Here's the latest candidate to replace Andy Reid

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Here's the latest candidate to replace Andy Reid

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have interviewed former Ravens coach and current Fox analyst Brian Billick for their coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press on Sunday.Billick, who led Baltimore to a Super Bowl title in the 2000 season, met with the Eagles last Monday, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss it.The Eagles are known to have interviewed eight other candidates, including three high-profile college coaches who decided to stay at their schools. They were Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Oregon's Chip Kelly and Penn State's Bill O'Brien.Philadelphia fired Andy Reid on Dec. 31, a day after finishing 4-12 in his 14th season.Billick hasn't coached since 2007. He was 80-64 in nine seasons with the Ravens, leading them to two division titles and a 5-3 record in four playoff appearances.CSNPhilly.com first reported Billick's interview.The 58-year-old Billick began his NFL coaching career in Minnesota as a tight ends coach in 1992. After two seasons, he was promoted to offensive coordinator and helped the Vikings set a then-record 556 points in 1998.Billick became the second coach in Ravens history in 1999 and guided them to a Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants in his second season.Known for having a dynamic offense in Minnesota, Billick never come close to matching it in Baltimore. His offense never ranked higher than 14th in total yards and cracked the top 10 in points just once.Of course, talent had a part in that. The Vikings had Randall Cunningham and Daunte Culpepper as their quarterbacks, along with star wide receivers Cris Carter and Randy Moss and running back Robert Smith.Billick's Ravens were built on strong defenses led by Ray Lewis and Co. They finished in the top six in total yards in eight of Billick's nine seasons.Billick assembled quite a coaching staff in Baltimore. Six of his assistants became head coaches, including Mike Smith (Atlanta), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati), Rex Ryan (New York Jets), Mike Singletary (San Francisco), Mike Nolan (San Francisco) and Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville).The Eagles have an interview scheduled with Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday and are expected to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians this week.They met with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Saturday, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Seattle lost to Atlanta on Sunday, so the Eagles are free to hire Bradley if he's their choice.Owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski interviewed former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith on Thursday. They previously met with Atlanta assistants Nolan and Keith Armstrong and Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Texas Hold'em: Noel would interest Celts, but Mavs probably won't let him go

Texas Hold'em: Noel would interest Celts, but Mavs probably won't let him go

The Celtics' two main targets in free agency are expected to be Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. But what if neither signs here . . . or what if the C's have other plans? This week, we'll look at some of  'The Other Guys' who might interest the Celtics: TODAY: Dallas' Nerlens Noel.

BOSTON -- When the Celtics had trade talks with Philadelphia last season, it was no secret they had their eyes set on Nerlens Noel.
 
The 23-year-old has shown tremendous potential as an elite, rim-protecting big man.

THE OTHER GUYS: POTENTIAL CELTIC FREE-AGENT TARGETS


The Dallas Mavericks saw those same qualities, which is why they engineered a trade for him last season despite knowing he would be a restricted free agent this summer.
 
And while he would certainly be the kind of player Boston would absolutely love to add to the mix, seeing the Mavericks go in a different direction seems highly unlikely.
 
But until he signs with the Mavericks or any other team, the Celtics can’t be totally discounted as a possibility if they strike out on Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin.
 
WE LIKE HIM BECAUSE . . .
 
His proven body of work and his potential. Noel has shown flashes of being a decent player offensively, but he’s going to get paid handsomely this summer because of his defense and rebounding.
 
According to Basketball-reference.com, Noel has been among the NBA’s top 10 in defensive box plus/minus two of his three NBA seasons.
 
During the 2014-15 season, his defensive plus/minus was +4.5 (fourth in the NBA) and the following season it was +3.4 (eighth in the NBA).
 
And while his upside is viewed primarily through a defensive prism, his presence on the floor seemed to provide a much-needed jolt to the Mavericks offensively.
 
In his 22 games with Dallas, he averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds with a solid offensive rating of 106.1.
 
NOT CRAZY ABOUT . . .
 
You love Noel’s length and athleticism, but you wish he would add some weight to withstand the physical rigors of playing primarily in the post. In an ideal world, Noel will add another 10-15 pounds, which would put him weight-wise similar to another standout Maverick from a few years back, Tyson Chandler. But Noel’s narrow shoulders and pogo-stick thick legs will likely result in his current 228-pound frame not changing much in the near future. He will still be a factor defensively, but there will be nights when stronger, more physical centers will give him problems. Fortunately for him and the Mavericks, big men whose strength is well, their strength, are becoming scarce in this new age of position-less basketball in the NBA.
 
IN CONCLUSION . . .
 
Noel would look really good in a Celtics uniform, but there’s little to no chance the Mavericks allow him to get away. They've made it clear that re-signing the 6-foot-11 big man is their top priority. And short of Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry saying they want to become a Maverick, it’s highly unlikely Dallas will change course.
 
PRICE TAG
 
Four-year, $106.4 million. That’s the most a team outside of Dallas can offer the soon-to-be restricted free agent. Noel knows the Mavericks won’t hesitate to offer him a max contract, which would give him more guaranteed years (five), better raises (eight percent versus five percent) and a total package of $143.55 million, which is more than $37 million beyond what other teams like the Celtics can offer.
 
Again, something would have to go unexpectedly wrong for Noel to wind up on any roster other than the Mavericks.

Bruins sign restricted free agent Acciari to two-year deal

Bruins sign restricted free agent Acciari to two-year deal

The Bruins have locked up a potential fourth-line piece for next season at a bargain basement price.

The B's signed Rhode Island native and Providence College alum Noel Acciari, a restricted free agent, to a two-year deal worth $1.45 million, a contract that breaks down to a very affordable $725,000 cap hit for each of the next two seasons. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound bowling ball of a forward finished with two goals and five points in 29 games for the Bruins last season, and has appeared in 48 games at the NHL level over the last two seasons in Boston. It was also encouraging that Acciari seemed to be tapping a bit more into his offense toward the end of the season, and was building some confidence for whatever modest offense he’ll end up bringing to the NHL table once he’s reached his potential ceiling as a player.

Clearly the two-year, one-way deal portends that Acciari, 25, will be counted on as a high energy, hard-hitting fourth-line player who does a good job of aggravating opponents while playing at full tilt. The real question is whether his body can hold up with his maximum effort style of playing, and whether he can avoid serious injuries with some of the car-crash level of violence he puts in his hitting.

Acciari has battled several different injuries over the last couple of seasons, but managed to be healthy enough to log time in the playoffs for both Boston and the P-Bruins.

Either way it’s a low-risk, affordable contract for the Bruins for a young player who, if healthy, will be a large piece on their fourth line as a diligent worker and excellent teammate. So that’s a good proactive signing for Don Sweeney as he continues to work on a more complicated contract for a higher profile player like David Pastrnak.