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NFL roundup: Goodell talks expanded playoffs

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NFL roundup: Goodell talks expanded playoffs
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is open to playoff expansion down the road but is not as keen on the possibility of reseeding teams in the postseason.

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On adding two more playoff teams, Goodell said Tuesday night in an interview in New York, “That is under serious consideration. We think it’s one of the great things about the NFL, besides the fact that it’s unscripted. Every team and their fans start the season with hope.

“You mentioned the fact that for 11 straight years we’ve had a team go from last to first, that’s unique to professional football and the NFL, that doesn’t happen in other sports. And that’s because we have such a competitive league and we want to keep that.”

Goodell did not mention a timeframe for expansion, but he said there is the potential for games on Fridays and Monday.

“It’s something that the competition committee looked at last year and thinks there are some real benefits from a competitive standpoint,” Goodell said. “They’re going to study some aspects of that because when would those games occur and one team would get a bye in each conference and you’d have six games on the weekend.

“So would you have three on Saturday, and three on Sunday? Or do you get one on Friday and two on Saturday and two on Sunday and one on Monday? I think those are the kinds of things we want to evaluate.”

On reseeding playoff teams based on records, Goodell said, “I don’t think there is momentum for that. There may be momentum in the media. That happens when you see San Francisco going to Green Bay, but one of the premises we start with every season is that your first objective is to win the division. And when you win the division, you should have a home game.”

The wild-card 49ers finished the regular season with a 12-4 record but had to travel to frigid Green Bay to face the NFC North champion Packers, who entered the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record. San Francisco was one of three wild-card teams that won last weekend.

“The races we had this past season, we had 16 games every weekend, the final weekend we have division games, so your opponent is a division opponent and 13 of those 16 games had playoff implications on the final day of the season,” Goodell said.

n The Tennessee Titans completed an interview with Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, the team announced Wednesday.

Caldwell is a 36-year coaching veteran who began 2012 as Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach and was elevated to offensive coordinator in December of that season before the Ravens’ run to winning Super Bowl XLVII in 2013.

The interview occurred one day after the Titans interviewed Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Titans general manager Ruston Webster had said he will be deliberate in his search for the franchise’s next head coach.

Webster is interviewing a number of candidates this week to replace Mike Munchak, who was fired on Saturday after three seasons and a 22-26 record.

Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is expected to interview with the Titans on Thursday after meeting with the Minnesota Vikings about their opening on Wednesday, The Tennessean reported.

n The Washington Redskins confirmed that team officials met Wednesday with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to interview for the head coach opening.

Up next is Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, who is set to interview on Thursday, according to CBSSports.com.

Franklin is also reportedly a candidate for the Cleveland Browns’ head coach opening, and may be in the running for the Penn State opening.

Gruden is a 12-year veteran of the NFL coaching ranks and recently wrapped up his third season leading the Bengals’ offense. It was also the team’s third straight playoff appearance.

Gruden is the fourth confirmed candidate to interview with the Redskins, joining Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

Gruden, who interviewed for the Tennessee Titans’ opening on Tuesday, is expected to speak with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.

n Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor has interviewed for the vacant offensive coordinator position with the Dolphins, multiple media outlets reported.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported Lazor was in Miami for the first interview that the Dolphins conducted since firing offensive coordinator Mike Sherman after two seasons on Monday.

The interview also comes one day after the Dolphins and general manager Jeff Ireland parted ways.

Lazor’s first season with the Eagles ended with last Saturday’s 26-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Lazor, 41, spent the previous three years as the offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. He has been an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks.

n Despite posting consecutive 4-12 records in his two years on the job, Dennis Allen will remain the Oakland Raiders’ coach.

Team owner Mark Davis held a meeting with Allen on Tuesday night and confirmed Allen’s status.

“We met this evening at the Raider facility and the meeting went really well,” Davis said. “We talked about a lot of things, from personnel issues to the coaches to a review of the past season to the draft and our needs for next season. We’re ready to rock and roll.”

Davis said he would meet with Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie on Wednesday to discuss the team’s needs. But Allen’s future won’t be an issue.

“There hasn’t been a question about it, either,” Davis said.

According to multiple reports, at least six Raiders assistant coach accepted one-year contracts Tuesday, though Allen wanted them to receive two-year deals.

Allen has two years remaining on his contract.

n Mike Tice was named offensive line coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Tice was last offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears for three seasons and did not coach in the NFL last season. In three seasons with the Bears, where he was also in charge of the offensive line, Chicago allowed 149 sacks.

The Falcons fired Pat Hill and Paul Dunn, as well as defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, after finishing 4-12 in 2013.

n Romeo Crennel interviewed to be the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans, and is expected to be hired for the position by new head coach Bill O’Brien.

O’Brien and Crennel would maintain the 3-4 defensive scheme employed by fired coordinator Wade Phillips, who served as interim head coach after Gary Kubiak was fired.

Crennel did not coach in 2013 but was head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs (2010-12) and Cleveland Browns (2005-08) since rising to prominence as defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots from 2001-04. Crennel previously worked under Bill Parcells.

n Former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak and former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak interviewed with the Detroit Lions for their head coaching vacancy.

Kubiak, fired in December after eight seasons with the Texans, is one of the candidates to replace Jim Schwartz, who was ousted after the season.

The Texans were 2-11 when the 52-year-old Kubiak was dismissed by the Texans last month. He had guided Houston to back-to-back AFC South titles the past two seasons, but the Texans slumped to 2-14 after a 2-0 start in 2013.

Munchak interviewed Wednesday, the Lions confirmed. Earlier reports indicated the interview would take place Friday. The 53-year-old Munchak was fired by the Titans on Saturday after posting a 22-26 record in three seasons as coach. The nine-time All-Pro guard also is mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching job at Penn State, his alma mater.

n Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was not willing to guarantee that linebacker Terrell Suggs will be back with the team in 2014.

A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Suggs counts $12.4 million against the salary cap next season and the Ravens could free up $7.8 million by releasing him.

There is a possibility that the Ravens could discuss a contract extension with Suggs, who is entering the final year of his deal, to help lower the cap hit.

The 31-year-old Suggs finished his 11th year with the Ravens with 10 sacks, but he had only one during the second half of the season.

“Terrell is a real good football player. It not only shows up in the pass game, but it shows up in the run game,” Newsome said. “But that being said, we let a good football player go last year (wide receiver Anquan Boldin). So we’re not afraid and I’m not averted when it comes to letting guys walk out the door.”

n New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration for the Cleveland Browns’ head coaching job after interviewing with the team last week, ESPN reported.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that McDaniels had an “awesome” meeting with the Browns, but he was hesitant to take the job because of the team’s shortcomings. Cleveland finished in last place in the AFC North with a 4-12 record in 2013.

McDaniels believes he has one more shot at being a head coach after failing with the Denver Broncos and wants to make it a good one. He posted a 11-17 record with the Broncos and lost 17 of his final 22 games before he was fired during the 2010 season.

The Browns are looking to replace Rob Chudzinski, who was fired after one season in Cleveland.

n Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor has interviewed for the vacant offensive coordinator position with the Dolphins, multiple media outlets reported.

Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported Lazor was in Miami for the first interview that the Dolphins conducted since firing offensive coordinator Mike Sherman after two seasons on Monday.

The interview also comes one day after the Dolphins and general manager Jeff Ireland parted ways.

Lazor’s first season with the Eagles ended with last Saturday’s 26-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

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