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Edwards is hired to coach Chiefs

Herman Edwards was hired as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday, replacing the retired Dick Vermeil and inheriting a team that barely missed the playoffs.

The Chiefs will give Edwards's former team, the New York Jets, a fourth-round draft pick as compensation. Edwards had two years left on his contract with New York.

At a news conference, Edwards insisted his players would embody teamwork, saying ''talent alone doesn't win games. Teams win games."

Edwards, who was a Chiefs assistant in the mid-1990s, also issued a warning: Don't ask about what happened during those last tumultuous days in New York.

''It's good to be back home. It's good to be here. I believe in family. And what happened in New York stays in New York," he said.

Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson called his longtime friend Edwards ''one of the most qualified head football coaches in the NFL today."

The Jets are talking to Jim Haslett, Mike Tice, and Joe Vitt, all of whom were head coaches in the NFL this season, about replacing Edwards.

GM Terry Bradway said Haslett, fired last week by New Orleans, spoke with Jets officials yesterday. He said the team also will talk to Tice, Minnesota's ex-coach, and Vitt, who went 4-7 as interim coach of the St. Louis Rams.

Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini is a candidate, and Bradway also indicated he has talked to the Giants about arranging an interview with their defensive coordinator, Tim Lewis.

In-house possibilities are offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson, and assistant head coach/special teams coach Mike Westhoff.

Cottrell is fired

Newly hired Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and is considering Tampa Bay assistant Mike Tomlin for the job.

Cottrell, who helped turn the Vikings' weakest link into a strength over the second half of last season, was interviewed for the head coaching job before the Vikings hired Childress.

Tomlin, 33, has been the defensive backs coach in Tampa since 2001. Cottrell was fired Sunday.

Palmer absolves foe

Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer won't dwell on the play that doomed the Bengals' first playoff appearance in 15 years. He tore a knee ligament on his first pass during a 31-17 loss to Pittsburgh Sunday. Palmer yesterday was unsure when he'd have reconstructive surgery and was unable to say definitively whether he'll be fully recovered in time for training camp. As for the tackle that led to it all, Palmer said Kimo von Oelhoffen did nothing. ''From what I've heard, he's a classy guy," Palmer said. ''Football is football. I don't think it was malicious at all." . . . New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and running back Tiki Barber appeared to have resolved their differences over remarks Barber made after Sunday's NFC wild-card game loss to Carolina. Barber said after the game that the Giants were outcoached by Carolina's John Fox, a former Giants defensive coordinator. Coughlin took the unusual step of calling Barber in to look at game films of the 23-0 loss. ''I was upset because in the true concept of team it is not about pointing the finger," Coughlin said. ''We are all in this together."

Taylor hit with fine

Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was fined $17,000 by the NFL for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman in Saturday's playoff game . . . Former Dallas Cowboys defensive back Dwayne Goodrich was sentenced to five more years in prison for three counts of failure to stop and render aid in the 2003 hit-and-run deaths of two good Samaritans . . . Jack Snow, a star wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams and a longtime team broadcaster, died last night in St. Louis, the club said. He was 62. Snow had been hospitalized on and off for the past two months with a staph infection. Snow was the father of Gold Glove first baseman J.T. Snow, who signed last week with the Red Sox.

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