Redskins

AP Source: No decision yet on Jets OC Sparano

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AP Source: No decision yet on Jets OC Sparano

NEW YORK (AP) Tony Sparano is still the Jets' offensive coordinator.

And, as unlikely as it seems, there remains a chance he could be running Rex Ryan's offense next season.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Jets have not yet made a decision on Sparano's job status despite many fans and media having speculated that Sparano will certainly be fired after one season. That means there's a possibility, although it would appear slim, that Sparano could remain on Ryan's staff. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the status of the coaching staff.

Ryan, along with all of his assistants, are off until next Monday as they take a break following a dismal 6-10 season that was capped by general manager Mike Tannenbaum being fired Monday. Ryan, who is vacationing in the Bahamas, and owner Woody Johnson will not address the media until next Tuesday.

While Johnson said in a statement that Ryan will remain the Jets' coach next season, there still remains some uncertainty on which coaches will be back and which ones will not as the team searches for a new general manager. San Francisco director of player personnel Tom Gamble, Atlanta director of player personnel David Caldwell, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and former Cleveland GM Tom Heckert are expected to be among those interviewed by the Jets starting later this week.

Much of the coaching staff decisions will likely depend on who the new general manager is. It is believed Ryan will be safe - at least for next season - regardless of who is hired, but there could be changes made on the coach's staff. While Sparano's status is uncertain, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine turned down a contract extension earlier in the season, and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff retired after the season finale at Buffalo on Sunday.

Sparano was hired last March to replace Brian Schottenheimer and to turn around an offense that struggled mightily. Instead, the former Miami Dolphins head coach wasn't able to jumpstart the running game or figure out a way to use Tim Tebow consistently. Sparano was expected to use Tebow as a major part of the Jets' wildcat-style offense, but the popular backup quarterback was mostly a non-factor - failing to get into the end zone during his first and likely only season in New York.

Mark Sanchez also had a miserable season, getting benched for the first time in his career and leaving his status as the team's starting quarterback next year in serious doubt.

``He's working his butt off and starting to go through player evaluations and things like that that coaches do right after the season ends and these next couple days I'm sure they'll do that,'' Sanchez said Monday as the players cleared out their lockers. ``But he's a fighter, he's a tough guy and he's doing his best to try and help the team.''

Sparano was also working with a makeshift lineup in some cases as top wide receiver Santonio Holmes was lost for the season early with a foot injury. Tight end Dustin Keller played in only eight games because of injuries, while rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill played in just 11 and finished the season on injured reserve with a sprained knee ligament.

Sparano had no comment after the season-ending 28-9 loss to the Bills on Sunday, and many thought it was a foregone conclusion that he would be out as the team's offensive coordinator. Ryan also declined to comment on the futures of any of his coaches after the game.

``What I am as a coach or any of those things, it's for somebody else to evaluate and obviously there are a lot of people evaluating me,'' a joking Sparano said in his weekly news conference last Thursday. ``All that being said, I think that when we had those pieces which was not very long, we didn't have them together very long, meaning Tone (Holmes), Stephen and Keller, having all the players out there together at one time, I thought that we were getting really close to where we needed to be.''

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Adrian Peterson is fifth in rushing and, oh yeah, he finally feels fully healthy now

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USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson is fifth in rushing and, oh yeah, he finally feels fully healthy now

The version of Adrian Peterson the Redskins have been getting this year — the one who currently sits as the NFL's fifth-leading rusher and the one who has been the team's only consistent offensive threat — hasn't even been the fully in-shape version, according to Peterson.

If you take him at his word, that's a pretty frightening thought for non-Redskins defenses to ponder.

After practice on Wednesday, the 33-year-old was asked about how he's feeling after dealing with ankle and shoulder problems earlier in the season. Those problems are apparently now all behind him.

"Last week, I actually started feeling all the way healthy," he said in the 'Skins locker room. "My shoulder, I'm back to bench pressing. I hadn't done that in three weeks. And so I'm back to doing the normal things that I was able to do. My ankle's feeling good, my body's just feeling refreshed."

Oh, so the guy who's been averaging nearly 75 yards per game on about 17 carries per game and the guy who's scored four total touchdowns through nine contests is only just now back to normal?

Damn.

"Second half has been a blessing to me, you know?" he said. "It was a grind the first eight weeks, and here now, as I stand in front of you, my body's feeling amazing."

Must be nice to be one of the sport's best players of this generation, huh?

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

Le'Veon Bell decided not to return to the Steelers this season, and his former teammates have apparently decided they can have his belongings. 

The All-Pro running back didn't sign his $14.5 million franchise tag by Tuesday's deadline, and thus is ineligible to play this season.

Steelers player preceded to plunder his locker Wednesday. Defensive end Bud Dupree went right for Bell's cleats, thanking him for the Jordan brand shoes and saying he wishes Bell success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he sent Bell his well-wishes, but got no response from his former backfield mate. 

It's unclear what Bell plans to do next, but it's crystal clear the Steelers have moved on, with his shoes in tow. 

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