NFL notebook: Texans open up QB competition
Texans coach Bill O’Brien plans to open up the competition at quarterback after playing four different players in 2014.
The Texans finished with a 9-7 record last season despite struggling at the quarterback position because of injuries.
Locking up a starter is one of the team’s top priorities.
“We’ll make the right decision and it will probably be a competition,” O’Brien said on Texans radio. “It will be something where guys come in and compete and have to win the job and that’s the way it should be and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Ryan Mallett may be the early favorite to win the starting job in 2015, but he will hit free agency in March. Others in the competition are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and last year’s rookie quarterback Tom Savage of Pitt.
Report: Seahawks promote Richard to DC
Not long after the Raiders hired Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. to coordinate their defense, the Seahawks reportedly promoted Kris Richard to be their defensive coordinator.
Richard has been Seattle’s secondary coach since 2010, when he came to the Seahawks from USC along with coach Pete Carroll. He had been considered the favorite to replace Dan Quinn, who left after two years in charge of the NFL’s No. 1 defense to coach the Atlanta Falcons.
Richard reportedly declined Quinn’s request to join him in Atlanta, apparently knowing he likely would replace Quinn as Seattle’s defensive coordinator.
According to Alex Rozier of King 5-TV, Carroll told the team about Richard’s promotion after Norton was named the Raiders’ coordinator.
Rocky Seto, another defensive assistant, also received a promotion, according to Rozier.
The Seahawks have lost three defensive assistants since losing Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Quinn took Marquand Manuel with him to Atlanta.
Cowboys RB Randle facing abuse claims
Cowboys running back Joseph Randle is facing claims of domestic abuse from his ex-girlfriend after police in his Kansas hometown say they are investigating whether there is “more to” his recent arrest at a hotel than a drug charge that has been dropped.
The 22-year-old mother of Randle’s child has filed for a protective order, saying he threatened to “blast the vehicle” with their son inside after pointing a gun at her friend. Dalia Jacobs wrote in a request filed Wednesday in district court in Wichita, Kan., that Randle smashed the windshield of the car with his fist, “causing glass to shatter across my friend and my child.”
The incident occurred the same night the 23-year-old Randle was arrested on a marijuana possession charge at a Wichita hotel after a woman called 911. He was not taken into custody, and no charges related to domestic violence have been filed.
Police dropped the marijuana charge, but spokesman Lt. James Espinoza said other charges are possible.
Patriots sign ex-Pitt RB Lewis, 11 others
The Patriots signed 12 players to future contracts, including former Pitt running back Dion Lewis.
In addition to signing nine practice squad players to future contracts, the Patriots signed defensive lineman Antonio Johnson, linebacker Rufus Johnson and Lewis.
Lewis, 24, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Eagles (2011-2012) and Browns (2013). The 5-8, 195-pounder entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick by Philadelphia in the 2011 draft.
NFL fines Irvin, 3 others for roles in Super Bowl shoving
Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for his role in a scuffle with 18 seconds left in the Super Bowl. Three other players received lesser fines.
Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett and Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui were fined $8,628 each. Hoomanawanui was fined for unnecessary roughness, the others for striking an opponent late.
The shoving began after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took a knee following cornerback Malcolm Butler’s interception with 20 seconds left in the Patriots’ 28-24 victory. Irvin was ejected and apologized for his actions.
The NFL said earlier that Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin was fined $11,025 for unsportsmanlike conduct after his 3-yard touchdown catch that gave the Seahawks a 24-14 lead.
Peterson gets “fair game”
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said he “got a fair game” in a hearing over his NFL-issued suspension. Peterson was in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis as attorneys for the NFL Players Association and the NFL made their cases to U.S. District Judge David Doty, who deferred a ruling until after he considers the arguments.
Colts make hire
The Colts hired longtime NFL assistant Jim Hostler as their new receivers coach. He was the senior offensive assistant with Buffalo last season and previously worked with Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano in Baltimore.