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NFL Hands out Warning to Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch

NFL Hands out Warning to Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NFL is tired of Seattle Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch's celebrations after he celebrates touchdowns.

ESPN's Sal Paolantonio is reporting that if Lynch makes an obscene after scoring or at any other time during Super Bowl XLIX, the team will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

If he does it after scoring a touchdown, the team will have to kickoff from the 20-yard line.

Lynch has been fined twice this season for grabbing his crotch, and was fined $20,000 by the NFL for making the gesture during the NFC Championship Game. He's also clashed with the league at times this season for his unwillingness to talk to the media.

ESPN also reports that that league will continue to consider fining Lynch "significantly more" than the $50,000 they have fined him in each of the past two seasons for not speaking to the media.

Lynch was fourth in the NFL in rushing this past season.

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ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Francisco 49ers signed Eric Mangini to a three-year contract as their new defensive coordinator, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.Mangini served as the 49ers tight ends coach last season, but has experience coaching defenses. He served as the New England Patriots' defensive backs coach from 2000 to 2004 before becoming their defensive coordinator in 2005.Mangini takes over for Vic Fangio, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.Mangini also has five years' experience as a NFL head coach. He spent three seasons with the New York Jets and two with the Cleveland Browns, compiling a 33-47 record while making one playoff appearance.

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Seahawks’ Lane Doesn’t Think Gronkowski’s “That Good”

Seahawks’ Lane Doesn’t Think Gronkowski’s “That Good”

Elsa/Getty Images(RENTON, Wash.) -- Many people would probably tell you that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the main reasons the Patriots have been so successful this season, but Seattle Seahawks starting nickleback Jeremy Lane isn't one of them."I actually don't think he's that good," Lane said. "He's OK. He does have a big body. But from what I've seen on tape, he doesn't like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won't catch that many balls."Gronkowski finished this season with 82 catches, 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, but Lane believes if he hits Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage, the 6-foot-6, 265 pound All-Pro will have problems being productive."It's definitely an issue with him from watching tape," said Lane.The 24-year-old Lane has played in seven games for the Seahawks this season, compiling 23 tackles, three passes defended and one forced fumble.

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Deflate-gate: Patriots Coach Says He Has ‘No Explanation’ for Under-Inflated Balls

Deflate-gate: Patriots Coach Says He Has ‘No Explanation’ for Under-Inflated Balls

Leon Halip/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Thursday that he was "shocked" when he heard that the NFL found 11 of 12 footballs deflated that were used in their 45-7 AFC Championship game win over the Colts on Sunday.

Belichick said that the organization is still cooperating with the NFL as the investigation continues.

"When I came in Monday morning I was shocked to learn of the news reports about the footballs," Belichick said.  "I had no knowledge whatsoever of the situation until Monday morning."

"I would say I've learned a lot more about this process than I knew or talked about it in the last 40 years," Belichick continued.  

Belichick said that when the team practices, he makes sure that they play with the worst footballs.

"We never use the condition of the footballs as an excuse," Belichick said.  "We play with whatever or kick with whatever we have to use and that's the way it is."

Belichick said that the team would take the steps to avoid footballs being below the NFL standard.

Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.

"The National Football league is investigating the situation," Belichick said.  "We have cooperated fully, quickly, and completely with every request they have made."

The Patriots are preparing for a Super Bowl showdown with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. 

Chicago Bears equipment manager Tony Medlin will organize the football process for the Super Bowl.

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Adam Gase Takes Over as Bears’ Offensive Coordinator

Adam Gase Takes Over as Bears’ Offensive Coordinator

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Adam Gase will take the job as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, the team announced Wednesday.ESPN reports Gase signed a three-year contract.The 36-year-old Gase is reunited with Bears head coach John Fox, with whom he spent the past four seasons in Denver -- the last two as Fox's offensive coordinator.Over the past two regular seasons, Gase commandeered a Broncos offense that led the NFL in scoring offense (34 points per game) and total offense (430.1 yards per game). He was also in charge when the Broncos set an NFL record by scoring 606 points in 2013.Gase now takes over a Bears offense that, despite having weapons such as Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, ranked 23rd in scoring offense last season.

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Jets Introduce Todd Bowles

Jets Introduce Todd Bowles

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Todd Bowles era in New York has begun.

Bowles was introduced on Wednesday by the Jets, and he understands that in the end it comes down to winning.

"We're going to be a tough team, intelligent team, do things the right way," Bowles said.  "Going forward we're going to everything we can to use all our resources, we're going to try and build a championship team here and that's my only job."

Bowles comes over from the Arizona Cardinals, where he served as defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. Previously, he served in the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 and was the assistant head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2008-2011. Bowles was also the interim head coach of the Dolphins for the final three games of the 2011 season.

"I'm just going to be myself," Bowles said when asked of how he'll handle the New York media.  "I'll deal with the media as they talk to me I'll talk to them."

"I'm open, honest, upfront," Bowles continued.  "I grew up here, I understand the media."

Bowles, 51, is New Jersey native who grew up in Elizabeth and attended Temple University. He played 8 seasons in the NFL: seven with the Washington Redskins (1986-1990, 1992-93) and one with the San Francisco 49ers (1991).

Bowles understands that there will have to be a culture change in the locker room coming off the Rex Ryan era.

"We have to get to some of the players and we got to teach them our culture," Bowles said.  "Not that the other culture was bad, but it didn't win.  Our culture is going to try and instill different things in them from a winning organization."

Bowles said he'd also evaluate all the players on the staff, including quarterback Geno Smith, once all the coaches are in place.

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Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated

Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs during Sunday’s AFC Championship game under-inflated, ESPN reports, citing league sources.

The NFL's spokesman declined to address the report.“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.According to ESPN’s report, the footballs used by the Patriots were reportedly under-inflated by two pounds per square inch. Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.A deflated ball could be easier for the quarterback to grip in bad weather, like in Sunday's rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. New England won the game 45-7.Each team provides 12 new Wilson Official NFL footballs for referees to check before games, with additional balls available for backup or at the away team’s discretion. The minimum disciplinary action for tampering of a football is a fine of $25,000, according to the NFL’s game operations manual.The controversy around “deflate-gate” has taken attention away from the Super Bowl, which features the Patriots playing against the Seattle Seahawks.

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New York Jets Hire Chan Gailey to Run Offense

New York Jets Hire Chan Gailey to Run Offense

Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images

(FLORHAM PARK, N.J.) -- The New York Jets are overhauling their team. Tuesday, the Jets have officially hired Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator.

Gailey, 63, most recently served as head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2010 through 2012.  The offensive-minded coach formerly led the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Dallas Cowboys.  He was also the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

"He understands football and is a very good communicator and teacher with players," said former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher to NewYorkJets.com. "He understands the strengths of players and puts players in positions where they will succeed."

Gailey joins newly hired head coach Todd Bowles as the Jets try to rebound from a 4-12 season.  Bowles took the head position after serving as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

"Chan has been a head coach as well and the other thing I think he gives Todd is a voice of reason." Cowher said. "A guy that Todd can go to about the numerous amount of elements of being a head coach that are going to be new to Todd."

Former players have great respect for Gailey, both as a coach and a professional. Bills running back C.J. Spiller, an impending free agent, told the New York Daily News he believed it would be a "perfect match" to re-join Gailey and that "he’s going to treat you like you’re a grown man. He’s going to give you respect."

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Lions Will Part Ways with Center Dominic Raiola

Lions Will Part Ways with Center Dominic RaiolaScott Boehm(NEW YORK) -- The Detroit Lions are parting ways with one of the longest tenured players in franchise history as the team has informed center Dominic Raiola he will not return for the 2015 season. Raiola has spent his entire 14-year career w...

Patriots Wilfork Rescues Motorist After Sunday’s Game

Patriots Wilfork Rescues Motorist After Sunday’s Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Ma.) -- New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has had a few moments this season that have been defined as heroic.

After Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts, Wilfork had a truly heroic moment when he helped pull a woman out of her car after it overturned on Route 1 outside of Gillete Stadium.

"Some good times and I was just lucky to help, that was it," Wilfork said. "I don't want anything from it. If I saw it a million times, I'd do it a million times."

The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Monday morning when Wilfork and his wife noticed the overturned car.  After calling for police assistance, Wilfork climbed onto the car and pulled the woman out with one arm.

Police then arrested the woman for driving under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a vehicle.

Teammates of Wilfork found out about the story through news reports Monday afternoon.

“You’re not really surprised with a guy like Vince,” wide receiver Matthew Slater said. “He’s been a pillar here in this franchise and a character guy, and really when you get to know the man, he’s all about giving back. He has such a big heart, and he cares about the people in this community.”

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Chuck Pagano: ‘Did Not Notice’ Deflated Footballs

Chuck Pagano: ‘Did Not Notice’ Deflated Footballs

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday that he "did not notice" any deflated footballs that were being played with in their 45-7 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The NFL has opened up an investigation into whether the Patriots used deflated game balls in their win.

"That's something for the league to handle," Pagano said.  "It's not my place to comment on it."

The league's rulebook says game balls must be inflated with between 12.5-13.5 pounds of air. 

"If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000," the rule states.

New England will take on the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 in Arizona on Feb. 1.

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Source: Broncos to Hire Gary Kubiak as Head Coach

Source: Broncos to Hire Gary Kubiak as Head Coach

Bob Levey/Getty Images(DENVER, Co.) -- The Denver Broncos have found their replacement for John Fox.

Gary Kubiak, former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator and Houston Texans head coach, has agreed to a four-year deal with the Denver Broncos, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rappaport.

The team is expected to announce the hiring at a press conference Tuesday. The Denver Post first reported the story.

Kubiak, 53, was the backup quarterback to team president John Elway from 1983 to 1991 with the Broncos. The two have a close relationship, and Elway expects Kubiak to implement a similar offensive style that relies on a strong zone running game, which helped the Broncos win their two Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. 

While head coach of the Houston Texans, Kubiak amassed a record of 61-64, but led the team to their first two playoff victories and two seasons of 10-plus wins. 

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Report: Patriots File Tampering Charges Against Jets

Report: Patriots File Tampering Charges Against Jets

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots have filed tampering charges against the New York Jets over comments made by team owner Woody Johnson during an end-of-season press conference.

The NFL office is looking into whether Johnson committed a violation for comments he made regarding cornerback Darrelle Revis.

During a December 29th press conference, when Johnson announced the firing of Rex Ryan and John Idzik, a reporter responding to Johnson's acknowledgement that the team should have spent more money last season asked, "how much of it was your decision [to not re-sign Revis], when he made it clear he wanted to come back?"

"Darrelle is a great player and if I thought I could have gotten him for that, I probably would have taken him," Johnson responded. "It was our best judgment to do what we did, but I'd love for Darrelle to come back."

Johnson realizing he made a mistake in his comments issued a statement the next day saying he, "misspoke" and called Patriots owner Robert Kraft to "emphasize those points."

If found in violation of the league's anti-tampering rules, Johnson could face a fine or the team could forfeit a draft pick.

Revis is due $20 million next year as a contract option with the Patriots.  If they decline the option, he will become a free agent. 

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Aaron Rodgers on Stunning Loss to Seattle: ‘Will Hurt for a While’

Aaron Rodgers on Stunning Loss to Seattle: ‘Will Hurt for a While’

Tom Lynn /Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The Green Bay Packers let one get away on Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

Green Bay had a 19-7 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the game before Russell Wilson, a huge onside kick, and Marshawn Lynch erased that deficit.

Rodgers was seeking his second Super Bowl appearance of his career, the last came in 2012 against the Steelers.

"This one's going to hurt for a while because of the close proximity to feeling that feeling when the clock hits zero when you're ahead," Rodgers said of the stunning loss.  "We gave it away."

Following Wilson's one-yard touchdown run, the Seahawks went with an onside kick that Brandon Bostwick let go through his hands to give them the ball back with 2:13 left in the game, which set up the Lynch 24-yard rushing touchdown and a two-point conversion.

"Just have to move on I guess," Bostwick said of not recovering the onside kick.  "I don't really know what to say."

"I just reacted and thought I'd make a play on it, but obviously I didn't," Bostwick continued.

Had it not been for Mason Crosby's fifth field goal of the game with 14 seconds left to tie things up, the Packers' season would have ended sooner.

Seattle won the coin toss in overtime and Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse with a 35-yard touchdown to end the game.

"If I played a really bad game, yeah, it'd eat at me all offseason," Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said, who was covering Kearse.  "I don't feel that I played bad at all.  I feel that I played that I played a good game."

"The guy at the end of the game made a play," Williams continued.  "You've got to give him his credibility."

Green Bay is now 3-3 in NFC Championship games.  They have five Super Bowl titles in franchise history.

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Seahawks Stun Packers in OT, 28-22, Will Defend Super Bowl Title

Seahawks Stun Packers in OT, 28-22, Will Defend Super Bowl Title

Kevin Casey/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The Seattle Seahawks are headed back to defend their Super Bowl title on Feb. 1 after they came back from 19-7 down to beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a career-high four interceptions, but pulled them within five on a rushing touchdown with 2:09 left in the game.

Following the score, Seattle went with an onside kick that Chris Matthews recovered, which set up Marshawn Lynch's 24-yard rushing touchdown with 1:25 left in the game.  Wilson would hit Luke Wilson in the end zone for the two-point conversion to take a three point lead.

Mason Crosby's 48-yard field goal with 14 seconds left tied the game up before Wilson hit Jermaine Kearse with a 35-yard touchdown pass in overtime to end the game.

Lynch rushed for 157 yards in the victory to go along with the touchdown.  Wilson finished the game with 209 yards, the rushing touchdown, and game winning pass to Kearse.

The Packers offense failed to convert on offense early in the first quarter and settled for two field goals.

Aaron Rodgers finished with two picks, a touchdown, and threw for 178 yards in the loss.

Seattle has now won nine in a row at Century Link in the postseason and are the first team to repeat as conference champions since the New England Patriots ten years ago.

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Colt’s Richardson Does Not Travel With Team

Colt’s Richardson Does Not Travel With Team

Al Bello/Getty Images(FOXBORO, Ma.) -- The end of the line is nearing for Trent Richardson with the Indianapolis Colts.

One week after being a healthy inactive for the Colts divisional win over the Denver Broncos, Richardson did not travel to New England, for "personal reasons," the team announced Saturday.

"[Being inactive] will never happen to me again," Richardson said Thursday. "Anybody can quote me, today, because it's never going to happen again."

Richardson was the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.  The Cleveland Browns changed their front office a year later and shipped him to the Colts.

"It was such a bold and aggressive move and so forth, but really from a football standpoint, we needed a starting running back," General manager Ryan Grigson said one year ago. "Trent was made available. ...I'm glad we have him for the long haul. It was very economically wise as a franchise to make the move given where we're going with the run game."

Indianapolis traded a 2013 first round pick for Richardson to the Cleveland Browns. In 29 games with the Colts, he has amassed just 977 rushing yards.

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Shane Vereen: Can’t ‘Lay an Egg’ Against Colts

Shane Vereen: Can’t ‘Lay an Egg’ Against Colts

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- The New England Patriots are making their third straight AFC Championship game appearance on Sunday when they host the Colts.

Patriots running back Shane Vereen stressed the importance of getting off to a fast start and making sure they do everything they can to punch their ticket to Super Bowl 49.

"If we go out there and lay an egg then it really doesn't matter if we've been here before or not," Vereen said on Friday.  "Each year is something different, each team each year is a different animal, and we have our hands full this Sunday."

New England joined the San Francisco 49ers to become the first teams since the Eagles (2001-04) to go to at least three straight Conference championships after they beat Baltimore on Saturday.

"Unfortunately since I've been here we kind of got stopped a little quicker then we wanted to," linebacker Dont'a Hightower said on Friday.  "You kind of want to leave those things in the past.  I definitely feel throughout this week, we've all been kind of approaching it as doing as much as you can each day."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won five AFC title games out of eight appearances, which puts him in a tie with Hall of Famer John Elway for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl era.

"As you get older experience is definitely good as long as you play well," said Brady, who has three Super Bowl rings.  "It's a game like all the other games.  We're very fortunate to be in this position."

The Patriots last Super Bowl appearance was in 2012 when they fell to the Giants, 21-17.  Their last Super Bowl title came against the Eagles in 2005.

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Bears Hire John Fox as Head Coach

Bears Hire John Fox as Head Coach

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- John Fox was out of a job for less than a week before finding his new gig. ESPN is reporting that Fox has agreed on a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears to become the team's new head coach.

Fox had spent the previous four seasons with the Denver Broncos where he went 46-18, including three-straight AFC West division titles.

Despite the success, Fox and the Broncos parted ways following the team's loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Fox will replace the recently departed Marc Trestman, who was fired after a 13-19 record over two seasons on the job. The franchise has missed the playoffs for four-consecutive seasons.

The Bears do have a talented, yet under achieving teams despite their recent futility. They have wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall along with running back Matt Forte. The teams defense has struggled in recent seasons, but Fox has a reputation for turning a team's defense around.

In 13 years as a head coach with the Carolina Panthers and Broncos, Fox has gone 119-89 and took both teams to the Super Bowl.

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49ers Introduce Jim Tomsula

49ers Introduce Jim Tomsula

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- The San Francisco 49ers introduced their 19th head coach in team history on Thursday, Jim Tomsula.

"I believe it takes a village," Tomsula said of his new role. "No one man does anything by himself."

Tomsula said he understands that expectations are high after San Francisco failed to make the playoffs following three straight NFC Championship game appearances.

"I clearly understand the expectation of the ownership, on and off the field," Tomsula continued.

The 46-year-old Tomsula spent the last nine seasons as the 49ers defensive line coach. He also was the team's interim coach for one game in 2010 after Mike Singletary was fired. Before that, he was the head coach of Rhein Fire in NFL Europe in 2006.

"I understand my journey is an unusual one," Tomsula said. "I've taken my family on three continents. Nothing has been the norm. I'm used to not normal."

Tomsula's next task will be finding an offensive coordinator that can work with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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Cowboys Reward Jason Garrett with Five-Year Contract

Cowboys Reward Jason Garrett with Five-Year Contract

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(IRVING, Texas) -- The Dallas Cowboys rewarded head coach Jason Garrett with a five-year contract extension worth $30-million on Thursday, according to sources.

Garrett and the Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs by the Packers last weekend, but he is still happy about what they accomplished this season.

"We started something four years ago when I became the head coach," Garrett said. "It's a word I think about really each and every day when I wake up and throughout the day, it's 'build.' We want to build a football team that everyone who is associated with our football team is proud of. I feel like we've done that.

"The work is not done," Garrett continued.  "We're excited about the opportunities in 2015 to build on some of the things we did this past season."

Garrett said his team is getting closer to the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl.

"I think we're getting closer, I do," Garrett said. "I think we play the right way and have the right kind of guys. I do think we have some cornerstone pieces in place that have helped our football team get to this point. Now the challenge is, OK, now we have to build on it. We have to take the next step. We have to keep bringing these players in and keep playing that way."

Garrett is 42-32 and took his team to the playoffs for the first time in his tenure.

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