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Gronk questionable to return, Jags up 4

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Latest on the NFL conference championships. (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The Patriots say tight end Rob Gronkowski is questionable to return to the AFC championship because of a head injury.


Defenses at center stage of Vikes-Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) One team has a suffocating defense. The other has the NFL's No. 1 unit.

Defense should win at least the NFC championship.


Browns meet with Haley about OC position

CLEVELAND (AP) Todd Haley has experience calling plays, beating AFC North teams and working with star quarterbacks.

Just the kind of coach who could help the Browns win.


Watt, Olsen, Watson up for Man of Year

J.J. Watt, Greg Olsen and Benjamin Watson are finalists for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

The recipient of the award that recognizes a player's contribution in his community and to society in general will be revealed on Feb. 3 at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press announces its individual NFL awards.


Kraft: Pats targets of jealousy, envy

The Latest on the NFL conference championships. (all times local):

2:45 p.m.


Titans hire Texans DC Vrabel as coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans hired Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as their new coach in a fast search that wrapped up after three interviews and just five days after firing Mike Mularkey.

The Titans announced Saturday they have agreed to terms with Vrabel. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.


Philly's 'Crisco Cops' to keep fans down

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Workers in Philadelphia are greasing light poles in a bid to prevent fans from climbing up them after the NFC Championship game.

Officials say the grease should make the poles too slippery to climb.


AFN to broadcast championship games

WASHINGTON (AP) The American Forces Network will broadcast the NFL's conference championship games on Sunday despite the federal government shutdown.

There was some question about access to the games for the U.S. military after the AFN put a message on its Facebook page on Saturday that its services would not be available because of the shutdown. The network airs American radio and television programming in Europe and other locations outside the U.S.


Cardinals' pool dwindles in coach search

PHOENIX (AP) Back when Bruce Arians announced his retirement, Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said he would be in no rush to find a new head coach.

He pointed out that Arians was the last coach hired in 2013.


Blount, Long brought Eagles winning ways

PHILADELPHIA (AP) When Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount joined the Philadelphia Eagles after winning a Super Bowl in New England, both players envisioned another title run with a team on the rise.

They had more faith than most, but the Eagles are two wins away from a parade.

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