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Ted Tollner is fired from 49ers' staff

The former USC head coach is let go along with running backs coach Tony Nathan.

January 01, 2009|Wire Reports

San Francisco 49ers Coach Mike Singletary announced two more departures from his coaching staff Wednesday, firing quarterbacks coach Ted Tollner and running backs coach Tony Nathan.

Singletary dismissed offensive coordinator Mike Martz on Tuesday after one season with the 49ers. Nathan also was in his first year with the team. Tollner, the former USC head coach, had two stints with the club during the last decade.

Although the defensive staff apparently will stay intact under coordinator Greg Manusky, the moves are all part of Singletary's plan to build the 49ers' offensive approach behind a tough running game.

He also wants San Francisco's seventh offensive coordinator in seven seasons to stick around for longer than one year.

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Spagnuolo will interview with Jets

New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will interview Saturday for the New York Jets' head-coaching vacancy, created this week with the firing of Eric Mangini.

Jets assistants Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan, a former Oakland Raiders head coach, will interview with the team Friday, according to a team spokesman.

The team also has received permission to talk to Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

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Pennington wins comeback award

For the second time in three years, Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington is the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He is the first player in the 11 seasons of the award to win it twice.

"This time last year, I'm getting ready to watch the ball drop in Times Square. No playoffs, no starting job, no anything," Pennington said, reflecting on the end of his 2007 season with the New York Jets.

Pennington received 19 of 50 votes from a panel of writers and broadcasters who cover the league.

That was 13 more than quarterbacks Kerry Collins of the Tennessee Titans and Jake Delhomme of the Carolina Panthers.

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Etc.

The Dallas Cowboys fired special-teams coach Bruce Read, making him the first assistant ousted after a disappointing 9-7 season. . . . The NFL has given the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals extensions to sell more tickets and avoid local TV blackouts of their playoff games this weekend. The Vikings haven't been blacked out since 1997. . . . New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo won the the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

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