All our week 21 content

Week 21 Players in the News

by Clayton Gray, Exclusive to Footballguys.com


The Latest News

Quarterback

*** Friday Update *** QB Kevin Kolb (ARI) Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwell said head coach Bruce Arians will have the independence to make decisions on the team's quarterback position and that money will not be a factor in the decision. The team is scheduled to pay Kevin Kolb a $2 million signing bonus if he is on the roster in March and is scheduled to pay Kolb $9 million next season.

*** Friday Update *** QB Brandon Weeden (CLE) Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said there will be a competition at quarterback this season. "You know, I think Norv Turner and Chud (Rob Chudzinski) have been very open that they like a lot about what Brandon Weeden does, but we're gonna have competition at that position," Haslam said. "I think competition makes us all better. We'll see where that competition comes from."

*** Friday Update *** QB Matt Schaub (HOU) Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said he believes the criticism Matt Schaub has received this offseason is because of the position he plays. "When you win, he's the hero, 'he carried the team' and when we lose 'it's all his fault.' It's no different, look at what [Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco] has gone through in Baltimore. Up until the playoffs, the last few games there, everybody said, 'Joe Flacco couldn't get the job done, they have to get somebody in Baltimore.' Now, he's really been playing well and people are starting to say what a great player he is. Same thing will happen with Matt. He'll have to step up and perform on the big stage when the bright lights are on, and we'll all have to," McNair said.

*** Friday Update *** QB Alex Smith (SF) ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid really likes Alex Smith and was interested in Smith when he was a free agent last year.

Running Back

*** Friday Update *** RB Vonta Leach (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** RB Bernard Pierce (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** RB Arian Foster (HOU) Despite reports to the contrary, Arian Foster said he's not aiming to have surgery for a heart ablation to correct an irregular heartbeat that he dealt with in Week 16 this year. Foster said "I have not, nor do I plan to anytime in the near future, have conversations with my doctors about any surgery. I am feeling well and am as exuberant as ever. Love and light to all those concerned!"

*** Friday Update *** RB Adrian Peterson (MIN) said during a radio interview that his goal is to rush for 2,500 yards next season. "I set the mark for 2,500," Peterson said. "If you reach for the stars and fall short, you're still there." We're not betting against Peterson. He's one of the best RBs to ever play in this league and is a first overall pick in most every fantasy draft next year.

*** Friday Update *** RB Frank Gore (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** RB LaMichael James (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** RB Bruce Miller (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** RB Chris Johnson (TEN) wants to return in 2013. The Titans have not told the running back if they are going to pick up the $9 million guarantee. "If they are making the right steps toward getting better I want to be back," he said. "I really think they want to get better. They can't be satisfied with winning eight games and watching the playoffs at home. And just being around coach (Mike) Munchak, I know he wants to win."

Wide Receiver

*** Friday Update *** WR Tandon Doss (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** WR David Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** WR A.J. Green (CIN) said he was disappointed that he was not targeted in the first half of the team's playoff game. "It's tough in a big game and you're the go to guy and you don't get the ball in the first half. It's all frustrating," Green said. "They had a game plan that had a matchup problem with [tight end Jermaine Gresham] and they felt like they could go to him. Things happen like that. All games aren't perfect. That's one thing we need to build on. We just need to capitalize. Not only getting me the ball, but just making some of the big plays." Green finished the game with four catches for 80 yards.

*** Friday Update *** WR Wes Welker (NE) New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he would like to see Wes Welker back in a Patriots uniform. "I'd love him to be around," Kraft said today. "He's a great guy. Like I've said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction. We have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don't mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us, and we want him here. It's just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent."

*** Friday Update *** WR DeSean Jackson (PHI) said new head coach Chip Kelly told him that he will be used heavily in the team's offense. "He called me and was very excited. I could tell in his voice," Jackson said. "He was like, 'Let me know when you're back in Philly so we can just talk face to face.' I actually talked to Pat Shurmur. He was my coach when I first got to Philly. He's excited, as well." However, Jackson has no idea who will be the team's quarterback next season. Jackson also mentioned that his fractured ribs are "98 percent" healthy.

Tight End

*** Friday Update *** TE Tony Gonzalez (ATL) Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he has talked to impending free-agent Tony Gonzalez about the possibility of coming back for one more year. Gonzalez has said he is 95 percent sure that he will retire this offseason.

*** Friday Update *** TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** TE Garrett Celek (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

Kicker

*** Friday Update *** PK David Akers (SF) attempted field goals during practice Thursday, Jan. 31, with teammates yelling in order to create some crowd noise that he will hear during the game. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said Akers made all of his attempts and that his mechanics looked very good.

Offensive Line

*** Friday Update *** OL Baltimore Ravens (BAL) C Matt Birk said he's willing to donate his brain postmortem for research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

*** Friday Update *** OL Carolina Panthers (CAR) C Ryan Kalil said he has been out of a protective boot for about a month and expects to be ready for the start of training camp. Kalil underwent surgery on a lis franc injury in his foot during the season.

*** Friday Update *** OL San Francisco 49ers (SF) G Mike Iupati practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

Defensive Tackle

*** Friday Update *** DT Haloti Ngata (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** DT Akiem Hicks (NO) said he is ready to play in the team's new 3-4 defensive alignment because he played defensive end and nose tackle in the alignment before he came to the Saints.

*** Friday Update *** DT Antonio Dixon (PHI) could play nose tackle for the Eagles in a 3-4 defense. The problem with Dixon, according to Rich Hoffmann of the Daily News, is that he may not be big enough to play the position, meaning the Eagles may have to try to find someone to play the position.

Defensive End

*** Friday Update *** DE Pernell McPhee (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** DE Terrell Suggs (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** DE Osi Umenyiora (NYG) said he will be looking to sign with a team where he can be a starting defensive end this offseason. He said his decision will not be solely about money.

*** Friday Update *** DE Justin Smith (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

Inside Linebacker

*** Friday Update *** ILB Dannell Ellerbe (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** ILB Navorro Bowman (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** ILB Patrick Willis (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

Outside Linebacker

*** Friday Update *** OLB Albert McClellan (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** OLB DeMarcus Ware (DAL) will have surgery to remove bone fragments from his right elbow soon.

*** Friday Update *** OLB Ahmad Brooks (SF) partially participated in Friday's practice but is still expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** OLB Clark Haggans (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** OLB Aldon Smith (SF) partially participated in Friday's practice but is still expected to play this weekend.

Cornerback

*** Friday Update *** CB Asa Jackson (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** CB Jimmy Smith (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Friday Update *** CB Tarell Brown (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

Safety

*** Friday Update *** S Ed Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

General Team News

*** Friday Update *** TM Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Dave Wannstedt as their special teams coordinator Friday, Feb. 1.


All the news

Quarterback

*** Friday Update *** QB Kevin Kolb (ARI) Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwell said head coach Bruce Arians will have the independence to make decisions on the team's quarterback position and that money will not be a factor in the decision. The team is scheduled to pay Kevin Kolb a $2 million signing bonus if he is on the roster in March and is scheduled to pay Kolb $9 million next season.

*** Thursday Update *** QB Joe Flacco (BAL) Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti isn't worried about the team signing impending free-agent Joe Flacco to a contract extension as he has confidence in general manager Ozzie Newsome. "... that's for Ozzie and (Flacco's) agent to figure out," Bisciotti said. "Joe and I kind of sit on the sideline and we tease about it a little bit. We really don't get that involved in it. I trust Ozzie, it's always been done. They asked me about this with Ray Rice. They asked me about this with Haloti Ngata and on down the line and we've always signed them. So Joe's going to be here. Trust in Ozzie."

Flacco is currently one of only six quarterbacks to throw at least eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in the same postseason. The other five have all won a Super Bowl and been named the game's Most Valuable Player.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Joe Flacco (BAL) said the team feels confident heading into the Superbowl. "We feel confident as a group...we can't come in here and try and do too much or do what we've done in the past," Flacco said.

*** Friday Update *** QB Brandon Weeden (CLE) Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said there will be a competition at quarterback this season. "You know, I think Norv Turner and Chud (Rob Chudzinski) have been very open that they like a lot about what Brandon Weeden does, but we're gonna have competition at that position," Haslam said. "I think competition makes us all better. We'll see where that competition comes from."

*** Friday Update *** QB Matt Schaub (HOU) Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said he believes the criticism Matt Schaub has received this offseason is because of the position he plays. "When you win, he's the hero, 'he carried the team' and when we lose 'it's all his fault.' It's no different, look at what [Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco] has gone through in Baltimore. Up until the playoffs, the last few games there, everybody said, 'Joe Flacco couldn't get the job done, they have to get somebody in Baltimore.' Now, he's really been playing well and people are starting to say what a great player he is. Same thing will happen with Matt. He'll have to step up and perform on the big stage when the bright lights are on, and we'll all have to," McNair said.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) reached out to former quarterback Jeff Garcia in order to learn new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's version of the west coast offense. Sanchez is going to compete for the starting job with the Jets this year. The team is likely to bring in another quarterback to push Sanchez in camp. We'll see if his extra work pays off come training camp.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) Jets general manager John Idzik reiterated during a radio interview there will be competition for the team's starting quarterback job. When asked if he's comfortable with Mark Sanchez as the starting quarterback, Idzik replied, "I'm comfortable with Mark being a Jet." Sanchez is competing for a starting job because the Jets gave him an extension last year. His performance during the regular season was terrible and the Jets will look for an upgrade if they can through free agency or the draft.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Carson Palmer (OAK) The Oakland Raiders could consider releasing Carson Palmer this offseason if he does not agree to restructure his contract. The Raiders need to upgrade the quarterback position and find their future franchise. Rumors are going around that they love Geno Smith (West Virginia) and would consider him in the first-round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Michael Vick (PHI) The Philadelphia Eagles are not expected to make a quick decision about Michael Vick's future with the team even though $3 million of his $16.5 million deal becomes guaranteed if he is on the roster Feb. 6. The team does not see the guaranteed money as a big deal at this time and are determining how much they are willing to pay him if he remains on the team and they ask him to take a pay cut.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Dennis Dixon (PIT) The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to pursue Baltimore Ravens practice squad quarterback Dennis Dixon after the Super Bowl. Dixon played for head coach Chip Kelly when he coached the University of Oregon.

*** Thursday Update *** QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said running the option enables a unit to play 11-on-11. "Football without an option attack, the offense is basically playing with 10. A quarterback that doesn't block anybody, isn't an ineligible pass receiver, basically leaves the defense with one more than you have," Harbaugh said. "But when the quarterback is the threat to run in an option attack, or give or pitch, that gets the numbers back to even, back to 11-on-11." Colin Kaepernick not only has the ability to be an effective passer, but also has the speed to turn the corner.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) said he is not feeling any pressure to win Super Bowl XLVII. "Pressure comes from a lack of preparation," Kaepernick said. "This is not a pressure situation. It's a matter of going out and performing."

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said quarterback Alex Smith has done more than anyone to prepare Kaepernick for games. "He's prepared and been involved in the game planning, in preparations, he's prepared himself as the starter each week," Harbaugh said of Smith. "That's what he's done, that's what we expect of him and that's what he has delivered. Another person really to credit in Colin's success because Alex has really helped coach Colin and has been right there by his side. Sitting there in meetings every single day. He coaches Colin now more than I do, and that speaks high of the kind of person and teammate that Alex Smith is."

*** Friday Update *** QB Alex Smith (SF) ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid really likes Alex Smith and was interested in Smith when he was a free agent last year.

*** Thursday Update *** QB Alex Smith (SF) 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said Alex Smith's feelings "absolutely" will be part of the equation of how the team handles his situation in the offseason. Smith has let it be known of his desire to start for a team next season. "I'm sure that will play out, but he is a starting quarterback," Harbaugh said. "He's got a desire to be a starting quarterback, and I'm sure that will play out." 49ers CEO Jed York said Smith has not asked to be released. York and Smith will sit down after the Super Bowl to discuss options.

*** Wednesday Update *** QB Alex Smith (SF) is expected to seek his release before the start of free agency, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Smith is due to earn $8.5 million in 2013, with $1 million guaranteed now and the balance guaranteed as of April 1. Smith is smart to look for walking papers, because that means he can pick his new team and negotiate an entirely new contract. The Eagles, Chiefs, and Browns are all interesting possible destinations for Smith.

Running Back

*** Friday Update *** RB Vonta Leach (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** RB Vonta Leach (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Vonta Leach (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** RB Bernard Pierce (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** RB Bernard Pierce (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Bernard Pierce (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB C.J. Spiller (BUF) was originally scheduled to make $1,300,854 million in 2013 but escalators in his contract will increase his salary to $2,623,334 next season.

*** Friday Update *** RB Arian Foster (HOU) Despite reports to the contrary, Arian Foster said he's not aiming to have surgery for a heart ablation to correct an irregular heartbeat that he dealt with in Week 16 this year. Foster said "I have not, nor do I plan to anytime in the near future, have conversations with my doctors about any surgery. I am feeling well and am as exuberant as ever. Love and light to all those concerned!"

*** Thursday Update *** RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) is hoping to remain with the team long-term. His deal expires following the 2013 campaign. "I've never been one to jump ship," Jones-Drew said. "In college (at UCLA), we didn't start off too good and worked out to become a better team. Obviously in Jacksonville, we have to work harder than we've ever done so we can build into a championship team. That's what I'm there for - to do anything I can to help our team be elite."

Jones-Drew revealed the injury he suffered this season was a mid-foot fracture, not the more serious Lisfranc break that was assumed by many. "I did mess up some things, but it wasn't what people thought it was," Jones-Drew said. The running back acknowledged he should have had surgery in late November, not late December. "I made some decisions I shouldn't have made," Jones-Drew said. "But there are no hard feelings. It's a business and we're all on the same page now, hopefully."

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) is determined to bounce back following a disappointing 2012 campaign, which included missing 10 games with a broken foot, according to former NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson. "MJD is determined to come back from this and be as good as he's ever been. And I think he'll do that," Tomlinson said.

Jones-Drew is still wearing a cast on his left foot but believes he is on track to take part in football activities in May or June. He said he will begin swimming pool work in a few weeks before moving on to walking, jogging and then running. Jones-Drew said he will attend a minicamp even if he is not cleared to participate. He held out last year looking for more money and the Jaguars didn't budge. He's singing a much different tune this offseason.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Reggie Bush (MIA) The Miami Dolphins are not expected to re-sign impending free-agent Reggie Bush this offseason. Bush likely will receive interest as a free agent because of his ability to make explosive plays and contribute on special teams. There are several teams who could be interested in Bush. A team like the Lions would be near the top of that list. They're looking for a fast/quick change of pace back with big play ability. Bush could fit in nicely on their high powered offense.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Lamar Miller (MIA) likely would be the team's starting running back if impending free-agent Reggie Bush does not return. The Dolphins, however, are not ruling out the possibility of re-signing Bush if he is not offered a deal similar to the $4.5 million he made in 2012 from another team.

*** Friday Update *** RB Adrian Peterson (MIN) said during a radio interview that his goal is to rush for 2,500 yards next season. "I set the mark for 2,500," Peterson said. "If you reach for the stars and fall short, you're still there." We're not betting against Peterson. He's one of the best RBs to ever play in this league and is a first overall pick in most every fantasy draft next year.

*** Thursday Update *** RB Adrian Peterson (MIN) said he will be disappointed if he is not named the league's Most Valuable Player this season. "I feel like I put in a good body of work this season coming off the injury," Peterson said. "And what I've done to help my team, to be in the position. I kind of revert back to my freshman year, I felt like I got robbed out of the Heisman Trophy. I led the league and didn't win the Doak Walker award. I know sometimes it's higher up. We'll see what happens. Whether I win it or not, I feel like I am, inside, I'm the MVP."

*** Friday Update *** RB Frank Gore (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** RB Frank Gore (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Frank Gore (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** RB LaMichael James (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** RB LaMichael James (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB LaMichael James (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** RB Bruce Miller (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** RB Bruce Miller (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** RB Bruce Miller (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** RB Chris Johnson (TEN) wants to return in 2013. The Titans have not told the running back if they are going to pick up the $9 million guarantee. "If they are making the right steps toward getting better I want to be back," he said. "I really think they want to get better. They can't be satisfied with winning eight games and watching the playoffs at home. And just being around coach (Mike) Munchak, I know he wants to win."

Wide Receiver

*** Thursday Update *** WR Anquan Boldin (BAL) said his former team, the Arizona Cardinals, did not always allow him to be himself on the football field. "I think in Arizona, I don't know how to say it, but there were times that for some guys, being yourself wasn't what they wanted," Boldin said. "That's one of the things the Ravens have allowed me to do, just come in and be a football player. Coach (John) Harbaugh talks about it all the time: let your light shine, be yourself. They really allow you to do that, so I'm happy for that."

*** Friday Update *** WR Tandon Doss (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** WR Tandon Doss (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Tandon Doss (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** WR David Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** WR David Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR David Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Thursday Update *** WR Steve Smith (CAR) said he is happy that the team named Mike Shula the new offensive coordinator because it will allow the offense to continue to move forward. "You always want to hire a guy that doesn't set you back or changes up. And how a guy sets you back is all of a sudden you have to change up everything," Smith said. "I think that is a vital role. That's important to keep in perspective, and I think that's what we did."

*** Friday Update *** WR A.J. Green (CIN) said he was disappointed that he was not targeted in the first half of the team's playoff game. "It's tough in a big game and you're the go to guy and you don't get the ball in the first half. It's all frustrating," Green said. "They had a game plan that had a matchup problem with [tight end Jermaine Gresham] and they felt like they could go to him. Things happen like that. All games aren't perfect. That's one thing we need to build on. We just need to capitalize. Not only getting me the ball, but just making some of the big plays." Green finished the game with four catches for 80 yards.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR A.J. Green (CIN) had seven receptions for 119 yards and three touchdowns in the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 27. He is the seventh player in the All-Star game's history to have three or more scores in the game. He has four touchdowns in his two Pro Bowl appearances.

*** Thursday Update *** WR Donald Driver (GB) will announce his retirement Feb. 6, according to a statement released by the team Thursday, Jan. 31.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Donald Driver (GB) The Minnesota Vikings are interested in signing Donald Driver, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Although there have been reports that Driver may retire, Driver himself has suggested he may want to keep playing. "I think I could go to any team and be either their No. 1 or No. 2 guy and be solid for another three years," Driver said. "The question is, do I want to see myself in another uniform? Will my family want to see that? If nobody wants to see it, at the end of the day, it will still be a tough decision because I've always said I only want to wear that green and gold and nothing else."

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Greg Jennings (GB) put his Wisconsin home on the market Monday, Jan. 28, further indicating that he won't be back with the Packers next season. "I don't know if there is a difficult part," Jennings said about the possibility of leaving the Packers. "Like I said, I'm excited for the future. Football is going to be football. I'm excited for that."

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Greg Childs (MIN) is making his way back from torn patellar tendons in both knees suffered in camp in August. He said he has no doubt he will play in 2013.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Michael Jenkins (MIN) is due a $2.425 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the new league year. He is not expected to collect the bonus.

*** Friday Update *** WR Wes Welker (NE) New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he would like to see Wes Welker back in a Patriots uniform. "I'd love him to be around," Kraft said today. "He's a great guy. Like I've said all along, it takes two sides to make a transaction. We have to manage the lawyers and the agents that they don't mess it up. I think Wes wants to be with us, and we want him here. It's just a matter of whether both sides can be intelligent."

*** Thursday Update *** WR Victor Cruz (NYG) said he thinks he's a priority for the team to re-sign; however, he added there are no contract talks going on right now.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Victor Cruz (NYG) players did a good job of playing with more effort in the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 27. NFL officials said last week that the league wants to decide the future of the Pro Bowl by the time next season's schedule is released in April. "We understood exactly what (Goodell) wanted, guys were making plays all over the field," Cruz said. "There was a little bit more high intensity than in years past and we were excited to play."

*** Friday Update *** WR DeSean Jackson (PHI) said new head coach Chip Kelly told him that he will be used heavily in the team's offense. "He called me and was very excited. I could tell in his voice," Jackson said. "He was like, 'Let me know when you're back in Philly so we can just talk face to face.' I actually talked to Pat Shurmur. He was my coach when I first got to Philly. He's excited, as well." However, Jackson has no idea who will be the team's quarterback next season. Jackson also mentioned that his fractured ribs are "98 percent" healthy.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Mike Wallace (PIT) The Pittsburgh Steelers are not expected to be willing to pay impending free-agent Mike Wallace the $10 million to $11 million per season he will be looking for but do expect other teams to value him that highly. No surprise here. The Steelers are likely going to let Wallace move on in free agency. A team like the Dolphins or the Vikings could be interested in the speedy veteran wide receiver.

*** Thursday Update *** WR Randy Moss (SF) said he was "blackballed" during his brief tenure with the Tennessee Titans and some of the team's coaches did not like him. "Why they claimed me, I really don't know," Moss said. "There were some things where I could really tell I really wasn't liked, and that was coming from the coaching staff. To be able to still make plays ... there were some things going on in-house that I probably won't speak upon until I write my book." Moss added that his stint with the Titans left him doubting his future in the NFL.

*** Wednesday Update *** WR Randy Moss (SF) plans to play at least one more year, even if the team wins Super Bowl XLVII, according to a source with knowledge of the receiver's thinking. Moss is scheduled to become a free agent in March.

Moss said Tuesday, Jan. 29, he will go down as the greatest wide receiver in league history. "Now that I'm older, I do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever do it," Moss said. The receiver added his impact went beyond statistics. "I don't really live on numbers. I really live on impact and what you're able to do out on the field. I really think I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game." Jerry Rice, who is considered by many to be the greatest wide receiver of all-time, said he was surprised when he heard Moss declare himself the greatest ever. "I impacted the game by winning Super Bowls," Rice said. "... Randy is still trying to win his first one, and I wish him the best, but I was very surprised that he said he's the best receiver to ever play the game. I leave that up to my fans to make that statement."

Moss maintained his position that he is the best wide receiver to ever play the game. When asked about his stats compared to Rice, Moss said he didn't have the luxury of spending nearly 14 full seasons with former NFL quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young. "I wouldn't base (being the greatest) off (stats) because if I had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, where would my numbers be?" Moss said. "I worked with one for a few years, and that's Tom Brady. Give me Tom Brady for the next five, six years, and you'll see where my numbers would be..."

Tight End

*** Friday Update *** TE Tony Gonzalez (ATL) Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he has talked to impending free-agent Tony Gonzalez about the possibility of coming back for one more year. Gonzalez has said he is 95 percent sure that he will retire this offseason.

*** Friday Update *** TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** TE Dennis Pitta (BAL) said Tuesday, Jan. 29, he is feeling much better and is set to start in Super Bowl XLVII Sunday, Feb. 3, against the San Francisco 49ers. "I feel good, everything is on schedule," Pitta said. "I'm trying to get as healthy as possible for this game. It's something I got to get treatment on. I want to make sure it doesn't get worse. I'll be ready."

*** Wednesday Update *** TE Marcedes Lewis (JAX) said he would not be in favor of the team adding New York Jets QB Tim Tebow, who is not expected to return in 2013. General manager David Caldwell has said he doesn't see Tebow joining the Jaguars. "We need a guy that's going to put us over the hump right now. Not a project," Lewis said of Tebow.

*** Wednesday Update *** TE Kyle Rudolph (MIN) had five receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown in the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 27. He was named the game's most valuable player.

*** Thursday Update *** TE Rob Gronkowski (NE) said his broken forearm is doing "all right" and he will have plenty of time to heal during the offseason. Gronkowski added he wasn't fully confident upon his return and called the second break a "freak accident," while confirming the second break was in a different spot from the first break.

*** Wednesday Update *** TE Rob Gronkowski (NE) was still wearing a cast on his left arm Wednesday, Jan. 30.

*** Friday Update *** TE Garrett Celek (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** TE Garrett Celek (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** TE Garrett Celek (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

Kicker

*** Friday Update *** PK David Akers (SF) attempted field goals during practice Thursday, Jan. 31, with teammates yelling in order to create some crowd noise that he will hear during the game. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said Akers made all of his attempts and that his mechanics looked very good.

Offensive Line

*** Friday Update *** OL Baltimore Ravens (BAL) C Matt Birk said he's willing to donate his brain postmortem for research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

*** Wednesday Update *** OL Baltimore Ravens (BAL) C Matt Birk has not decided whether or not he'll retire after Super Bowl XLVI against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Feb. 3. He said all of his attention is focused on the big game. "I don't think like that, you know," Birk said. "I'm just trying to live in the moment. That's just kind of my mindset. I don't think about the future, if this could be it. It drives my wife nuts, but that's not how I operate." Birk is under contract through the 2014 season.

*** Friday Update *** OL Carolina Panthers (CAR) C Ryan Kalil said he has been out of a protective boot for about a month and expects to be ready for the start of training camp. Kalil underwent surgery on a lis franc injury in his foot during the season.

*** Wednesday Update *** OL Denver Broncos (DEN) T Ryan Clady is scheduled to undergo on his injured shoulder. He is expected to miss a majority of the offseason workouts but should be ready for the start of the season.

*** Wednesday Update *** OL Green Bay Packers (GB) C Jeff Saturday, who has announced his retirement, played for both the AFC and NFC in the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 27. He lined up for one play for the AFC to snap the ball one last time to Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, whom he played with for 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

*** Friday Update *** OL San Francisco 49ers (SF) G Mike Iupati practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** OL San Francisco 49ers (SF) G Mike Iupati practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** OL San Francisco 49ers (SF) G Mike Iupati practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** OL Washington Redskins (WAS) Honolulu police have said T Trent Williams was the victim in the altercation at a nightclub last week and is not guilty of any wrongdoing.

Defensive Tackle

*** Friday Update *** DT Haloti Ngata (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** DT Haloti Ngata (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** DT Haloti Ngata (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** DT Jay Ratliff (DAL) had a blood alcohol content of .16 - twice the legal limit - after his arrest for driving while intoxicated last week, blood test results revealed. The police report states that Ratliff failed three field sobriety tests at the scene and refused to provide a breath specimen.

*** Friday Update *** DT Akiem Hicks (NO) said he is ready to play in the team's new 3-4 defensive alignment because he played defensive end and nose tackle in the alignment before he came to the Saints.

*** Friday Update *** DT Antonio Dixon (PHI) could play nose tackle for the Eagles in a 3-4 defense. The problem with Dixon, according to Rich Hoffmann of the Daily News, is that he may not be big enough to play the position, meaning the Eagles may have to try to find someone to play the position.

*** Wednesday Update *** DT Casey Hampton (PIT) said he plans to play at least one more season, if not for the Steelers, then for another NFL team. The Steelers are prepared to move on without him despite the fact he started all 16 games in 2012.

Defensive End

*** Friday Update *** DE Pernell McPhee (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Pernell McPhee (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** DE Pernell McPhee (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** DE Terrell Suggs (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Terrell Suggs (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** DE Terrell Suggs (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Jared Allen (MIN) has a team-high cap number of $17 million on the last year of his deal in 2013. While he told friends he felt worn down toward the end of last season, and he will have offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, he intends to be back. He figures to hear from the team about restructuring, but it remains to be seen how much new money they're willing to commit to a player who may be entering decline.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Brian Robison (MIN) was nicked up for most of the season, but he still managed to be very productive. Robison played 887 of 1,198 gradable defensive snaps (74 percent) over 16 starts at left end. He posted a career-high 8.5 sacks while registering 56 quarterback pressures. He also matched a career best with three forced fumbles, all on strip-sacks. Robison might be a candidate for a contract extension next season.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Chandler Jones (NE) is taking up mixed martial arts training during the offseason. Jones's brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, and Chandler believes training with his brother can help him in hand-to-hand combat at the line of scrimmage. "That definitely helps you," Jones said. "(Jon) has a boxing coach, a muay Thai coach and a jiu jitsu coach. That helps a lot when you're tugging, playing in the trenches. My biggest thing is I try to get my hands inside before blockers touch me so if I work on my hand speed, that'll be a great aspect to add to my game."

*** Friday Update *** DE Osi Umenyiora (NYG) said he will be looking to sign with a team where he can be a starting defensive end this offseason. He said his decision will not be solely about money.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Osi Umenyiora (NYG) said he would prefer to finish out his career with the Giants, and there is a chance that could happen. "There's a chance, absolutely," Umenyiora told reporters in New Orleans on Thursday. "Of course (there) is. Hopefully that'll happen. I prefer to finish out my career there. But there's a lot of things in play here. It's not going to be totally my decision. They're going to have some decisions to make also. It's going to be a collective effort. My agent's going to have his say. Hopefully things will work out there. I prefer to stay there."

*** Friday Update *** DE Justin Smith (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Justin Smith (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Thursday Update *** DE Justin Smith (SF) has a tear of approximately 50 percent of his left triceps tendon. He confirmed he'll have surgery after Super Bowl XLVII. Smith also confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 30, that he will be back for the final year of the contract he signed with the team in 2008. The 49ers pass rush has lost its fangs since Smith got hurt. This will be one of the biggest stories of the Super Bowl to watch, as the San Francisco defense has been easy to pass on since Smith lost his effectiveness and offensive blocking schemes could focus on sack artist Aldon Smith lining up next to him.

*** Wednesday Update *** DE Justin Smith (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** DE Justin Smith (SF) will undergo surgery for a triceps injury after the Superbowl. Smith says he still has four quarters left though.

Inside Linebacker

*** Friday Update *** ILB Dannell Ellerbe (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** ILB Dannell Ellerbe (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Dannell Ellerbe (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Thursday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) Former NFL WR Amani Toomer criticized Ray Lewis for being a selfish player. "It's definitely all about him. Once a guy goes to the center of the field, goes into the victory formation on the last play of his last home game ..." Toomer said. "I just don't think the Giants or any organization I've ever been a part of, even growing up, would allow somebody to single themselves out like that. If you single yourself out after you make a play, that's one thing. But to walk out on the field reminds me of the WWE, like The Rock coming out. You're becoming a caricature of yourself. It's exhausting. I don't know why somebody would want that."

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) may have used a banned substance to help get back on the field in time for Super Bowl after suffering a triceps injury. Lewis may have used deer antler velvet spray. The spray has IGF-1 in it, and that substance is on the NFL's list of banned substances. With the Super Bowl this week, it is doubtful the NFL could do anything about this report. Lewis denied using the extract to help recover from a triceps injury during Super Bowl media day.

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Ray Lewis (BAL) Ravens safety Ed Reed thinks it is possible Ray Lewis could play next season. "I wouldn't be so certain about that." Reed said of Lewis' last game. "Ray might make a comeback. He might play 10 games next year."

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Brian Urlacher (CHI) said he has not spoken to Bears general manager Marc Trestman or anyone else in a decision making role with the team. Urlacher is set to become a free agent this summer and has said he wants to continue playing, preferably with the Bears. "The Bears have been busy," Uralcher said. "They have more important things to take care of right now. I'll let that fall into place and see what happens."

Urlacher said Tuesday, Jan. 29, that he intends to play in 2013, and he is hopeful he will be back with the Bears. "Chicago is my home. Whether I play for the Bears or not, that's my home," Urlacher said. "So I want to be there and hopefully we can work something out, but if not I'll go somewhere else." Urlacher said money was not a top priority for him, and give his age and recent injury history, he said he'd be willing to give the Bears a hometown discount.

*** Friday Update *** ILB Navorro Bowman (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** ILB Navorro Bowman (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Navorro Bowman (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** ILB Patrick Willis (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** ILB Patrick Willis (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB Patrick Willis (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** ILB London Fletcher (WAS) isn't giving any indication whether he will retire this offseason. "Fletch is not going to tell you anything. He's not going to let anyone know until right before OTAs start," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said with a shrug. "It's something that he really has to think about with him and his family, and then make a decision."

Outside Linebacker

*** Friday Update *** OLB Albert McClellan (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Albert McClellan (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** OLB Albert McClellan (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Scott Fujita (CLE) wasn't prepared Wednesday, Jan. 30, to say his career is over after 11 seasons. Fujita has been diagnosed with a narrowing of the spinal column and suffered nerve damage in his neck in October. "I'm not rushing into anything, but I think we all know I've had one neck surgery (13 years ago) and I'm potentially facing another one if things don't calm down in the next year or so," Fujita said.

*** Friday Update *** OLB DeMarcus Ware (DAL) will have surgery to remove bone fragments from his right elbow soon.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB DeMarcus Ware (DAL) said Thursday, Jan. 31, there's a good possibility the window is closing on his team to win a Super Bowl. In order to be a contender still, Ware said the team needs to play more consistently and cut back on turnovers in big games. "We haven't been that consistent team that we need to be," Ware said. "Everybody tells us the opportunity, the gate is closing, the door is closing. The door is always closing each year because it's a business deal to have certain guys on the team." Ware added that his recovery from shoulder surgery is going fine and that he'll be ready for the start of the 2013 season.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Von Miller (DEN) withdrew from the Pro Bowl due to a shoulder injury, but he said Wednesday, Jan. 30, that he doesn't expect to miss any additional time and he will not require surgery. "I withdrew from the Pro Bowl because of my left shoulder," Miller said. Miller said the injury is something he has dealt with ever since his first regular season game with the team, although he hasn't missed any playing time in two NFL seasons. He plans to rest and rehab the injury during the offseason.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Brandon Marshall (JAX) said that he will begin training with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery Monday, Feb. 4, in South Florida, although Marshall is still recovering from a minor hip procedure he had following the regular season.

*** Wednesday Update *** OLB Leroy Hill (SEA) was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 29, for a domestic violence incident. Hill was arrested for fourth-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.

*** Friday Update *** OLB Ahmad Brooks (SF) partially participated in Friday's practice but is still expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Ahmad Brooks (SF) partially participated in Thursday's practice.

*** Wednesday Update *** OLB Ahmad Brooks (SF) partially participated in Wednesday's practice.

*** Friday Update *** OLB Clark Haggans (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Clark Haggans (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** OLB Clark Haggans (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** OLB Aldon Smith (SF) partially participated in Friday's practice but is still expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** OLB Aldon Smith (SF) partially participated in Thursday's practice.

*** Wednesday Update *** OLB Aldon Smith (SF) partially participated in Wednesday's practice.

Cornerback

*** Friday Update *** CB Asa Jackson (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** CB Asa Jackson (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** CB Asa Jackson (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Friday Update *** CB Jimmy Smith (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** CB Jimmy Smith (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** CB Jimmy Smith (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Thursday Update *** CB Lardarius Webb (BAL) said he is returning next season. "Yes, I am coming back next season and everything is great," Webb said. Webb tore his anterior cruciate ligament in October and was placed on Injured Reserve.

*** Friday Update *** CB Tarell Brown (SF) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** CB Tarell Brown (SF) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Wednesday Update *** CB Tarell Brown (SF) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Thursday Update *** CB Chris Culliver (SF) said Tuesday, Jan. 29, in an interview with shock jock Artie Lange during Media Day that gays wouldn't be welcome in the team's locker room. "I don't do the gay guys, man," Culliver said. "I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff." The team reacted with a statement in support of the gay community Wednesday, Jan. 30, and Culliver also apologized in a statement. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said Culliver's anti-gay comments are not a reflection of the kind of person he is. "There's not malice in his heart. He's not an ugly person. He's not a discriminatory person," Harbaugh said. "I really believe that this is something that he'll learn and grow from."

Culliver apologized Thursday, Jan. 31, for the comments. Culliver said that's "not what's in my heart" and he was "just kidding around." He also apologized to the city of San Francisco and added he would welcome a gay teammate to the team.

Safety

*** Wednesday Update *** S Bernard Pollard (BAL) believes the NFL could cease to exist in 30 years due to the league's emphasis on player safety. Pollard feels fans will get fed up watching more flags thrown for violent hits. "Thirty years from now, I don't think it will be in existence," Pollard said. "I could be wrong. It's just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going - where they (NFL rules makers) want to lighten up, and they're throwing flags and everything else - there's going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it." Pollard is also afraid a player may die during a game. "The league is trying to move in the right direction (with player safety), but, at the same time, (coaches) want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out," Pollard said. "And that means you're going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. The only thing I'm waiting for ... and, Lord, I hope it doesn't happen ... is a guy dying on the field. We've had everything else happen there except for a death. We understand what we signed up for, and it sucks."

*** Friday Update *** S Ed Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Friday and is expected to play this weekend.

*** Thursday Update *** S Ed Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Thursday.

*** Thursday Update *** S Ed Reed (BAL) said Wednesday, Jan. 30, that he isn't just fearful he may one day suffer from brain injuries caused by football, he thinks he's already dealing with them. "I think some things I go through (right now) are football related," Reed said. "There's been some thing that honestly put up a flag. Just stuff that I know, stuff that I know I've been through, minor (things where I said,) 'Oh, my, this might be because I've been playing football so long.' I'm sure there is going to be something related to football."

*** Wednesday Update *** S Ed Reed (BAL) practiced fully on Wednesday.

*** Wednesday Update *** S Ed Reed (BAL) will likely hit the market this offseason. The Patriots may be a favorite to sign Reed if he tests free agency. Head coach Bill Belichick is a big fan of Reed and they need upgraded talent in their secondary. Reed said he could see himself playing for Belichick. "Yeah, oh yeah, man, I could definitely play for coach Belichick," Reed responded. "He is a great coach. I'm sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach, so if I'm ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it's huge."

*** Thursday Update *** S Dashon Goldson (SF) said he expects to re-sign with the team in the offseason. "We haven't spoken anything about a contract, but I don't see why I wouldn't be around," Goldson said. The 49ers could place the franchise tag on Goldson for $7.45 million next season if they don't agree to a multiyear deal.

General Team News

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Carolina Panthers (CAR) Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said he was not issued a make-the-playoffs-or-else ultimatum from owner Jerry Richardson; however, he knows there is a sense of urgency heading into 2013. "I understand we need to win - and he knows I understand that," Rivera said. "He's been forthright and direct. Now it's up to me." The Panthers went 6-10 and 7-9 the past two seasons under Rivera.

*** Thursday Update *** TM Chicago Bears (CHI) Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall praised new head coach Marc Trestman. "I think he's the piece that we need to bring this whole thing together," said Marshall.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Chicago Bears (CHI) Although a couple of defensive coordinator openings remain, former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith plans to sit out the 2013 season in hopes of returning in 2014 as a head coach. Smith got little interest on the open market and should have media opportunities to fill his time this year if he wants them. Next year there should be enough turnover to get him back into the league.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Cincinnati Bengals (CIN) The Cincinnati Bengals will name Hue Jackson the running backs coach.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Cleveland Browns (CLE) The Cleveland Browns officially fired defensive coordinator Dick Jauron Monday, Jan. 28, and hired former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton to take his place.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Denver Broncos (DEN) Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway said he expects the offense to improve with Peyton Manning entering his second year with the team and also expects Manning to improve his play. "He's much more comfortable with being in the organization," Elway said, "and we think we'll continue to see the growth. There were a lot of unanswered questions for him in that first year and he got a lot of them answered. We know what he's got now is good. We saw what he could do this year. It's only going to get better."

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Jacksonville Jaguars (JAX) The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Seattle Seahawks defensive line coach Todd Wash as their defensive line coach.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT) The Pittsburgh Steelers will hire Washington Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith as their new special teams coach.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM San Diego Chargers (SD) Chargers quarterback's coach Frank Reich is happy with his new position with the Chargers. Reich feels like it is a great situation to be working with Phillip Rivers. "(I was intrigued) to come to a place where there's a quarterback like Philip Rivers," he continued. "Philip's reputation is that he's a competitor. I think that's what everybody respects most about him. When you think of Philip, you think of a guy who is a competitor and led one of the more prolific offenses for a good stretch. He at one point led the best offense in the league, and that's not easy to do because there are a lot of good players in this league. During that stretch, he was at the top of the game. He was a legitimate MVP candidate, so I'm excited to work with a guy who is a good competitor and a great player. That combination - that's a good combination."

*** Thursday Update *** TM San Francisco 49ers (SF) 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said his team could not have a better practice session than the one they had Wednesday, Jan. 30. "I would really like to have a photocopy of yesterday," Harbaugh said Thursday, Jan. 31. "That's what I would like to have today. The execution at practice, the energy at practice, a photocopy - a mimeograph - of what we had yesterday, that would be outstanding."

*** Wednesday Update *** TM San Francisco 49ers (SF) 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday, Jan. 27, his team is prepared to win Super Bowl XLVII. "I think this team has the best focus on unity and winning I've ever been a part of," harbaugh said. "These are uncharted waters for a rookie Super Bowl coach. But that's exciting. It's a great thrill, and we have a desire to be in uncharted waters. We always strive for that kind of challenge."

*** Friday Update *** TM Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Dave Wannstedt as their special teams coordinator Friday, Feb. 1.

*** Wednesday Update *** TM Tampa Bay Buccaneers (TB) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Tony Oden to coach the defensive backs. Oden coached the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive backs in 2012.

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