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Steelers add Faulkner to coaching staff

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Eddie Faulkner is the new running backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team announced Faulkner's hiring on Thursday. Faulkner replaces James Saxon, whose contract was not renewed after the Steelers finished 9-6-1 and missed the playoffs.

Faulkner comes to the Steelers from North Carolina State, where he spent the last six years as tight ends/running backs coach and special teams coordinator. Faulkner worked closely with Pittsburgh rookie running back Jaylen Samuels, who caught a school-record 202 passes during his career with the Wolfpack.

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Gladys Knight to sing Super Bowl anthem

NEW YORK (AP) Gladys Knight will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at this year's Super Bowl.

The seven-time Grammy Award-winner says she's proud to use her voice to "unite and represent our country" in her hometown of Atlanta.

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Steelers still haven't heard from Brown

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't ruling out the possible return of wayward wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Time, however, appears to be running out.

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Chiefs' Berry, Ware return to practice

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chiefs safety Eric Berry and running back Spencer Ware returned to practice Wednesday, raising the possibility that both will be available for their AFC championship showdown with New England.

Berry missed most of the season with a heel injury that developed in training camp, then played parts of two games against the Chargers and Seahawks. The heel began to bother him again the next week, and he did not practice last week or play in the divisional round against Indianapolis.

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Jets hire ex-Browns coach Williams as DC

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Gregg Williams was hired Wednesday as the New York Jets' defensive coordinator, the first major staff addition by Adam Gase since he became coach.

The team also announced it has retained special teams coordinator Brant Boyer, whose unit had a standout season.

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Former QB Leftwich to be Buccaneers OC

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it official: Byron Leftwich is the team's new offensive coordinator.

The Bucs announced the hiring Wednesday, a week after incoming coach Bruce Arians said the ex-NFL quarterback would call plays next season and Clyde Christensen would serve as quarterbacks coach.

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Broncos hire 49ers' Scangarello as OC

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The task of modernizing Denver's outdated offense goes to Rich Scangarello, whose stellar work as San Francisco's quarterbacks coach the last two seasons led to his hiring as the Broncos' offensive coordinator Wednesday.

"We're getting an experienced coach who was a trusted and valued assistant with Kyle Shanahan for three seasons," Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said. "... With his background and knowledge, it's the perfect time for Rich to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL. I find this opportunity for Rich very similar to when I first became a defensive coordinator many years ago, and he is ready to take this step in his career."

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Lions make Bevell offensive coordinator

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Darrell Bevell and Matt Patricia crossed paths in one of the most famous plays in Super Bowl history.

Now, they'll coach on the same staff.

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Bills re-sign LB Alexander to 1-yr. deal

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Calling this his final NFL season, Lorenzo Alexander has additional motivation to ensure it will be a successful one after the Buffalo Bills re-signed the linebacker to a one-year contract Wednesday.

"I've been on some teams that have been close to winning the championship, so I've learned over time that you always have to have a sense of urgency," Alexander said during a conference call.

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Peters downplays rift with Payton

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Marcus Peters stood at a podium Wednesday and spoke about his respect for Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints. He insisted his feisty comments about the coach two months ago had been misinterpreted and blown out of proportion by controversy-hungry fans and media.

And then his coach popped up in the back of the room.

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