Football

02/05 NFL notebook: Steelers’ Pouncey out for Super Bowl

DALLAS -- Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has been ruled out of the Super Bowl with a high left ankle sprain.

The rookie Pro Bowl selection sprained the ankle in the AFC championship game and has not practiced since. Backup Doug Legursky will play in his place Sunday, in what will be his first NFL start as a center.

Coach Mike Tomlin had said earlier Friday that Pouncey would not play if he could not participate in the team’s last practice before the game against the Green Bay Packers.

Defensive end Aaron Smith will also not play. He has been out since Oct. 24 with a torn triceps muscle and has been limited in practice.

RAMS -- St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford has won The Associated Press 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

The top overall selection in last year’s draft, Bradford guided the Rams from the embarrassment of a 1-15 record that earned them the No. 1 pick to a 7-9 mark. In the weak NFC West, that was good enough to contend for the division title; St. Louis lost out on a tiebreaker to Seattle.

Bradford’s passing and leadership gets him 44 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Only two other rookies received votes: Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Williams with four, and Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey with two.

Bradford is the fourth quarterback since 2004 to take the honor. Before that, no quarterbacks had won it.

LIONS -- Detroit tackle Ndamukong Suh has won The Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

The only rookie on the All-Pro team, Suh validated Detroit selecting him second overall in last April’s draft. He earned 48 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. New England cornerback Devin McCourty drew the other two votes.

Detroit won its final four games to finish 6-10, triple the number of victories the Lions managed in the previous two seasons combined. Suh was a major reason with 10 sacks, the most at the position, veteran or rookie, and 66 tackles.

Suh is the first Lion to grab the honor since Al Baker in 1978. He’s also the first non-linebacker to win since Julius Peppers in 2002.

TITANS -- Tennessee has interviewed their first candidates outside of their own building in their search for a new head coach, talking to Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

The Titans confirmed Friday they completed formal interviews with Mularkey and Fewell. The team is not commenting any further until they conclude the search to replace Jeff Fisher.

Mularkey is the first candidate interviewed by Tennessee who has been a head coach. By interviewing Fewell, the Titans satisfied the Rooney rule by talking with a minority candidate.

REDSKINS -- Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has been charged with assault in what police say was a case of road rage.

Fairfax County police spokeswoman Shelley Broderick says a 38-year-old man told investigators he was driving a Honda Civic in suburban Washington when he saw a pickup truck tailgating him. The man says the driver then made a hand gesture.

Broderick says Haynesworth, who was driving the truck, got out when the vehicles stopped and assaulted the other driver.

Broderick says police have been in touch with Haynesworth’s attorney. She says arrangements have been made for him to meet with officers and appear in Fairfax County General District Court at a later date.

Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie says team officials are gathering information about the incident and would not comment further.

PANTHERS -- Carolina has hired former NFL running back and Wisconsin assistant John Settle as running backs coach.

Friday’s move is a homecoming of sorts for the Reidsville, N.C., native and former Appalachian State star and fills one of the last openings on new coach Ron Rivera’s staff.

Settle replaces Jim Skipper, a popular figure in Carolina who wasn’t retained after Rivera replaced John Fox.

Settle played for the Mountaineers in the 1980s before becoming the first undrafted player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards with Atlanta in 1988. He was part of Washington’s Super Bowl winning team three years later. Settle has worked as an assistant in Cleveland, Baltimore and Fresno State before spending the past four years with the Badgers.

BEARS -- Chicago has signed wide receiver Andy Fantuz of the Canadian Football League to a reserve/future contract.

The Bears announced the move Friday.

The native of Ontario spent five years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and led the CFL with 1,380 yards receiving on 87 catches and six touchdowns this past season. Overall, he had 276 receptions for 4,136 yards and 23 touchdowns.

BILLS -- Outgoing Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano has said his goodbyes to players and staff but says Buffalo may not have seen the last of him.

The billionaire businessman didn’t rule out the possibility he would buy the Buffalo Bills if they were ever in danger of moving out of town.

Golisano made the remarks Thursday at HSBC Arena, where he talked about his decision to sell the NHL’s Sabres to Pennsylvania businessman Terry Pegula.

He says any interest in getting involved with the Bills once Ralph Wilson’s ownership ends would depend on how concerned he is that the team would move. Wilson has said the Bills will be sold by his estate when he dies. Golisano says he’ll be focusing on a governmental project he’ll detail later in Washington.

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