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Bills hire NFL's first full-time female coach

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn Smith

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Kathryn Smith was named the Bills' quality control-special teams coach on Wednesday, making her the first full-time female coach in the NFL.

"Kathryn Smith has done an outstanding job in the seven years that she has worked with our staff," Bills coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities."

The move came less than a year after the Cardinals hired Jen Welter to serve as a training-camp assistant coach.

Smith served as an administrative assistant under Ryan this season, the team said. She held the same role with Ryan in his final season as Jets coach in 2014. She also worked as a player personnel assistant with the Jets for seven years.

Panthers' coach addresses rant at Seattle: Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he spoke with linebacker Shaq Thompson about a profanity-laced, derogatory message directed at the Seahawks and their fans that appeared on social media this week. "I discussed it. It's over," Rivera said. "We decided the best thing for all of us is to move forward and get ready for Arizona." Rivera did not say if Thompson was disciplined by the team.

Thompson, a rookie who played college football at Washington, was not available for interviews during the open locker room session. He has started 10 games this season and has 50 tackles and one sack.

Carolina defeated Seattle 31-24 on Sunday to reach the NFC title game against the Cardinals.

Gordon requests reinstatement: Suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has applied to the league for reinstatement, the Associated Press reported. Gordon, who was banned for a year in February for multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy, asked commissioner Roger Goodell to allow him back. Gordon failed an alcohol test last year, wiping out his 2015 season. For Gordon to be reinstated, he will have to demonstrate sustained abstinence during his suspension.

Pro Bowl: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was added to the Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. … Chiefs coach Andy Reid and his staff will be assigned to one of the two teams in the Jan. 31 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.

49ers: New coach Chip Kelly wouldn't reveal whether he favors Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert as the quarterback. But during his introductory news conference, Kelly inserted Gabbert's name a couple of times when answering the handful of questions he received about Kaepernick.

"Obviously 'Kap' is an extremely talented football player, and you need a good quarterback to win," Kelly said. "But I was also impressed from the film I watched in terms of how Blaine played this year. Both of those players made this an attractive situation."

Titans: Coach Mike Mularkey has convinced Dick LeBeau to stick around as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, and he hired Terry Robiskie as offensive coordinator. LeBeau, 78, is Pro Football Hall of Fame member who joined the Titans last year as assistant head coach for defense.

Conference championship games

AFC

Patriots at Broncos, 3:05 Sunday TV/radio: Ch. 10, 1040-AM

Line: Patriots by 3

NFC

Cardinals at Panthers, 6:40 Sunday

TV/radio: Ch. 13, 1040-AM

Line: Panthers by 3

Bills hire NFL's first full-time female coach 01/20/16 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2016 2:43pm]
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