired since the end of the regular season.

Potential replacements for Mularkey include former Bears coach Lovie Smith, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Eagles interview Lovie Smith as search resumes

Lovie Smith interviewed with the Eagles as the team continued its search to replace Andy Reid, who was fired after a 4-12 finish.

Smith is the seventh candidate to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski.

Bears take look at Packers' Clements

Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, a McKees Rocks native and graduate of Canevin High School, was scheduled to interview Thursday with the Bears for their head coaching vacancy, ESPN reported.

Bengals' Gruden interviews with Cards

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is the latest to interview for the vacant head coaching job with the Cardinals. He says he may interview with the Eagles next week.

The Cardinals also have interviewed their defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Niners to stick with struggling K Akers

David Akers is keeping his job as San Francisco's starting kicker, coach Jim Harbaugh said after practice Thursday, two days ahead of the 49ers' NFC divisional playoff game against the Packers (12-5) at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers signed Billy Cundiff on Jan. 1 to compete with Akers, a 15-year veteran who has struggled this season while making only 29 of 42 field-goal attempts.

Jaguars no longer want hometown hero Tebow

Tim Tebow won't be playing for his hometown team.

The Jaguars made it clear that they have no plans to pursue the popular and polarizing Jets backup quarterback.

The Jets are likely to release the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and Jacksonville native during the offseason, and many believed Tebow would land with the Jaguars.

Cowboys eyeing Monte Kiffin for def. coordinator

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett have focused their search for a defensive coordinator on longtime NFL assistant Monte Kiffin, 72, according to an ESPN report citing team and league sources.

Bills hire Pettine, Hackett

The Bills hired Mike Pettine as their new defensive coordinator and Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator.

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