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Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger fired by new head coach Mike Munchak

Raiders promote Greg Biekert to linebackers coach.

February 08, 2011|Wire reports

Tennessee Titans Coach Mike Munchak fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and two other assistants Tuesday as he starts to remake his coaching staff a day after taking over the top job.

Heimerdinger, who is continuing cancer treatment after diagnosed in November, confirmed to the Associated Press that he had been fired. The Titans released a statement a couple hours later that Munchak also had told defensive assistant Rayna Stewart and offensive assistant Richie Wessman that they would not be retained.

The Titans gave Munchak the freedom to keep or hire anyone he wants and he promised changes when he was introduced on Monday. He let go the coordinator who was the second coach interviewed to replace Jeff Fisher. Munchak said it wasn't an easy move involving a man he respects as an innovative offensive mind and for how he has fought cancer.

The Titans' offense struggled in 2010, ranking 27th in the NFL in total yards per game (302.1) and 25th in yards passing (194.2).

Raiders name Biekert linebackers coach

The Oakland Raiders promoted Greg Biekert from defensive assistant to linebackers coach. Biekert joined the coaching staff last year as a defensive assistant. He played linebacker for 11 years in the NFL, including nine with the Raiders.

Group hopes to turn Vick's dogfighting compound into dog rehab center

A Pennsylvania-based animal rights group is raising money to buy NFL star Michael Vick's former dogfighting compound and turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and penned dogs.

Dogs Deserve Better of Tipton, Pa. said it has until March 20 to raise nearly $600,000 to buy the 4,600-square-foot house in Surry County, Va.

Roy returns to practice with Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers Guard Brandon Roy is returning to practice and wants to rejoin the team as soon as this weekend, but he'll have to prove himself first.

Portland's three-time All-Star had arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees just three weeks ago and Coach Nate McMillan said he wanted to see Roy at work before making a decision.

McMillan suggested that Roy center Marcus Camby would be practicing this week too. Camby had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 20.

The San Antonio Spurs signed forward Steve Novak to a 10-day contract.

Novak appeared in seven games for the Dallas Mavericks this season. He spent two seasons with the Clippers before heading to Dallas.

Soderling wins at Rotterdam

Defending champion Robin Soderling eased to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Robin Haase to reach the second round of the ABN Amro tournament at Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Soderling broke the Dutch wild-card entrant in the sixth game of first set, forcing two more successive breaks in the second to win in less than an hour.

Soderling will play Philipp Kohlschreiber, who defeated Yen-Hsun Lu.

In other matches, Jarkko Nieminen upset third-seeded David Ferrer.

Third-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia and No. 4 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic won their first-round matches in straight sets at the Open Gaz de France in Paris.

Kanepi broke Latvian Anastasija Sevastova's serve twice in the second set in a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win. Kvitova had five aces in a 7-5, 6-4 win over Vesna Manasieva of Russia.

Also advancing with first-round wins were American Fed Cup pair Melanie Oudin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Czechs Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Klara Zakopalova, Australia's Jelena Dokic and Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova and Kristina Kucova.

Two-time defending champion Vera Zvonareva defeated Tamira Paszek of Austria, 6-4, 6-2, in the first round of the Pattaya Open in Thailand.

Vonn struggles in super-G at world championships; Mancuso is second

Lindsey Vonn, attempting to defend her super-G title in the opening race of the world championships, finished seventh Tuesday at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany — a dismal performance given her commanding strength in the event. She was 0.84 seconds behind Austrian winner Elisabeth Goergl. Vonn is dealing with the aftereffects of a head injury she suffered in a fall during a training run last week.

Vonn's U.S. teammate Julia Mancuso took the silver medal. Maria Riesch of Germany won the bronze.

Georgia suspends tailback Ealey

Georgia football Coach Mark Richt suspended tailback Washaun Ealey for failing to follow "the Georgia way."

Ealey, Georgia's leading rusher last season, can't participate in team activities and is barred from team facilities during the suspension. Richt placed no timeframe on the suspension and left the door open for Ealey's return.

ESPN.com reported that Ealey had failed to show up for disciplinary running.

Virginia suspends three football players

Virginia football Coach Mike London suspended three players indefinitely for unspecified conduct detrimental to the team.

Suspended are: junior linebacker Ausar Walcott, who started in all but one of Virginia's 12 games in 2010; junior cornerback Devin Wallace, who started seven games; and junior center Mike Price, who appeared in two games.

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