NFL notebook: Vikings hire Zimmer as new head coach
The Vikings picked Mike Zimmer to be their new head coach.
Zimmer, the Bengals defensive coordinator, will be the ninth head coach in the franchise's 54-year history, replacing Leslie Frazier, who was fired Dec. 30 after the team finished 5-10-1 this season.
General manager Rick Spielman interviewed at least seven candidates. Zimmer has been an NFL defensive coordinator for the last 14 seasons, including six with the Bengals, and he has interviewed for several head coach vacancies in recent years, including this month with Tennessee.
“Today is one of the happiest and yet saddest days for me. Happy Coach Zimm finally gets to be a head coach and spread all of his knowledge,” Bengals cornerback Terence Newman said on Twitter.
The 57-year-old Zimmer played at Illinois State and spent 14 seasons coaching in the college ranks before being hired in 1994 as an assistant with Dallas. He got a Super Bowl ring the following season as defensive backs coach.
In 2009, when his wife, Vikki, unexpectedly died, Zimmer was named the winner of several NFL assistant coach of the year awards.
WR Harvin not practicing for Seahawks
Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin did not practice after suffering a concussion in the NFC divisional playoff game.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll had no other updates on Harvin's status for Sunday's NFC championship game against San Francisco.
Harvin played in his second game of the season in last Saturday's win over New Orleans. Harvin had three receptions but was injured late in the first half while trying to make a catch in the end zone.
Dolphins tab ex-Eagles aide Lazor to run offense
The Dolphins are hoping their new offensive coordinator clicks with Ryan Tannehill the way he did with Nick Foles.
The Dolphins announced they hired Bill Lazor, who tutored Foles this season as quarterbacks coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Lazor joined the Eagles a year ago when Chip Kelly was hired as head coach, and was instrumental in the development of Foles, who led the NFL in passing in his second NFL season.
The Dolphins also had a second-year quarterback in Tannehill. Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions, while Tannehill threw 24 and 17.
Lazor replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired last week after two seasons with Miami and was Tannehill's head coach at Texas A&M.
Giants fire 2 assistant coaches
Tom Coughlin is making major changes to the struggling Giants offense, starting with his staff.
Longtime assistants, tight ends coach Mike Pope and running backs coach Jerald Ingram, were fired after this season's dismal performance by the offense. The moves came one day after Coughlin decided to take the team in another direction by hiring Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo as his new offensive coordinator.
Lacy replaces Peterson in Pro Bowl
Packers running back Eddie Lacy will replace Adrian Peterson at the Pro Bowl later this month.
The Minnesota Vikings running back can't participate because of an injury.
Lacy set franchise rookie records this season for rushing yards (1,178), rushing touchdowns (11) and rushing attempts (284). He tied the team's rookie mark for 100-yard rushing games at four.
Lacy is the first Packers running back since Ahman Green in 2004 to go to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and the first Green Bay rookie running back since John Brockington in 1971.
Lacy says he sees the Pro Bowl as an opportunity to thank his teammates and coaches for helping with his accomplishments on the field this past season.
Sick QB Brady misses practice
Tom Brady took time off from practice before the Patriots play the AFC championship game against the Broncos.
Backup quarterback Ryan Mallett says Brady missed the full practice Wednesday. But Mallett says but he's not worried about the star quarterback's availability for Sunday's game in Denver.
Brady had a cold last week and then led the Patriots to a 43-22 win Saturday night over the Colts in the AFC divisional round.
Bucs DT Akeem arrested
Police say Buccaneers rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence is free on bond after being arrested on drug charges in south Alabama.
Alabama State Trooper Kevin Cook says in a statement the 22-year-old was stopped Tuesday morning for speeding in Flomaton, Ala., just north of the Florida border. Cook says Spence was driving 100 mph in a 65 mph zone.
Cook says a search dog found marijuana in the car. Spence faces misdemeanor charges of
possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Tampa Bay drafted Spence in the fourth round out of Illinois in 2013. He had 19 tackles in his first season.
New Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith says the team knows about what happened.
He says team officials are waiting for all the facts, but the initial reports are “concerning and disappointing.”
Report: Pryor fires agent
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor fired his agent, Jerome Stanley, who three weeks ago accused the Raiders of trying to sabotage the Jeannette product's career by starting him in the season finale, Fox Sports reported.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Stanley's remarks were “the stupidest thing I've ever heard.”
McAulay will be Super Bowl ref for 3rd time
Terry McAulay will be the referee at the Super Bowl, marking the third time he has worked the NFL title game.
The rest of his seven-man crew Feb. 2 will be umpire Carl Paganelli, head linesman Jim Mello, line judge Tom Symonette, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Dave Wyant and back judge Steve Freeman.
McAulay worked the Super Bowl in 2005, won by New England over Philadelphia, as well as the Steelers' win over Arizona in the 2009 game.
Jets' Goodson pleads not guilty in weapons case
Jets running back Mike Goodson has pleaded not guilty to weapons possession charges in New Jersey.
Goodson and another man were arrested in May after state police stopped the sports utility vehicle they were in on Interstate 80. Authorities have said both men were intoxicated and Goodson was carrying marijuana.
Redskins promote McVay, hire special teams coach
The Redskins promoted Sean McVay to offensive coordinator, a move expected after Jay Gruden was hired last week as head coach, then addressed their woeful special teams units by adding Ben Kotwica from the Jets as special teams coordinator.
Lions exec Xanders interviews for Dolphins GM job
Lions senior personnel director Brian Xanders became the sixth candidate to interview for the Dolphins' job of general manager.
Xanders was the Broncos' general manager in 2009-12 but didn't have final say on roster decisions. Before that he spent 14 years with the Falcons.
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