Mangini will stay with Browns
CLEVELAND — Eric Mangini pulled off his biggest win yet.
Mangini will return for a second season as Cleveland's coach, a surprising personal victory following a four-game winning streak by the Browns that may have saved his job. New team president Mike Holmgren decided yesterday to retain Mangini, whose job seemed to be slipping away after the Browns' 1-11 start
Mangini's staff has been asked to return as well.
Holmgren spent the past two days in meetings with Mangini, who was fired after last season by the New York Jets and had a turbulent first year in Cleveland.
"I was able to gain some tremendous insight into his thought process and philosophies, and came away from our meetings very impressed," Holmgren said in a statement. "In my opinion, Eric has gained the respect and admiration of players, coaches and others in the organization, and with him continuing to lead the team I feel that we are headed in the right direction.
"Working together, our goal is to build on the strong tradition of this franchise and help get the Browns back to the playoffs."
MISSING SUPER BOWL PLAYERS TO GET PAID
Players on the two Super Bowl teams who miss the Pro Bowl this year will get paid a full share.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed the 12 playoff teams that their all-stars who must skip the game because they are preparing for the Super Bowl won't forfeit Pro Bowl earnings.
Fifty-seven Pro Bowl players are participating in the playoffs, including nine for Minnesota, the most of any team.
The Pro Bowl is being played before the Super Bowl for the first time. Both games will be at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, the Pro Bowl on Jan. 31, the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Cardinals: Arizona cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (bruised left kneecap) returned to practice, but wide receiver Anquan Boldin remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle. Boldin says he doesn't know if he will be able to play in Sunday's wild card game against Green Bay.
Colts: Indianapolis has decided to use kicker Matt Stover instead of Adam Vinatieri during this year's playoffs. Colts coach Jim Caldwell said Vinatieri is not yet 100 percent, but will keep the best clutch kicker in league history on the active roster.
Jets: New York linebacker David Harris returned to practice on a limited basis yesterday after missing two days while recovering from a sprained right ankle. Harris said his ankle felt "kind of stiff," but hopes to play in the first-round playoff game tomorrow at Cincinnati.
Steelers: Pittsburgh special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky has become the second assistant coach fired by coach Mike Tomlin in as many days. Ligashesky joins offensive line coach Larry Zierlein in being fired since the Steelers (9-7) failed to make the playoffs.