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Steelers QBs coach Canada promoted to OC

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't look very far to find a new offensive coordinator, promoting quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to the position on Monday to replace Randy Fichtner.

The Steelers opted not to renew Fichtner's contract following a first-round playoff loss to Cleveland. Pittsburgh will now turn to Canada - hired a year ago to help develop a relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and mentor young backups Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs - to inject some life into an offense that sputtered down the stretch. The Steelers lost five of their final six games following an 11-0 start and finished last in the NFL in both yards rushing and yards per carry.

Fixing the running game during the offseason is a priority, but it's just one of many Canada will face in his first year on the job.

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Colts promote QBs coach Brady to OC

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indianapolis Colts made it official Monday: quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady has been promoted to offensive coordinator.

He will become the NFL's third Black offensive coordinator, replacing Nick Sirianni who took the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching job last week. The other two Black offensive coordinators are Kansas City's Eric Bieniemy and Tampa Bay's Byron Leftwich. Those two teams will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

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Chiefs believe they can still improve

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Travis Kelce has spent the better part of a month insisting the Kansas City Chiefs have yet to put everything together.

They still didn't in their AFC championship game win over Buffalo.

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Arians' hiring key to Bucs' success

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) It took five coaching changes over a decade-plus of futility before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally got it right, luring Bruce Arians out of retirement. Two seasons later, the 68-year-old quarterback expert has them in the Super Bowl.

Signing Tom Brady was a big part of solving the team's woes. So, was the offense-minded Arians' commitment to building a defense capable of giving him a realistic shot at transforming the Bucs from perennial losers into championship contenders.

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Patriots fans still rooting for Brady

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) As soon as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC title game, Brian Pope went shopping for a Tom Brady jersey to wear when he watches them play in the Super Bowl.

One problem: Pope lives in Connecticut. And he isn't really even a Buccaneers fan - or at least he wasn't, until Brady left the New England Patriots to make another championship run with Tampa Bay.

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Rodgers' unsure future raises concerns

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers said he's not sure what his future holds in Green Bay. That was all it took to raise concerns about the Packers' ability to contend in 2021 and beyond.

Green Bay earned the top seed in the NFC behind an All-Pro season from Rodgers, who at age 37 put his team in ideal position to win its first Super Bowl since the 2010 season and the second of his brilliant career.

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CDC publishes paper on NFL season

The NFL partnered with the Centers for Disease Control to share its extensive work to reach the Super Bowl on time during a pandemic-altered season, hoping the general public can learn from its findings.

The CDC published a scientific paper on Monday jointly authored with medical experts from the NFL and NFL Players Association detailing the efforts to complete the regular season and playoffs without any canceled games.

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Panthers hire Ryan to coach QBs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Panthers have hired Sean Ryan as quarterbacks coach and Tony Sparano Jr. as assistant offensive line coach, and announced that defensive line coach Mike Phair will not return next season.

Ryan replaces coach Jake Peetz, who left to become the offensive coordinator at LSU. Sparano takes over for Marcus Satterfield, now the offensive coordinator at South Carolina.

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Ravens GM DeCosta making key cuts

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has already started making some of the tough decisions he believes can help Baltimore negotiate the leap from playoff qualifier to Super Bowl champion.

After releasing running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Robert Griffin III last week, DeCosta announced Monday that the Ravens won't re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox. The 34-year-old Cox was the initial component of a highly successful placekicking unit that includes holder Sam Koch and second-team All-Pro Justin Tucker, the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history.

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Bills motivated to improve after loss

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Cole Beasley was so committed to being part of what became the Buffalo Bills' deepest postseason run in 27 years, the veteran slot receiver spent the past three weeks playing on a broken leg.

The partially broken fibula will eventually heal without needing surgery. The pain of a 38-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game might linger far longer.

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