TAMPA — On a quiet day for the Bucs' coaching search, the Browns announced the hiring Wednesday of Hue Jackson as their new head coach, a move that could help clear the picture for an eventual hire for Tampa Bay.
Jackson, who was the Bengals' offensive coordinator, was seen as a top candidate in San Francisco, which could now ramp up the 49ers' efforts for Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who has interviewed with the 49ers and Tampa Bay. San Francisco also was reportedly interested in established coaches Mike Shanahan and Tom Coughlin, so it's not clear where Koetter stands compared to them.
Meanwhile, the Giants, who had an interview with Jackson scheduled for this morning, reportedly will promote offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to head coach. Giants quarterback Eli Manning (65 touchdowns, 28 interceptions, 62.8 completion percentage in McAdoo's two seasons), has publicly supported him. McAdoo, 38, has never been a head coach, and his only coordinator experience is with New York.
Cleveland was the only team besides the Bucs reported to have interviewed Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, so Jackson's hiring eliminated one rival for him, should the Bucs move forward with McDermott. The Bucs also have interviewed Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.
There still is no decision in Tennessee, where Bucs director of player personnel Jon Robinson interviewed Friday for the general manager's job. Cbssports.com reported Wednesday night that Robinson is the front-runner and could be announced today. The Titans will reportedly start interviewing head coaching candidates today, with interim coach Mike Mularkey, former Bills coach Doug Marrone and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin due in over the next two days.
Jackson, 50, said the Browns "made me feel comfortable. What a tremendous honor and privilege to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and a part of the Dawg Pound. I'm so looking forward to it.''
Jackson said of embattled quarterback Johnny Manziel: "I don't know Johnny personally. I know who he is, but at the same time I think I have to give everybody on our football team a fair opportunity to see who they are, to truly learn who they are, and then make decisions from there."
ANGER IN ST. LOUIS: Tuesday's decision to let the Rams leave for Los Angeles stunned some in St. Louis who thought plans for a $1 billion riverfront stadium would persuade the league to let the team stay. Mayor Francis Slay said the NFL strung St. Louis advocates along while never intending to block the move. The decision "sent a loud and clear message — their home cities and hometown fans are commodities to be abandoned once they no longer suit the league's purposes.'' Asked if the city should pursue another team, Slay said: "At this point I'm so frustrated and disappointed with the NFL. Why would anybody want to, in any way, even entertain any suggestions from the NFL after the way they dealt with St. Louis here? I mean, it was dishonest. There's no appetite that I have to take another run at an NFL team."
CHARGERS: Ken Whisenhunt is back for his second stint as offensive coordinator. He held the same job in 2013 and left to become coach at Tennessee, which fired him in November.
PACKERS: Cornerback Sam Shields returned to practice. He has not played since suffering a concussion in Week 14.
SAINTS: Dan Campbell, the Dolphins' interim head coach for the last 12 games, was reportedly hired as assistant head coach/tight ends coach.
Seahawks: Running back Marshawn Lynch practiced, but coach Pete Carroll said that was no indication whether he would play Sunday at Carolina. Lynch has missed eight straight games with an abdomen injury. After practice, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Lynch looked a little quicker than he did last week.
STEELERS: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat out practice but is hopeful he can play Sunday at Denver. Backup Landry Jones took most of the snaps with the starters while Roethlisberger got treatment on his sprained right shoulder. Roethlisberger said he'll only play if he can help the team. Receiver Antonio Brown also missed practice and remains in the concussion protocol. His status is uncertain.
VIKINGS: Former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano was named offensive line coach. He coached 49ers tight ends last season.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.
|WILD-CARD round||DIVISION round||AFC CHAMPIONSHIP||Super Bowl 50||NFC CHAMPIONSHIP||DIVISION round||WILD-CARD round|
|5. Kansas City 30||5. Green Bay 35|
|6. Pittsburgh||6. Seattle|
|4. at Houston 0||4. at Washington 18|
|4:40 Sunday, Ch. 10||1 Sunday, Ch. 13|
|1. at Denver||1. at Carolina|
|3:05 Jan. 24, Ch. 10||6:30 Feb. 7, Ch. 10||6:40 Jan. 24, Ch. 13|
|2. at New England||2. at Arizona|
|4:35 Saturday, Ch. 10||8:15 Saturday, Ch. 8|
|6. Pittsburgh 18||6. Seattle 10|
|5. Kansas City||5. Green Bay|
|3. at Cincinnati 16||3. at Minnesota 9|