November 30, 2011 in Sports

Jacksonville fires coach, reveals sale

Associated Press
 

Suh
(Full-size photo)

The Jacksonville Jaguars are headed in a completely new direction.

Team owner Wayne Weaver fired longtime coach Jack Del Rio on Tuesday after a 3-8 start and agreed to sell the Jaguars to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan, who plans to keep the team in Jacksonville, Fla. Weaver named defensive coordinator Mel Tucker the interim coach and gave general manager Gene Smith a three-year contract extension.

“It’s the right thing at the right time and for the right reasons,” Weaver said. “We deserve better; the community deserves better. We’ve been very average over the last few years.”

Forbes reported the sale to be worth $760 million.

Khan’s purchase is subject to NFL approval. League owners will vote to ratify the deal Dec. 14. If it passes, would become official Jan. 4.

Del Rio’s job security had been tenuous since Weaver said the coach needed to make the playoffs to secure a 10th season in Jacksonville. The Jaguars were essentially eliminated with Sunday’s 20-13 loss to AFC South-leading Houston.

Del Rio leaves with a 69-73 record, including 1-2 in the playoffs.

Lions’ Suh appeals

Ndamukong Suh is going back to the NFL, this time hoping for some leniency.

The league suspended Detroit’s All-Pro defensive tackle without pay for two games Tuesday, punishing the second-year player for roughing up a Green Bay Packers offensive lineman after the whistle last week. Suh promptly appealed his suspension.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Suh’s hearing will be expedited to give Suh and Lions an answer before Sunday’s game at New Orleans.

Suh is barred from practice and the team’s facility while suspended. He did not return messages left with his agent.

Colts make changes

Curtis Painter and Larry Coyer are out, and it could be just the start of the changes for 0-11 Indianapolis.

Coach Jim Caldwell broke up a normally quiet day by announcing that Coyer had been fired as defensive coordinator and that Dan Orlovsky would replace Painter at quarterback when the Colts play at New England on Sunday. Longtime linebackers coach Mike Murphy will replace Coyer.

Extra points

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is free of concussion symptoms and “all things are positive” for the AFC North showdown with Cincinnati, coach Mike Tomlin said. … The injury-riddled Houston Texans added to their quarterback depth, reaching a deal with Jake Delhomme. He will back up rookie T.J. Yates, a fifth-round pick slated to start Sunday’s game against Atlanta. … The Browns waived long snapper Ryan Pontbriand, two days after his second poor snap in three weeks cost Cleveland a possible win. The Browns also placed linebacker Scott Fujita (broken hand) and defensive end Emmanuel Stephens (pectoral muscle) on injured reserve. … After spending the weekend in jail, linebacker Erik Walden apologized to the Green Bay Packers’ organization, his teammates and fans in the wake of his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.

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