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The Arizona Cardinals have filled the NFL's final head coaching vacancy by hiring Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
The team confirmed the hiring in a release Thursday night, saying Arians received a four-year contract with a club option for a fifth year.
The 60-year-old longtime assistant went 9-3 as Colts interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia last season.
Arians arrived in Arizona on Wednesday night, had dinner with top team officials, then interviewed on Thursday and met with reporters to indicate his interest in the job.
He was offered and accepted the job Thursday night. Arians also was a finalist for the Chicago job that went to Marc Trestman.
Arians was the sixth known candidate interviewed to replace Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after six seasons.
In his meeting with reporters earlier Thursday, before he was hired, Arians said his stint as Pagano's replacement "answered all questions I ever had" about whether he could succeed as an NFL coach.
"I hope it answered all the questions everybody else has had for all these years," he said.
It apparently did for the Cardinals, who lost 10 of 11 this season to finish 5-11 for the second time in three years.
Jaguars hire Seahawks' Bradley as coach
The Jacksonville Jaguars have an energetic head coach to go along with their brash general manager.
The Jaguars hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as the franchise's fifth head coach Thursday, the latest move in the team's rebuilding project.
The 46-year-old Bradley joins general manager Dave Caldwell, who led the coaching search after being hired last week.
"It was just a matter of time before Gus Bradley became a head coach in the NFL, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely fortunate that Gus will be on our sidelines for many years to come," Caldwell said in a statement. "Gus more than met every criteria we insisted on from our new head coach, and his intangibles and leadership abilities are exceptional. Gus is who the Jaguars need now and in the future."
Bradley spent the last four seasons in Seattle, earning a reputation as a fiery assistant who demanded and often got the most from his players. His defense improved each of the last three years and finished in the top 10 in points and yards the last two. This season, the Seahawks ranked first in points allowed (15.3), fourth in yards (306.2) and tied for fourth in takeaways (31).
The Jaguars were 30th in the league in total defense in 2012.
Broncos promote Gase to coordinator
The Denver Broncos have hired a new offensive coordinator and no, his name isn't Peyton Manning.
Adam Gase will be calling the plays next season as he replaces Mike McCoy, who bolted earlier this week to become head coach of the San Diego Chargers.
Sure, Manning will have input lots of it, actually but Gase said the four-time NFL MVP actually wants a coach to bounce ideas off of, which they frequently did walking off the practice field in the season the Broncos just finished up.
That built-in familiarity with Manning and the offense is a reason why Gase was promoted from quarterbacks coach Thursday.
"While we did speak with several qualified candidates, it became clear that Adam was the best fit," coach John Fox said. "He did a great job working with Peyton and all of our quarterbacks the last two seasons. Adam is a bright coach with a great future, and I am confident he'll have success in his new role."
Around the league
Patriots • New England placed tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve with a forearm injury, guaranteeing he'll miss the rest of the season. Gronkowski broke his left arm on the Patriots' seventh offensive play of Sunday's 41-28 win over Houston.
Falcons • Cornerback Christopher Owens practiced with Atlanta for the first time in nearly a month, while star defensive end John Abraham remains hobbled by an injured left ankle.
Saints • A federal judge has dismissed linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in connection with the bounty case.
Bears • Rod Marinelli will not return as Chicago's defensive coordinator next season. New coach Trestman said Marinelli "made up his mind to move on."
Jets • New York is closing in on hiring a general manager, with Seattle executive John Idzik the apparent front-runner. The Jets, who fired Mike Tannenbaum on Dec. 31, have held a thorough interview process with the help of a search firm with about 10 candidates.
Seahawks • Seattle moved quickly to fill its vacant defensive coordinator position by hiring Dan Quinn away from Florida to replace Bradley. Quinn returns to Seattle after spending the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Florida. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the Seahawks defensive line coach.
Chargers • Whisenhunt, the fired Arizona coach, was introduced as the offensive coordinator for new head coach McCoy in San Diego. Conference championships
• San Francisco at Atlanta, 1 p.m., Ch. 13
• Baltimore at New England, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 2