Jon Gruden was welcomed back for a second stint as Oakland Raiders coach with an elaborate introductory news conference. Gruden was greeted by owner Mark Davis on Tuesday with a video of the highlights from his first tenure in Oakland nearly 20 years after he was first introduced as coach as an unproven 34-year-old by late owner Al Davis. Gruden coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 before being traded to Tampa Bay 16 years ago.
New York Jets player Rashard Robinson has been accused of possessing marijuana-laced candy. Authorities say the 22-year-old NFL cornerback was pulled over in Morris County, New Jersey, last December and police found "THC infused Peanut Budda Buddah Candy" in Robinson's possession. A spokesman for the Jets said they won't comment on the pending legal matter.
The New York Giants have interviewed Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks for their vacant head coaching job. The 48-year-old Wilks met with co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, new general manager Dave Gettleman and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams at the team's headquarters two days after the Panthers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by New Orleans.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane says there may have been a misunderstanding of what was said on the field that led to Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accusing Buffalo guard Richie Incognito of using "weak racist slurs." Beane says the team has spoken to Incognito and understands his side of the story of the exchange that occurred during Buffalo's 10-3 loss to the Jaguars in an AFC wild-card playoff game.
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane is keeping his options open when evaluating quarterback Tyrod Taylor's future and determining whether the team needs to upgrade the position. Beane says the Bills have enough assets in terms of two picks in each of the first two rounds of the draft to move up in the selection order and address any position of need, including quarterback. Beane also notes the Bills could comfortably afford retaining Taylor for the final year of his contract.
Rob Gronkowski says coach Bill Belichick makes it easy for the New England Patriots to ignore distractions such as the one created by last week's ESPN report. The Patriots host the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night in the divisional playoffs.
In other NFL news:
— The Panthers have fired longtime offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey. Shula spent seven seasons on Ron Rivera's coaching staff, the last five as the team's offensive guru. The dismissals came two days after Carolina was knocked out of the NFC playoffs with a 31-26 loss at New Orleans.
— Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan did not practice with the team today as he tended to an undisclosed personal matter. A team spokesman said the Falcons did not plan to reveal the reason for Ryan's absence but would allow him to address the matter with the media tomorrow "if he decides to do so." Atlanta will head to Philadelphia to face the Eagles in the NFC divisional playoffs on Saturday.
Kyle Connor had two goals and an assist, Nikolaj Ehlers also scored twice, and the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Buffalo Sabres 7-4 for their third straight victory. Patrik Laine and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Jets in the opener of a three-game road trip.
The Washington Capitals extended a pair of winning streaks last night while padding their lead in the NHL's Metropolitan Division to four points over Columbus. Philipp Grubauer turned back 37 shots and the Caps spotted the Canucks an early 1-0 lead before completing a 3-1 victory in Washington. John Carlson and Lars Eller scored 2:39 apart late in the first period to put the Capitals ahead.
Andrew Rowsey scored 31 points and Marquette used a 16-0 run in the second half to pull away for an 84-64 win over No. 13 Seton Hall. Sam Hauser added 14 points for the Golden Eagles. He hit 4 of 9 from 3-point range, including a 3 with 5:25 left for a 73-55 lead.
Jeremy Harris and Nick Perkins scored 17 points apiece and C.J. Massinburg had a double-double to lead Buffalo to an 87-65 win over Akron. Massinburg had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls, who had six players in double figures to win their fourth straight with their first win at Akron in six seasons.
A former Rutgers University football player has admitted his role in three home invasions in which fellow students were targeted for drugs and cash. Tejay Johnson, of Egg Harbor, New Jersey, on Monday pleaded guilty to armed robbery and conspiracy. Under terms of a plea agreement with the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, the 26-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison when he's sentenced in March.
Azura Stevens came off the bench to score 19 points, leading top-ranked UConn to its 100th consecutive regular-season win, 80-44 over UCF. Stevens hit nine of her 13 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds for Connecticut, putting up her fourth double-double of the season. Korneila Wright scored 17 points for Central Florida.
A new report predicts 18 states will introduce bills to regulate sports betting this year, with 11 having a good chance of passing one. Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which tracks gambling legislation nationwide, says that's just the minimum; the firm predicts as many as 30 states could introduce sports betting bills. The U.S. Supreme Court this year will decide a case brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting in all but four states.
The International Olympic Committee says it welcomes moves by North Korea to take part in next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea. IOC president Thomas Bach says in a statement that North Korea's decision to send a delegation to the games is "a great step forward in the Olympic spirit." The IOC says it's now waiting for official details of how North Korean participation could work before it decides which athletes could compete. South Korea's Vice Unification minister earlier cited North Korean officials as saying their delegation would include officials, athletes, cheerleaders and journalists.
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