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NFL notebook: Reich returns to roots with Colts

Sports Xchange - Wednesday 14th February, 2018

Frank Reich did not act like a man who was the second choice to run the Indianapolis Colts, instead preferring to embrace the opportunity in front of him

Reich was officially introduced as the Colts' head coach on Tuesday afternoon, ending a whirlwind process that took a stunning detour a week ago when New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels withdrew from an announced agreement to become the Colts' head coach.

Nine days removed from winning a Super Bowl championship as the offensive coordinator with the Philadelphia Eagles, Reich told the media that his return to Indianapolis brought him full circle.

"Today is a new chapter and I could not be more excited," said Reich, who started his coaching career as an intern in Indianapolis under Tony Dungy. "This is a great football city and I'm happy to be home to my coaching roots. This is where I got my start, my first coaching job. What a better way to get started and there could not be a better way to finish it right here in this great city."

Reich, a quarterback for 14 NFL seasons, most notably as Jim Kelly's backup with the Buffalo Bills in the 1990s, could not entirely avoid the elephant in the room.

Asked by a reporter if he hated or loved McDaniels for causing the recent events that transpired, Reich didn't dodge the question and drew applause by simply saying: "The backup role has suited me well in my career."

--The New York Giants are expected to hire Mike Shula as their new offensive coordinator, multiple outlets reported.

Shula, who is expected to coach the Giants' quarterbacks as well, was fired from the Carolina Panthers last month.

The 52-year-old Shula spent five years as the offensive coordinator of the Panthers, with new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman serving in the same role with Carolina for the first four of them before being dismissed in July.

Under Shula's watch, Carolina's offense failed to find its rhythm this past season after leading the league in scoring in 2015. The Panthers finished 19th in total offense (323.7 yards per game) and 28th in passing (192.3) during the past regular season.

--The Indianapolis Colts are expected to hire Los Angeles Chargers wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni as their new offensive coordinator, multiple outlets reported.

Sirianni will serve under new Colts head coach Frank Reich, with whom he worked from 2013-15 during his time with the Chargers. Sirianni took over Reich's role as the then-San Diego quarterbacks coach when the latter was promoted to offensive coordinator prior to the 2014 season.

The 36-year-old Sirianni shuffled to wide receivers coach of the Chargers in 2016, a position that he has held for the past two seasons.

--The Kansas City Chiefs announced that linebacker Derrick Johnson will become a free agent when his contract with the club expires at the start of the new league year on March 14.

It ends Johnson's 13-year run with the Chiefs. Johnson, 35, told The Kansas City Star on Tuesday that he was informed recently of the team's decision by general manager Brett Veach.

"The Chiefs wanted to go young across the board," Johnson said, according to The Star. "I wasn't in their plans."

Johnson signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension in March 2016. But when he restructured that deal a year ago, he freed up $4.25 million and voided the third year of the contract.

--The Baltimore Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame Game, the NFL announced.

The game will be played on Aug. 2 in the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. It will kick off a weekend of events that includes the formal enshrinement ceremony of the Class of 2018 on Aug. 4.

The Hall of Fame Game appearance will be the first for the Ravens and fifth for the Bears, with Chicago winning each of its previous four -- including a 27-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins in 2005.

Star linebackers from both clubs -- Ray Lewis (Ravens) and Brian Urlacher (Bears) -- were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility last Saturday.

--The lawyers for Colin Kaepernick added a high-profile name to the list of witnesses they hope to question in the quarterback's collusion grievance against the NFL -- Commissioner Roger Goodell's wife.

Kaepernick's legal team sent a list of witnesses it wants to depose, including Jane Goodell, Yahoo Sports reported, citing sources with knowledge of the case.

Roger Goodell, along with several owners and at least two other NFL executives, were asked to turn over all cell phone records and emails in the case brought forward by the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

According to Yahoo Sports, Goodell's wife was added to the list of witnesses after his attorneys had time to review all the material turned over to them.

--Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor intends to play in 2018, according to a published report.

Chancellor, who suffered a season-ending neck injury in November, expects to be back with the Seahawks providing he receives medical clearance, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported.

The 29-year-old Chancellor's $6.8 million salary for 2018 was guaranteed on Friday, the trigger day for the team to make any moves on contracts. He signed a three-year extension in August.

There has been speculation about Chancellor's future after he posted an image on Instagram that appeared to reflect he was walking away from the team. Following the season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril would have a "hard time" in coming back from their neck injuries.

--The Philadelphia Eagles lost offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who was hired as the Indianapolis Colts' head coach, but the Super Bowl champions may not replace him.

At the moment, the Eagles have no plans to hire an offensive coordinator to take Reich's place, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

The Eagles also lost quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who was named the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator last Friday. But Philadelphia apparently feels it can carry on without anyone holding the title of offensive coordinator.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson called the plays himself this past season, and plans do so next season as well.

--Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn filled out his coaching staff with the addition of four new assistants.

Two of the coaches will help in the passing game -- wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan and tight ends coach Rip Scherer. McGeoghan spent last season as the wide receivers coach of the Buffalo Bills. He also served in the same capacity for four seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2012-15).

Scherer coached tight ends and was the associate head coach at UCLA the past two seasons. He also has served as quarterbacks coach in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns.

Lynn's other additions were assistant special teams coach Keith Burns and defensive quality control coach Addison Lynch. Burns is a former special teams coordinator with the Washington Redskins. Lynch spent last season at Florida State on the staff of former head coach Jimbo Fisher.

--The Tennessee Titans announced four additions to their coaching staff. The Titans named Matt Edwards as their assistant special teams coach, Scott Booker and Ryan Crow as defensive assistants and Matt Pees as quality control. Pees is the son of Dean Pees, the team's defensive coordinator.

New head coach Mike Vrabel retained Mike Sullivan and Luke Steckel as offensive assistants from the staff he inherited after the dismissal of Mike Mularkey.

Edwards has spent 15 years coaching on the collegiate level, including the last four as a defensive coordinator at Tiffin. He also spent time at Florida Atlantic, Miami (Ohio), Kent State and the College of Wooster. Booker, who is also a 15-year college coaching veteran, coached safeties and special teams last season at Nebraska.

Crow served as a graduate assistant working primarily with linebackers last season at Ohio State. The younger Pees recently served as the head coach at Green Mountain High School (Colo.) for the last two years.

--Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Turner West is leaving the team to take a job at Austin Peay, ESPN reported.

West spend the past four seasons with the Cowboys, helping to assist linebackers coach/defensive passing game coordinator Matt Eberflus, who left the team to become the defensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts.

The 30-year-old West spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Middle Tennessee State before joining the Cowboys, working with quarterbacks and wide receivers.

--Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill stressed the importance of finding a quarterback, one day after signing general manager Steve Keim to a contract extension.

"We've got the GM in place, and I really like our head coach (Steve Wilks) and everything I've seen from him so far," Bidwill said Tuesday morning during an appearance on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station.

"The quarterback thing will come. I don't want to sound like we're being cavalier about it but we've got to wait for free agency to start to see who is out there. I know we're going to be aggressive, we're going to have a plan."

Carson Palmer announced his retirement last month after 15 seasons in the NFL. The 38-year-old Palmer was named to the Pro Bowl three times, but his 2017 season was cut short by a broken arm that limited him to seven games.

--San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is cooperating with authorities following his second arrest in a month.

Foster has had multiple conversations with team management in person and via phone since his arrest Sunday morning on charges related to domestic violence and possession of an assault rifle, NBC Sports California reported Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Foster's arrest stemmed from an accusation by his girlfriend that he physically dragged her during an argument Sunday morning in Los Gatos, Calif., according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Foster was released from jail on $75,000 bail Sunday night. The extent of the injuries to the victim, who reportedly was involved in a longtime relationship with Foster, was not revealed.

--Former Cowboys fullback Lincoln Coleman has been located by the Dallas Police Department after being reported as missing for the second time in the last 10 months.

Coleman was described as having diminished mental capacity and could be in need of medical assistance, according to a police bulletin.

The 48-year-old Coleman was reported missing on Monday after last being seen driving in a silver 2016 Ford Escape on Friday afternoon in Old East Dallas, per the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas Police Department's missing person alert reflected that Coleman has been found and is safe.

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