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Seahawks fire their DC

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and passing game coordinator Andre Curtis, the team said Tuesday.

Norton’s firing brought an end to what had been several seasons of continuity on the defensive side. The news was first reported by The Seattle Times.

Coach Pete Carroll had said last week it was too early to know the extent of changes coming to the Seahawks’ coaching staff. But he noted two specific areas for improvement — creating more turnovers and improving the pass rush — and both are on the defensive side.

Carroll has now changed a coordinator for the second straight offseason. Brian Schottenheimer was let go as offensive coordinator after the 2020 season. In that instance, Carroll went outside his traditional coaching tree and hired Los Angeles Rams assistant Shane Waldron.

Norton spent four seasons as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, but the final two years were defined by a unit that struggled badly in the early part of the year and progressively got better. Those early struggles during the 2020 and 2021 seasons left the Seahawks well down in the league’s statistical rankings.

QB apologizes

FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott apologized Tuesday night for his comments that condoned Dallas Cowboys fans throwing objects at NFL officials after the team’s playoff loss, with the quarterback saying in a series of tweets that he deeply regretted what he said after the game.

When initially asked about objects such as water bottles being thrown at Dallas players as they left the field at the end of their 23-17 wild-card loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Prescott said it was “sad” fans would do that. After another reporter said it appeared that officials were the targets, the quarterback responded, “Credit to them then.”

When given another chance to answer a question about fans throwing objects at officials, Prescott said, “I guess it’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast. I think everybody was upset about the way that this thing played out.”

Prescott had since received plenty of pushback nationally for his comments, even drawing the ire of NBA referees.

DT in trouble

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who was given a second chance by the team after serving jail time, was arrested Monday in Florida on charges of beating a police officer and public exposure.

Police in Deerfield Beach, Florida, said they were responding to a “naked male walking near a school” when an officer approached McDowell, who was sitting on a curb, according to the arrest report. The officer said McDowell stood up, uttered an obscenity at him and “charged at me full speed with a closed fist.”

The officer said he was unable to avoid McDowell’s attack or use any “de-escalation tactics.” McDowell slammed into the officer and punched him in the right eye and on the top of the head, according to the report.

McDowell fled before he was stopped using a stun gun and handcuffed. The officer said his right eye was nearly closed because of swelling from the punches he absorbed in the attack and there is a “likelihood that I sustained permanent injury to my eye.”

McDowell was charged with aggravated battery on an officer, resisting an officer/obstructing with violence and exposure of sex organs in public. Bail was posted at $25,000. It was unclear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Jaguar arrested

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Lerentee McCray made an obscene hand gesture at a police officer, fled a would-be traffic stop and then reached speeds of 100 mph and crossed three lanes of traffic during an ensuing chase, authorities said Tuesday.

McCray, 31, was arrested early Sunday, booked in the Lake County Jail and charged with fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, according to jail and police records. The charge is a second-degree felony. He was released on a $5,000 bond about seven hours later, according to jail records.

“We are aware of the situation and are gathering more information,” the Jaguars said Tuesday in a statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”

McCray was initially clocked doing 88 mph in a 50-mph zone by the Fruitland Park Police Department, police said. An officer attempted to pull him over, but McCray flashed him his middle finger, honked his horn and took off. Officers ended their chase after McCray reached speeds deemed unsafe.

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