Browns hire Chudzinski; Jaguars fire Mularkey

The ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND – Rob Chudzinski’s first head coaching job will be with the team he loved as a kid.

Chudzinski, who spent the past two seasons as Carolina’s offensive coordinator, has been hired by the Browns as their sixth full-time coach since 1999. It’s the third stint in Cleveland for Chudzinski, who worked with the Browns as an assistant.

The Browns hope the first-time head coach can end years of despair and constant losing, and maybe resurrect a franchise that has made just one trip to the playoffs in the past 14 years.

The team confirmed Chudzinski’s hiring with a release Thursday night and said he will be introduced today at a news conference at the team’s facility in Berea.

Jaguars fire Mularkey: At Jacksonville, Fla., the more Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan watched his team play, the more he realized one thing:

“We needed a rebuild from the ground up,” Khan said.

So the Jaguars fired coach Mike Mularkey on Thursday after one season, the worst in franchise history. The move came 10 days after Khan fired general manager Gene Smith.

Khan also introduced new GM David Caldwell on Thursday, and by parting ways with Mularkey, gave him a clean slate heading into 2013.

“I’ve always been a part of a winner,” said Caldwell, who signed a five-year deal. “I’ve never been a part of a losing team.”

But maybe the biggest news of the day came when Caldwell said New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, a Jacksonville native who starred at nearly Florida, is not in the team’s plans.

“I can’t imagine a scenario in which he’ll be a Jacksonville Jaguar – even if he’s released,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell took slightly more time to decide on Mularkey.

Mularkey, who went 2-14 this season, became the eighth head coach fired since the end of the regular season.

Kosar lauds concussion treatment: At Cleveland, Bernie Kosar spent more than 10 years in persistent pain, the effects of more than one dozen documented concussions he suffered in 13 years as an NFL quarterback.

The ringing and buzzing in his head never subsided. Kosar couldn’t sleep. He slurred his words. His life, troubled by financial woes and a failed marriage, was almost unlivable. He was desperate, masking his misery with medication and trying to pretend things weren’t as bad as they seemed.

Desperate for help after tapping into numerous medical resources with limited results, Kosar discovered Dr. Rick Sponaugle, a “pioneer” in brain therapies who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, Fla. Kosar claims through Sponaugle’s “groundbreaking” work that his symptoms have improved, his brain is healing and he’s feeling better than he has in years.

Kosar’s is spreading the word about his improved condition and his goal is to get help for former teammates and other ex-NFL players dealing with onset dementia, depression and other symptoms caused by playing an inherently violent sport only now coming to terms with the physical toll it has taken on thousands.

Lovie Smith interviews with Eagles: At Philadelphia, former Bears coach Lovie Smith interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday as the team continued its search to replace Andy Reid, who was fired after a 4-12 finish.

Smith is the seventh candidate to meet with owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski. The Eagles haven’t announced who they plan to interview next, but they received permission to speak to three assistant coaches.

Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden are on the list.

Gruden, the younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, interviewed with Arizona on Thursday. He said he may interview with the Eagles next week.

Bradley’s interview could take place this weekend before the Seahawks play at Atlanta.

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