NFL notebook: Texans name Gaine GM, extend O’Brien

Sports Xchange

January 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm.

The Houston Texans hired Brian Gaine as their new general manager and extended the contract of head coach Bill O’Brien, the team announced Saturday.

Gaine signed a five-year deal and O’Brien was extended for four years, with both contracts running through 2022. O’Brien had one year remaining on the five-year contract he signed when he took over as Texans coach before the 2014 season.

Gaine returns to the Texans after one year as the Buffalo Bills’ vice president of player personnel. He previously served as Houston’s director of pro personnel and director of player personnel under general manager Rick Smith before leaving for Buffalo.

Smith has taken an extended leave of absence to be with his wife, Tiffany, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in September and has been receiving treatment in Arizona. Smith, who will retain the title of executive vice president, has worked for the Texans since 2006.

–The Chicago Bears announced Kevin M. Gilbride as their tight ends coach. Gilbride, 38, is the son of former longtime NFL offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

The younger Gilbride, 38, spent the last eight seasons with his father on the New York Giants, with the last four as the team’s tight ends coach. He has also been a position coach or offensive assistant with Syracuse, Georgetown and Temple.

Gilbride is the newest addition to the offensive ranks under new coach Matt Nagy. He joins offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, running backs coach Charles London and receivers coach Mike Furrey.

Under Gilbride’s watch, Evan Engram led all NFL rookie tight ends in receptions (64) and receiving yards (722) and tied for first in receiving touchdowns (six). Engram also led the Giants in receptions and touchdown catches while finishing second on the team in receiving yards.

–The Minnesota Vikings activated quarterback Sam Bradford off injured reserve, the team announced.

Bradford was placed on injured reserve after undergoing knee surgery on Nov. 7. The surgery was not related to the two procedures he had to repair a torn ACL in 2013 and 2014.

It’s not immediately known if Bradford will sit ahead of Teddy Bridgewater on the depth chart and serve as the backup quarterback behind Case Keenum in Sunday’s NFC divisional round playoff game versus the visiting New Orleans Saints.

Bridgewater has served as the backup since Week 10 for the Vikings, who have not had three quarterbacks listed as active since Mike Zimmer became their coach. Bridgewater was activated off injured reserve on the same day that Bradford was placed on IR.

–The Seattle Seahawks have reportedly found their replacement for former offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Brian Schottenheimer, who spent the past two seasons as quarterbacks coach of the Indianapolis Colts, has been offered the offensive coordinator’s job with Seattle, multiple media outlets reported.

ESPN, citing a league source, reported that Schottenheimer was expected to be hired by Seattle, while the NFL Network reported that the Seahawks offered him the job “before other teams got involved.”

The son of former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, the younger Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator with the New York Jets from 2006-11 and held the same position with the St. Louis Rams from 2012-14.

–Tom Cable is on the verge of returning to the Bay Area.

Cable is expected to become the offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

The 53-year-old Cable worked as the Raiders offensive line coach in 2007 before becoming the team’s interim head coach four games into the 2008 season after Lane Kiffin was fired. Cable was named head coach the following season and posted a 17-27 mark over parts of three seasons at the helm.

Cable has spent the last seven seasons working as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks before being dismissed on Wednesday.

—The three men most responsible for turning the New England Patriots into a perennial power will wait until after the season to settle any differences, according to a report.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will sit down with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady to “clear the air” of any lingering tensions, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported.

Reigning Super Bowl champion New England was set to host the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night in an AFC divisional round playoff game.

The report comes a week after the Patriots denied there was friction among the trio, which reportedly stemmed from a dispute over the trade of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco earlier this season.

–Patriots running backs Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee are expected to sit out Saturday’s AFC divisional round playoff game against the visiting Tennessee Titans, multiple outlets reported.

Burkhead and Gillislee are both listed as questionable with knee injuries.

Fellow running back James White, however, is expected to play, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. Last year’s Super Bowl hero has missed the past two games with an ankle injury and is officially listed as questionable to play versus Tennessee.

White, 25, reeled in 56 receptions for 429 yards and three touchdowns to go along with his 171 rushing yards this season.

–The NFL is considering a knee injury that may have contributed to quarterback Cam Newton’s fall to the ground as the league investigates whether the Carolina Panthers properly followed concussion protocol last weekend, ESPN reported.

Newton was also poked in the eye during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-26 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC wild-card game. The NFL reportedly learned of his knee injury while interviewing Panthers officials over the phone this week.

The 2015 NFL MVP slowly got to his feet after a hard hit to the head from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata. Newton made his way toward the sideline but then dropped to a knee before getting off the field.

Newton was taken to the team’s blue medical tent but not the locker room, which is a violation of the new NFL rules.

–Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was active for Saturday’s playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons.

However, rookie cornerback Sidney Jones, the other Philadelphia player who was listed as questionable, was among the team’s inactives.

Ellerbe, who signed with the Eagles in November, was expected to play after he was a full participant in Thursday’s practice. He made eight tackles while starting the final two games.

Jones, a 2017 second-round pick, was activated in Week 17 after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon sustained in a workout before the draft. He played in the final regular-season game against the Dallas Cowboys and recorded two tackles.

–San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was arrested and charged with second-degree marijuana possession on Friday, according to records from the Tuscaloosa County (Ala.) Sheriff’s Office.

Bond was set at $2,500 for Foster, who was a first-team All-American for the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2016 and also won the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in college.

California legalized recreational marijuana on Jan. 1. Under Alabama state criminal law, second-degree possession is a Class A misdemeanor.

Foster recorded a team second-best 72 tackles in 10 games during his rookie season after being selected with the 31st overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.