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Monte Kiffin to Cowboys; Chris Rainey's girlfriend denies assault, lawyer says

Monte Kiffin replaces Rob Ryan as Dallas’ defensive coordinator, a post he held with the Bucs until 2008.

Monte Kiffin replaces Rob Ryan as Dallas’ defensive coordinator, a post he held with the Bucs until 2008.

IRVING, Texas — The Cowboys hired ex-Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin for the same position Friday. He replaces fired Rob Ryan.

"I came away from the interview process with (coach Jason Garrett) with a feeling that Dallas is the right place to be," Kiffin said. "He has this team headed in the right direction."

The hiring of Kiffin, who turns 73 next month, means Dallas will switch to the 4-3. As a result, Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware will become a defensive end.

"I have spent the better part of the past two days in conversation with Monte," Garrett said. "And we feel very good about our personnel being able to fit the philosophy."

Kiffin hasn't coached in the NFL since leaving the Bucs in 2008 after 13 seasons. Since then he has been the defensive coordinator for son Lane at Tennessee and USC. He stepped down from USC after this season.

Ryan, meanwhile, was hired as Rams defensive coordinator, the New York Post reported. Coach Jeff Fisher was unavailable for comment.

Lawyer: Rainey girlfriend wants charge dropped

GAINESVILLE — The girlfriend of ex-Florida running back Chris Rainey said she was not assaulted and wants the charge against him dropped, his lawyer said.

Rainey was charged with simple battery Thursday after an altercation over Rainey's cell phone that included him slapping the girlfriend in the face, Gainesville police said. Soon after, the Steelers announced they would release him.

Rainey's lawyer read what he said was an email from the unidentified woman during a bond hearing. It said witnesses were mistaken, and officers found no marks on the woman, Johnson said. Rainey was released on his own recognizance after the hearing but ordered not to have contact with the woman.

"This is a nonevent," Johnson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I don't think this happened."

Browns make hiring of Chudzinski official

CLEVELAND — Rob Chudzinski, who grew up in Akron, Ohio, a Browns fan, was introduced as the team's coach. "It's a dream come true," said Chudzinski, 44, previously the Panthers offensive coordinator, "almost unbelievable in a lot of ways."

Cleveland came close to a deal to hire Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

"Rob was always on our radar screen," owner Jimmy Haslam said. "Rob has been identified as a top, bright, young guy for a long time."

Chudzinski didn't comment on reports he will hire Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. He once was the Chargers tight ends coach for Turner, whom San Diego recently fired.

Jay Gruden busy: Jay Gruden, Bengals' offensive coordinator, brother of Jon and ex-Storm quarterback, said he will interview with the Eagles on Monday. He also will schedule an interview with the Chargers, the NFL Network said. He interviewed with the Cardinals on Thursday.

More coaching-go-round: Canadian Football League coach Marc Trestman denied he is set to be hired as Bears coach. Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson said on Twitter it looked like Trestman would be hired. … Seahawks defensive coor­dinator Gus Bradley interviewed with the Chargers. … Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will interview for the coaching job, espn.com reported.

Titans: The contract of Alan Lowry, the special teams coach for the past 14 seasons who drew up the "Music City Miracle," will not be renewed, the Tennessean in Nashville reported.

Tebow 'mess:' Mike Westhoff, the Jets' recently retired special teams coordinator, said the way they handled quarterback Tim Tebow was "an absolute mess. … If you throw him right in the middle of a drop-back passing offense, he will look very, very average at best. But if you incorporate him in different facets of your offense, I think he can be a factor. That's what I felt we were going to do, but we never did it."

No RG3 investigation: The players union said it won't investigate how the Redskins' medical staff handled QB Robert Griffin III. It said it was assured Griffin did not play after being diagnosed with a severe injury. He had surgery on his right knee this week to repair two torn ligaments.

Monte Kiffin to Cowboys; Chris Rainey's girlfriend denies assault, lawyer says 01/11/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:22am]

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