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Chargers reportedly look to replace Ron Rivera with 49ers defensive coordinator

01.12.11 at 3:16 pm ET
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With the departure of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to the Panthers, Norv Turner and the Chargers have begun the search for a replacement for Rivera. According to the North County Times, the Chargers have had preliminary conversations with several in-house specialty coordinators, but the favorite to get the job is 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

With the hiring of Jim Harbaugh as head coach, the 49ers expect Manusky to seek other coaching options, which will allow Harbaugh to replace him with Vic Fangio, his defensive coordinator at Stanford.

Rivera took over as head coach of the Panthers this week, leaving the vacancy in San Diego. Other candidates considered for the defensive coordinator position with the Chargers are current linebackers coach John Pagano and secondary coach Steve Wilks. Manusky also has interviewed with the Cardinals and is expected to speak with the Cowboys and Panthers as well. But his history as the Chargers linebackers coach from 2002-06 could persuade his decision.

Read More: Greg Manusky, Ron Rivera, Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers

LEEInks List: Memorable moments in last decade of Patriots-Jets rivalry

01.12.11 at 2:44 pm ET
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This list originally was published last month, before the Patriots routed the Jets, 45-3. With the teams meeting again in the playoffs, we decided to re-visit it.

Over the past 15 years, there have been major personnel switching places, career-changing injuries that reshaped the faces of the franchises, and claims of cheating between the two teams. Here are 10 memorable moments in the rivalry.

10. Sept. 20, 2009: Rex Ryan enters the rivalry

The outspoken coach of the Jets has not backed away from any challenge. When hired by New York last year, he said: ‘€œI never came here to kiss Bill Belichick‘€™s rings.’€ Ryan backed it up in the teams’ first meeting as the Jets won 16-9, their first home victory over the Patriots since 2000. Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady, throwing the only touchdown of the game without turning the ball over. While the Jets won the game, the Patriots would go on to win the second meeting in 2009 and capture the AFC East.

9. Oct. 24, 2004: Pats beat Jets in matchup of unbeatens

The Patriots and Jets both entered the Week 7 matchup at 5-0, the first time two undefeated teams had met that late in the season since 1973. In a defensive showdown, the Patriots scored the only touchdown of the game with 11 seconds left in the first half and fought to hold off the Jets. With 2:14 left and the Jets trailing 13-7, New York decided to go for it on fourth-and-8 from the Patriots’ 30. Chad Pennington‘€™s pass was broken up by Rodney Harrison, giving the Patriots the NFL’s regular-season record for wins with 18 (the Pats broke their own record four years later with 21 in a row).

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady

AL MVP Josh Hamilton in hospital with pneumonia

01.12.11 at 12:50 pm ET
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The Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday after being treated for pneumonia since Monday, the team announced. The Rangers said he should be able to return to his offseason conditioning within the next few days.

Hamilton hit .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs last season as he helped lead Texas to its first-ever World Series appearance.

Read More: Josh Hamilton, Rumor Mill,

Report: Yankees pursuing Justin Duchscherer

01.12.11 at 12:47 pm ET
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In an ongoing effort to find help for their pitching staff, the Yankees are stepping up their pursuit of pitcher Justin Duchscherer, according to ESPN.com.

The 33-year-old Duchscherer is 33-25 with a 3.13 ERA in eight seasons with the Athletics and Rangers. He made the All-Star team in 2005 as a reliever and again in 2008 as a starter, but he has thrown just 28 innings over the last two seasons due to a variety of injuries.

The article says it is unclear if the Yankees plan to use Duchscherer as a starter or reliever. They currently have CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova lined up for their top four rotation spots, with the fifth spot up for grabs.

Read More: Justin Duchscherer, Rumor Mill,

Report: UConn close to hiring Mark Whipple as next coach

01.12.11 at 12:46 pm ET
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UConn could have its new football coach by Thursday, according to The Associated Press. An athletic department official told the AP that the school is in the final stages of negotiation with former University of Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Whipple, who coached UMass to the 1998 Division 1-AA championship, was let go by Miami at the end of the season when head coach Randy Shannon was fired. He would replace Randy Edsall, who left UConn after an 8-5 season and a Fiesta Bowl berth to take the head coaching job at Maryland.

Whipple has also been a head coach at New Haven and Brown. He was the Steelers quarterbacks coach from 2004-06 and served as an Eagles assistant coach before being hired by Miami in 2009.

Read More: Mark Whipple, Rumor Mill,

Browns LB Scott Fujita calls NFL’s 18-game proposal ‘a slap in the face’

01.12.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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It appears the NFL and the players union are still worlds apart when it comes to the proposed 18-game schedule. In a conference call arranged by the union, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita voiced his displeasure with the proposal.

“To me, right now, as things stand, 18 games, the way it’s being proposed, is completely unacceptable. … I see more and more players get injured every season,” Fujita said Tuesday.

“There are so many things now ‘€” with player health and safety, and the future of us and our families – that aren’t even being considered. And for us, it’s disappointing. It feels like a slap in the face.”

The 18-game schedule is one of several sticking points in the ongoing negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement that has many predicting a lockout. When asked if he thinks a lockout is inevitable at this point, Fujita said, “It certainly looks that way to me.”

Read More: Rumor Mill, Scott Fujita,

Report: Carmelo Anthony could hold up trade to Nets

01.12.11 at 10:17 am ET
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Discussions between the Nuggets, Nets and Pistons about a 15-player mega-trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to New Jersey could all be for naught, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.

Broussard reports that several league sources said Anthony has never told anyone he would be willing to sign an extension with New Jersey. The Nets have said the deal is contingent upon having an extension in place.

“He has not agreed to go to New Jersey,” said one source who speaks regularly with Anthony. “I have never heard him, in all the times we’ve talked, say he’s willing to go to New Jersey. Not once. Personally, I would be stunned if he went there and signed an extension.”

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Rumor Mill,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James has little sympathy for Cavaliers after historic loss

01.12.11 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
NBA: Kings at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Cavaliers have been struggling for a while, but on Tuesday night they hit a new low ‘€” as in, the team’s worst loss ever. In losing for the 21st time in 22 games, the Cavs were hammered by the Lakers, 112-57.

“It can’t get any worse than this,” Antawn Jamison said. “If it is, y’all going to have to help me. I don’t know how much of this I can take. This, by far, is the bottom.

“Fifty-five points? That’s, like, impossible,” Jamison added. “We’re professional athletes. How do you lose by 55 points? I don’t care who you’re playing against. I mean, if this doesn’t hurt … I don’t understand how we’re able to have conversations in the locker room. There’s nothing to talk about.”

Tweeted guard Mo Williams: This [expletive] is embarrassing. I feel like I can’t even show my face in Cleve.

One person who had little sympathy for the Cavaliers was LeBron James. Tweeted the Heat star: Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. It’s not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!

‘™¦ The red-hot Heat are getting most of the attention from NBA followers, and deservedly so, but the Magic have been on a roll since their major shakeup last month. Orlando has won nine in a row, with the eight-point win over the Celtics on Christmas Day the closest game of the bunch. At the Sporting News, Sean Deveney looks at how the Magic have jelled so quickly after their huge roster change. Meanwhile, in the Orlando Sentinel, George Diaz begs Dwight Howard to stay with the Magic and not go to the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in 2012.

‘™¦ Despite the NCAA telling Auburn it should allow only limited access to Cam Newton‘s father, and despite a statement from Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs that Cecil Newton would not attend Monday night’s BCS title game, a photo in an Alabama newspaper appears to show the quarterback and his father embracing in the stands after the Tigers’ victory over Oregon. At least one Auburn player confirmed the presence of Cecil Newton at the stadium in Scottsdale, Ariz., despite allegations that he solicited money for his son to play at Mississippi State.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 12, 1986, the Patriots beat the Dolphins, 31-14, to win the AFC championship and earn their first trip to the Super Bowl. Which player ran for 105 yards, becoming the first Patriots to have consecutive 100-yard rushing games in the playoffs?

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Read More: Antawn Jamison, Cam Newton, Dwight Howard, LeBron James

Rumor: Browns to name new coach Thursday

01.12.11 at 6:48 am ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King tweeted Tuesday night that he hears the Browns “could have a coach in place by Thursday.” He said his best guess is that it will be Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Shurmur, 45, was an assistant for 10 years under Eagles coach Andy Reid before joining the Rams in 2009.

Read More: Pat Shurmur, Rumor Mill,

Panthers introduce new coach Ron Rivera

01.11.11 at 11:09 pm ET
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The Panthers introduced Ron Rivera at a Tuesday press conference, after selecting the Chargers defensive coordinator to be their new head coach.

“I’m thrilled to death for the opportunity. I almost want to say relief,” Rivera said. “When you get into playing you strive for one thing, that’s to be a Super Bowl champion. When you get into coaching, you strive to be a Super Bowl-winning head coach. That’s what my goal is.”

Rivera, a linebacker on the 1985 Bears team that beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, takes over a 2-14 team from John Fox, who was fired last month.

Read More: Ron Rivera, Rumor Mill,