January 9, 2014 in Sports

NFL notes: Saints develop rushing attack

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When Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman started studying video for this Saturday’s rematch with the Saints in the NFC playoffs, he noticed something different about New Orleans’ offense.

“They are running the ball extremely well and that is different from the game we played against them previously,” Sherman said, alluding to Seattle’s 34-7 rout of the Saints on Dec. 2. “They are a confident bunch.”

The Saints rushed for 185 yards in an opening-round playoff victory at Philadelphia last weekend.

Coach Sean Payton’s confidence in the ground game was never more obvious than when he called eight runs on New Orleans’ 10-play game-winning drive that chewed up the last 4:54.

The last seven plays consisted of six meaningful runs, followed by quarterback Drew Brees’ keeper to the middle to set up Shayne Graham’s 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Seattle, which finished the regular season No. 1 in total defense, ranked seventh against the run and first against the pass. Those rankings, combined with a forecast of rain in Seattle this weekend, only seemed to raise the prospects for Saints running backs to see action.

Coaching updates

A person familiar with the meeting said the Browns interviewed Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo in Green Bay, Wis., about their head coaching job.

Also, a person familiar with the decision said Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has removed himself from consideration for Cleveland’s vacancy.

• The Titans confirmed they interviewed Jim Caldwell, the former Colts coach and current Ravens offensive coordinator.

• The Falcons announced Mike Tice will become their new offensive line coach.

Around the league

Colts safety LaRon Landry (concussion) was a full participant at practice and coaches are hopeful he will play in Saturday night’s playoff game at New England. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey sat out with a hamstring injury. … The Chargers said center Nick Hardwick’s (concussion, stringer) status for Sunday’s divisional round game at Denver is unknown. Running back Ryan Mathews didn’t practice and was in a walking boot to protect his injured left ankle.

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