Originally created 01/25/00

NFL notebook: Groh takes charge of N.Y. Jets



Al Groh, a Bill Parcells pal for more than 30 years, replaced his former boss today as coach of the New York Jets.

Three weeks after Parcells resigned and Bill Belichick stunned the club by quitting a day after he took over, the Jets finally sorted out their coaching puzzle.

Groh signed a four-year contract worth a reported $3.2 million with new owner Robert Johnson IV, who bought the Jets this month from the estate of Leon Hess for $635 million.

Parcells, who turned the Jets into winners in his three seasons as coach, will remain with the club as head of football operations. Parcells said today he will stay on until at least midsummer. He will then discuss his plans with Johnson.

Groh's last head coaching experience was at Wake Forest, where he was a respectable 26-40 from 1981-86 at a school not known as a football force.

Groh becomes the fifth Jets coach since 1990, following Bruce Coslet (1990-1993), Pete Carroll (1994), Rich Kotite (1995-96); and Parcells (1997-99).

TV RATINGS MIXED:

The overnight ratings were down for the early NFL conference championship game, but the numbers were up for the late game.

Tennessee's 33-14 win over Jacksonville in the AFC championship Sunday got a 24.2 rating and 47 share on CBS, Nielsen Media Research said Monday.

That's down 6 percent from the 26.1 rating and 52 share for Atlanta's 30-27 overtime win over Minnesota on Fox, which was the early game last year.

St. Louis' 11-6 victory over Tampa Bay in the NFC championship got a 27.9 rating and 46 share on Fox, up 3 percent from the 27.2 rating and 47 share for Denver's 23-10 win over the New York Jets on CBS, the late game last year.

The overnights are based on 47 markets that cover about 80 percent of television households in the United States.

BACK IN THE MIX:

The New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots have received permission to interview Jaguars defensive coordinator Dom Capers for their head-coaching vacancies.

Capers, the former head coach at Carolina, spearheaded the resurgence of the Jacksonville defense, lifting the Jaguars from 25th to fourth in the NFL in yardage allowed.

The Saints are conducting a series of interviews this week. Reportedly on the list are Capers, Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Giants defensive coordinator John Fox, Falcons offensive line coach Art Shell and Steelers defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

REDSKINS:

Ray Rhodes, fired two weeks ago as head coach of the Green Bay Packers, was hired today as defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins also hired Foge Fazio as linebacker coach. He resigned last week as defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.

Rhodes replaces Mike Nolan, whose contract was not renewed after the Redskins ranked 30th in overall defense this season. Nolan served as both defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

VIKINGS:

Minnesota offensive coordinator Ray Sherman quit Monday rather than take a demotion, and tight ends coach Dave Atkins was fired.

Minnesota hired Sherman Lewis, offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers for the last eight seasons, to replace Sherman.

"Sherman Lewis is considered one of the premier offensive coordinators in the NFL," head coach Dennis Green said. "He brings a great deal of experience, and he's going to help us a lot. I felt we need changes to make us better. He is very familiar with the NFC Central Division, and that will be a strong plus for us."