Taylor a unanimous pick for All-Pro team
Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
Jason Taylor, LaDainian Tomlinson and Champ Bailey capped superb seasons by unanimously making The Associated Press NFL All-Pro team announced Monday.
Tomlinson, San Diego's record-setting running back, also won the AP Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards. Miami end Taylor was the Defensive Player of the Year.
Bailey tied for the league lead with 10 interceptions even though opponents tried to avoid throwing to the Broncos cornerback's side of the field.
"My whole idea to go out on a Sunday is to be a pain in the butt for the other team," said Taylor, who had 62 tackles, 13 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, two interceptions — both returned for TDs — 11 passes defensed, 10 fumbles forced and two fumbles recovered.
"If I can be a pain in their butt and give somebody a headache, then more times than not, it's going to work out well for myself."
It worked out so well for him, Tomlinson — who set NFL records for points with 186, touchdowns with 31 and TDs rushing with 28 — and Bailey that they received all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL.
Jacksonville hired former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter as their offensive coordinator, giving them a third different play-caller in five seasons under coach Jack Del Rio.
Koetter replaces Carl Smith, who was one of five assistants fired last week after the Jaguars dropped three in a row to end the season, finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.
Del Rio also hired Joe DeCamillis as special teams coordinator. DeCamillis replaces Pete Rodriguez, whose units were partially to blame for three losses in 2006.
Leading receiver Darrell Jackson (University of Florida) just might play Sunday against the Chicago Bears after all.
Although Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren worried about Jackson's turf toe ligament strain during his weekly KIRO radio show in Seattle, by afternoon Jackson had convinced his coach he could play in the NFC divisional playoff game at Chicago.
"I've got to see how productive (he can be)," Holmgren cautioned.
Monday afternoon, Holmgren said Jackson "aggravated" a turf toe ligament strain on his left foot during Saturday's win against Dallas, an injury that had caused him to miss the previous three games.
Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard (University of Florida) will miss Saturday's second-round playoff game against New Orleans with a dislocated right elbow.
Sheppard was injured going for a tackle on a running play in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 23-20 victory over the New York Giants. He was replaced by Rod Hood.
William James, who was inactive against the Giants, will take Sheppard's roster spot and join Hood, Sheldon Brown and Joselio Hanson in the secondary.
Kansas State defensive coordinator Raheem Morris returned to the NFL, rejoining the Buccaneers as defensive backs coach.
Morris spent four seasons with the Bucs, two of them as an assistant defensive backs coach, before moving to Kansas State in 2006. He replaces Greg Burns, the former Southern California defensive backs coach who was with Tampa Bay for just one season.
New England executive Scott Pioli has turned down a request to interview for the general manager's job with the New York Giants.
The Giants started a search to replace retiring general manager Ernie Accorsi late in the season, and it's no surprise they focused on Pioli, the Patriots' vice president of player personnel. The 41-year-old is a two-time winner of the Sporting News' George Young NFL Executive of the Year award.
Pioli and coach Bill Belichick have combined to win three Super Bowls with the Patriots since arriving in 2000.
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