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UNC Defensive Coordinator Art Kaufman Joins Texas Tech Staff

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has asked an old assistant to come run the Red Raiders defense. TTU announced this evening that former North Carolina defensive coordinator Art Kaufman was joining Tuberville’s staff in the same capacity. Kaufman spent this year as the Tar Heels’ DC while Everett Withers was the team’s interim coach; prior to 2011, Kaufman spent the previous two seasons as UNC’s linebackers coach. (NBC Sports)

Robert Quinn named in second lawsuit by former agent

Former North Carolina football player Robert Quinn is being sued by his former agent Carl Carey. Carey’s recent lawsuit expands on a similar suit filed in July that sought damages from Quinn for breach of contract after the former UNC defensive end and eventual NFL first-round draft pick changed management from Champion Proconsulting Group and Carl Carey to Impact Sports Football. (WRAL Sports Fan)

Hakeem Nicks has big day and earns spotlight with performance against Falcons

Nicks caught six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns and —in Cruz fashion —added a touchdown dance to boot. “I didn’t feel like I had to prove anything, I just felt like I had to play my game,” said Nicks, who had been hampered by a hamstring injury recently. (Newark Star-Ledger)

Hakeem Nicks part of WR duo that gives Giants options on offense

Hakeem Nicks knows it will happen at some point. Sometime this summer, when the season has long been over, the Giants’ No. 1 wideout will ponder everything he accomplished. He will consider what he did with Victor Cruz, how, together, he and Cruz helped shift the Giants’ offensive philosophy and rewrote the team receiving record books. (New York Daily News)

Yates guides Texans to first playoff win

The Houston Texans turned to their kids to win the first playoff appearance in franchise history, a 31-10 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals. J.J. and T.J. and Andre and Arian. Rookie J.J. Watt's interception return for a touchdown late in the first half propelled the Texans in Saturday's AFC wild-card game. Third-string quarterback T.J. Yates, another rookie pressed into action, then threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson. (Raleigh News & Observer)

Yates, not Dalton, plays like a veteran QB

When Matt Schaub was knocked out for the season in Week 10, the Texans were left for dead. The next game, that thought was confirmed when Matt Leinart suffered a season-ending injury (after all, if you’re counting on Leinart to be your savior, you know your team is screwed). But then Yates happened. (CBS Sports)

TJ Yates prepares for biggest game of his young career

Rookie T.J. Yates is starting the biggest game of his brief career Saturday against Cincinnati. He’s under a lot of pressure not to make mistakes that cost them the game. He’s trying to keep things in perspective. “I’ve tried to keep everything the same just like a normal week just so you don’t get out of whack at all and start thinking about outside stuff,” Yates said. (Houston Chronicle)

T.J. Yates not feeling like a rookie as he guides Texans to first-ever playoff game

T.J. Yates figured he’d spend his rookie year with the Houston Texans on the sideline learning from veteran quarterback Matt Schaub. That plan changed when Schaub and backup Matt Leinart had season-ending injuries. Yates was thrust into the starting job and responded by guiding the Texans to their first playoff berth. Now the fifth-round pick will lead the franchise in the biggest game of its 10-year history. (Washington Post)

Texans’ TJ Yates shows his toughness in brief appearance against Titans

When the Texans host Cincinnati in the first playoff game in franchise history on Saturday, they expect to have rookie T.J. Yates as their starting quarterback. What Yates accomplished in one series during Sunday’s 23-22 loss to Tennessee may have been more impressive than anything he’d done to this point. (Houston Chronicle)

Greg Little, Browns' receivers make sure-handed plays

Greg Little had become notorious for allowing balls to slip through his fingers. However, against the Cardinals, Little caught five passes for 131 yards. He helped turn what essentially was a broken play into a 76-yard touchdown reception. The performance looked as if it could very well have been a breakthrough for Little. (Cleveland Browns)

Return man Brandon Tate gives and receives

Brandon Tate has taken his share of flack this season for some of his decision-making as the Bengals’ return specialist. Tate not only sparked Sunday’s 20-13 victory at the Edward Jones Dome against the St. Louis Rams with a record-breaking punt return in the third quarter but he sealed it by alertly recovering an onside kick with 66 seconds left to play. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Brandon Tate keeps Bengals in playoff state

It sounded as if his teammates agreed with Bengals special teams ace Brandon Johnson after wide receiver Brandon Tate broke opened what was turning into a can of worms in the hollows of the Edward Jones Dome. “He definitely gets my game ball,” Johnson said after Tate’s 56-yard punt return rustled the Bengals out of a 6-6 game late in the third quarter against the 2-12 Rams. (Bengals.com)

Biggest day of the year doesn't end with a win for Greg Little

Through the first four quarters, Browns receiver Greg Little looked more like a Pro Bowler and Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald like a rookie. But Little's sensational performance -- including a 76-yard TD catch from Seneca Wallace -- fizzled when the Browns lost, 20-17, in overtime. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Robert Quinn: Blocking punts like rushing the passer

Rookie DE Robert Quinn blocked his third punt of the season on Sunday. The block led to a 43-yard Josh Brown FG. “It’s kind of like rushing the passer with less responsibilities,” Quinn said. (CBS Sports)

Video: Julius Peppers forces a fumble

Julius Peppers knocks the ball away from Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson in the end zone, and the Bears pounce on it for six. (NFL.com)

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