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Conference Championships, Redskins, and more

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 NFL News - Friday, January 18,2008
... Conference Championships, Redskins, and more...
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*** For the rest of the NFL season, NFL News will mail
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. ***


Weekend Schedule

Conference Championships - Sunday, Jan. 20

#3 San Diego @ #1 New England	3 p.m.		CBS
#5 N.Y. Giants @ #2 Green Bay	6:30 p.m.	FOX


Redskins interview Meeks, speak to Mora again

he first round of the Washington Redskins coaching search 
neared completion Thursday when owner Dan Snyder interviewed 
Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Ron Meeks and also 
spoke to Seattle Seahawks defensive backs coach Jim Mora for 
a second day. Meeks was to spend Thursday night in a guesthouse 
owned by Snyder and have a second interview Friday in what has 
become routine treatment for most of the candidates for the job, 
according to a person familiar with the selection process. The 
person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Redskins 
haven't publicly stated the names of any candidates.
Mora, the former Atlanta Falcons head coach, spent the night at 
the guesthouse after a first interview on Wednesday after Snyder 
sent a plane to bring him from Seattle. Another candidate who has 
yet to be identified spent last Friday night at the guesthouse in 
between sessions with Snyder on Friday and Saturday. Snyder has 
remained in the Washington area during the entire coaching 
process, conducting each formal interview at his home in 
Potomac, Md., after the candidate is flown to Washington on 
one of his private planes. Meeks brings to five the number of 
interviewed candidates, including Tennessee Titans defensive 
coordinator Jim Schwartz and Redskins assistant Gregg Williams. 
Williams has met with the owner on four occasions, although some 
sessions have been less formal than others. Once the second 
interview with Meeks is completed, the person familiar with the 
process said Snyder will spend Friday evaluating the candidates. 
The owner will then decide whether to invite any of the five back 
for another interview or whether to pursue other names on his 
list. One of those names is Indianapolis assistant Jim Caldwell, 
but Colts owner Jim Irsay said Thursday night Caldwell would 
replace head coach Tony Dungy if Dungy decides to retire.
The Redskins are seeking a replacement for Joe Gibbs, who 
resigned last week.

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L.T. returns to practice for Chargers while Rivers sits out again

The San Diego Chargers are slowly getting back their injured 
players ahead of the AFC championship game Sunday against the 
undefeated New England Patriots. Although quarterback Philip 
Rivers sat out for the second straight day with a sprained 
right knee, two-time NFL rushing champion LaDainian Tomlinson 
returned to practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday to 
rest his hyperextended left knee. "I think we're making 
progress," coach Norv Turner said. "L.T. was able to practice 
and we had some guys moving around. I think we'll get a couple 
more guys practicing tomorrow." Tomlinson and Rivers were hurt 
in Sunday's 28-24 upset win over Indianapolis. Turner said 
Tomlinson looked good. Rivers "was wanting to go out and throw 
some and take some drops today," but the team's trainer didn't 
think it was appropriate," Turner said. "So we'll see where it 
is tomorrow." Also sitting out were tight end Antonio Gates 
(toe) and defensive tackle Jamal Williams (ankle). Outside 
linebacker Shawne Merriman was limited again due to an illness.

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Owner: Caldwell would coach Colts if Dungy resigns

Assistant head coach Jim Caldwell would replace Tony Dungy 
if the Indianapolis Colts coach retires, team owner Jim Irsay 
said Thursday night. Irsay hopes Dungy will return and expects 
to speak to him this weekend, the owner said at a party 
celebrating an exhibition of the Jack Kerouac On The Road 
manuscript he owns at The New York Public Library.
Irsay said he might be able to make accommodations for Dungy 
such as allowing him to attend his son's high school football 
games in Florida on Friday nights. But he has no doubt that 
Dungy's commitment will be "100 percent" if he continues 
coaching. "That's the type of guy he is," Irsay said.
Otherwise, he said, "Jim Caldwell would be the guy."
The Colts, the Super Bowl champions last year, were 13-3 in 
the regular season before falling 28-24 to San Diego last 
week in their playoff opener. Caldwell has been an assistant 
to Dungy the last seven years — one in Tampa Bay and the last 
six with the Colts, where he has coached quarterback Peyton 
Manning. Caldwell filled in for Dungy for one game in 2005 
following the death of Dungy's 18-year-old son, James.
Caldwell spent more than 20 years in college football, and 
his only head coaching experience came at Wake Forest. He 
spent eight seasons with the Demon Deacons and led them to 
a bowl game in 1999. Caldwell turned 52 on Wednesday and has 
interviewed with the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons and 
Arizona Cardinals for head coaching jobs over the past year.

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