NFL notebook

Notes: Ex-Jets coach: Use of Tebow was a ‘mess’

Mike Westhoff, the Jets’ recently retired special teams coordinator, told a Florida radio station that the way the team handled Tim Tebow was ‘‘an absolute mess.’’

Westhoff told WQAM on Friday that he was ‘‘very, very disappointed’’ in the Jets’ lack of use of Tebow, who barely got on the field in most games and never started at quarterback — even after Mark Sanchez was benched.

The quarterback tried to hide his frustration, but Westhoff said he could see a change in his demeanor and ‘‘that swagger that got out of him a little bit.”

The New York Daily News reported that Marty Mornhinweg is a candidate for the Jets’ offensive coordinator job, and that the former Eagles assistant may have already interviewed.

Kiffin, Ryan hired

The Cowboys hired former Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin as the replacement for Rob Ryan, who landed the same position with the Rams, according to the New York Post.

Dallas announced the move on its website a day after the 72-year-old Kiffin was at team headquarters to interview with coach Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones.

The hiring of Kiffin means Dallas will switch back to the 4-3 defense after going to the 3-4 under Bill Parcells in 2005.


Kiffin hasn’t coached in the NFL since ending a 13-year run in Tampa Bay in 2008. He spent the past few years coaching in college with his son, Lane Kiffin, at Tennessee and Southern California.

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Ryan was fired Tuesday by Dallas after two seasons.

Eagles eye Gruden

The Eagles will interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday for their head coaching position.

The team already has interviewed seven candidates since firing Andy Reid Dec. 31.

Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, just finished his second season in Cincinnati.


Gruden interviewed with Arizona Thursday.

Officially a Brown

Rob Chudzinski was introduced as the Browns’ sixth fulltime coach since 1999 — the first head coaching job of his career. Chudzinski had been the Panthers’ offensive coordinator . . . Longtime NFL assistant and current CFL coach Marc Trestman denied a rumor that Chicago is set to hire him. Trestman, who coaches the Montreal Alouettes, interviewed last week . . . Reid announced that former Eagles coach Doug Pederson would be the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator and longtime Jets assistant Bob Sutton the defensive coordinator . . . The Titans are parting ways with special teams coach Alan Lowry, the designer of the Music City Miracle play in Tennessee’s 2000 Super Bowl run, said people familiar with the decision.

Hall finalists named

Single-season sacks leader Michael Strahan of the Giants, defensive tackle Warren Sapp of the Buccaneers and Raiders, and offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden of the Ravens and Larry Allen of the Cowboys and 49ers are among 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The other finalists are running back Jerome Bettis; receivers Cris Carter, Tim Brown, and Andre Reed; LB-DEs Charles Haley and Kevin Greene; guard Will Shields; defensive back Aeneas Williams; coach Bill Parcells; and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. of the 49ers and the late Art Modell of the Browns/Ravens.

Between four to seven members will be selected Feb. 2

Lynch probable


Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (sprained foot) is probable and expected to play Sunday against Atlanta. Receiver Sidney Rice (knee) did not practice but is probable; Falcons defensive end John Abraham (ankle) was limited and is questionable . . . The girlfriend of former Steelers running back Chris Rainey said she wasn’t assaulted, and that the state of Florida should drop the battery charge against him, according to Rainey’s lawyer, Huntley Johnson.