Friday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) J.J. Watt found a unique way to make the 2014 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team.
Houston’s Watt was listed on all 50 ballots by a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league, with 45 of the votes for defensive end and the other five for defensive tackle. So he actually was a first-team end and a second-team tackle in gaining his third straight selection.
No such confusion for New England’s Rob Gronkowski as the other unanimous pick. He grabbed all the votes for tight end.
Dallas led all teams with four All-Pros, including guard Zack Martin, the only rookie on the squad. League rushing leader DeMarco Murray, tackle Tyron Smith and wide receiver Dez Bryant also made it.
Making their first All-Pro teams were all four Cowboys, plus Seattle inside linebacker Bobby Wagner; Buffalo DE Mario Williams and DT Marcell Dareus; Kansas City outside LB Justin Houston; Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell; Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda; Green Bay fullback John Kuhn; Cincinnati kick returner Adam Jones; and Indianapolis punter Pat McAfee.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri joined McAfee.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made it for the second time; he also was the All-Pro QB in 2011. Cleveland tackle Joe Thomas earned his fifth All-Pro spot, the most of anyone on the current team. Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis got his fourth All-Pro berth.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Before winning his first playoff game, Chip Kelly won a power struggle.
Kelly got control of the Philadelphia Eagles’ player personnel department after Howie Roseman was promoted from general manager to executive vice president of football operations.
The shake-up ends speculation about Kelly’s future in Philadelphia following a turbulent week that included the dismissal of vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble on Wednesday.
Kelly has led the Eagles to consecutive 10-6 seasons. He already had final say on the 53-man roster. Now he’ll hire a new personnel executive who will answer directly to him.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Jets’ search for a new coach and general manager is kicking into high gear.
Owner Woody Johnson, along with consultants Ron Wolf and Charley Casserly, completed a trip to Seattle after talking to Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and assistant head coach-offensive line coach Tom Cable about the Jets’ head coaching vacancy.
The trio also spoke to Seahawks director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner on Thursday night for New York’s general manager position, which opened when Johnson fired John Idzik along with coach Rex Ryan on Monday.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – The Oakland Raiders interviewed Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for their head coaching vacancy.
A person with knowledge of the interview said the Raiders met with Shurmur as they seek a full-time coach. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not releasing details on interviews.
Shurmur has been offensive coordinator for the Eagles the past two seasons. He was head coach in Cleveland the previous two years where he had a 9-23 record.
Shurmur has been in the NFL since 1999, spending a decade as an offensive assistant in Philadelphia and two years as offensive coordinator in St. Louis before taking the Cleveland job in 2011.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Greg Ward threw three touchdown passes in the final 3:41 of the Armed Forces Bowl, two after Houston recovered onside kicks, and completed a winning 2-point conversion in the Cougars’ 35-34 victory over Pittsburgh.
Pitt (6-7) took a 31-6 lead on James Conner’s touchdown run with 14 minutes left, but Houston (8-5) had the biggest comeback in an FBS game this season and matched the third-largest ever in a bowl game.
Ward threw an 8-yard TD pass to Deontay Greenberry, the Cougars recovered their first onside kick and Ward teamed with Demarcus Ayers on a 29-yard scoring play on fourth-and-13 with 1:58 left.
Houston’s onside kick didn’t go 10 yards on the rain-slickened field, but the ball was touched by the same Pitt defender who couldn’t handle the first one and Houston running back Kenneth Farrow jumped on it at the Cougars 43. Greenberry started the drive with a 38-yard catch, then on third-and-16 had a 25-yard touchdown catch with 59 seconds left. Interim coach David Gibbs opted for a win-or-lose 2-point conversion try, and Greenberry made a leaping catch in the back corner of the end zone.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Quarterback Brett Hundley led No. 14 UCLA to a 25-point halftime lead and the Bruins held off No. 11 Kansas State 40-35 in the Alamo Bowl.
Kansas State (9-4) scored 22 of the first 25 points in the second half, cutting it to 34-28 on quarterback Jake Waters’ 1-yard run with 4:54 left.
Paul Perkins countered for UCLA (10-3) with a 67-yard run with 2:20 to go. Waters threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett with 1:21 left, but UCLA recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Joshua Dobbs accounted for three touchdowns, Jalen Hurd ran for two scores and Tennessee beat Iowa 45-28 in the TaxSlayer Bowl for its first postseason victory since 2008.
Tennessee (7-6) scored on its first four possessions, leading 28-0 before Iowa (7-6) managed 70 yards.
Hurd broke tackles on nearly every run, capping Tennessee’s first possession with a 3-yard score and adding a 29-yard touchdown scamper on the next drive. Tennessee made it 21-0 late in the first quarter when Dobbs threw a lateral to running back Marlin Lane in the right flat. Lane, a senior from nearby Daytona Beach, turned and hit Vic Wharton in stride down the sideline.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Mason Rudolph threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns, Desmond Roland ran for 123 yards and Oklahoma State held off Washington 30-22 in the Cactus Bowl.
Oklahoma State (7-6) dominated on both sides of the ball to take a 17-point halftime lead.
The Cowboys kept the Huskies’ vaunted front seven from harassing Rudolph most of the night and the freshman was poised in his third career start, shrugging off three turnovers to hit 17 of 26 passes.
Washington (8-6) stagnated offensively in the first half before finding a rhythm, but couldn’t overcome the early deficit to close out coach Chris Petersen’s first season with a loss.