#NFL News and Notes - January 6, 2011

NFL Playoff News and Notes

Failing to convert on third down is viewed as a turnover by the New England Patriots.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the earliest Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith will play is the conference championship game.

Injuries have pressed a pair of no-name cornerbacks into the Indianapolis Colts' starting lineup, writes Phillip Wilson of the Indianapolis Star.

The Kansas City Chiefs began preparations for the Ravens with two Pro Bowl players out with illnesses.

Kevin Cowherd of The Baltimore Sun can't believe there are some fans that haven't embraced Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

New York Jets linebacker Jason Taylor is happy to end his playoff drought, writes Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.

Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has lingering questions about the Atlanta Falcons.

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is improving as a blocker, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick knows he'll see plenty of blitzes against the Packers.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Raheem Brock will have some additional motivation against the Saints, writes Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune.

The New Orleans Saints are confident they can overcome the loss of running backs Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas to injuries.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson hopes he gets to go after Vick.

NFL News and Notes

Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman won a $3.7 million lawsuit.

The Miami Dolphins are in hot pursuit of Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer breaks down the Cleveland Browns' head coaching search.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is still mad at Marvin Lewis.

In order to be successful, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will need improved personnel.

Newly hired Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips plans to take the defense in a different direction.

The Vince Young Era with the Tennessee Titans is over.

Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway is now in charge of the Denver Broncos.

Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will interview for the team's head coaching job.

The San Diego Chargers need to acquire depth in the off-season, writes Bill Williamson of ESPN.com.

New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has four head coaching interviews lined up, but won't be a token interview.

Acquiring players that fit the 3-4 defensive scheme should be a top off-season priority for the Washington Redskins.

It's only a matter of time before Jason Garrett is named head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier dismissed three assistant coaches on Wednesday.

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew met with the media on Wednesday.

The Charlotte Observer takes a closer look at the four defensive coordinators who are up for the Carolina Panthers' head coaching job.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman closed out his season with an NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.

St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney likes not having one of the first two picks in this year's draft.

Until the Dolphins got involved, the San Francisco 49ers were confident they could land Harbaugh.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is contemplating some changes to his coaching staff.

Today's NFL birthdays: Bengals defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (24), offensive tackle Doug Free (27), Lions first-round defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (24), Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk (27), Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (30), Steelers linebacker James Farrior (36), 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (26), 49ers rookie safety Chris Maragos (24), Titans tight end Bo Scaife (30), Titans first-round defensive end Derrick Morgan (22), free agent guard Mike Goff, and quarterback Mike Teel (25).

Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long (51) and Hall of Fame finalist defensive end Charles Haley (47).

Retired tight end Bubba Franks (33), wide receivers Harold Jackson (65) and Keenan McCardell (41), punter Sean Landeta (49), and defensive back Tim McDonald (46).

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