Sports

Mangini still Browns coach

BEREA, Ohio - Browns coach Eric Mangini held onto his job for at least another day.

New team president Mike Holmgren said Tuesday that Mangini, who had an eventful first season, has a legitimate chance to return with the Browns.

Holmgren only met briefly with Mangini on Tuesday. Holmgren said he will have "The Meeting" with Mangini on Wednesday and hopes to have a decision made by the end of the week on the coach's future.

Holmgren also said that Philadelphia general manager Tom Heckert will interview for Cleveland's GM opening.

Heckert was granted permission to interview with the Browns last season, but the team instead hired George Kokinis, who was fired in November.

Saints place Grant on IR. The New Orleans Saints placed Charles Grant on injured reserve and will have to make their playoff run without their starting defensive end. Grant started every game this year and was credited with 53 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble.

Cushing is top defensive rookie. Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing was a runaway winner in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league. Cushing received 39 votes, beating Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd, who had six. Cushing had 133 tackles for the Texans, who went 9-7, their first winning record.

Ankle injury keeps Harris out of Jets practice. New York Jets linebacker David Harris missed practice with a sprained right ankle, and his availability for the team's playoff game at Cincinnati was uncertain. Harris is the Jets' leading tackler and it would be a huge loss to the NFL's top-ranked defense if he can't play.

Bears keep Smith, fire Turner. The Chicago Bears are bringing head coach Lovie Smith back for a seventh season. But the team fired offensive coordinator Ron Turner and five other coaches on that side of the ball.

Ochocinco expects to play vs Jets. Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco expects to practice this week despite his sore knee. Ochocinco is getting ready for a playoff rematch against a Jets defense that held him without a catch last week. Ochocinco hurt his left knee when he slipped during pregame warmups Sunday, landing hard. He limped off the field but played in the game, which the Jets won 37-0.

Steelers assistant retires. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson is retiring. Anderson was an NFL player or coach for 33 seasons, won four NFL passing titles as a Cincinnati Bengals quarterback from 1971-86 and still holds numerous club passing records.

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