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Published: Saturday, 1/28/2012

Childress to call plays for Browns

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brad Childress, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, was hired as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator. Brad Childress, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, was hired as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator.
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CLEVELAND -- Pat Shurmur brought in a close friend to help him fix Cleveland's broken offense.

Shurmur hired former Minnesota coach Brad Childress as his first offensive coordinator on Friday, reuniting two coaches who spent seven seasons together on Andy Reid's staff with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Browns confirmed Childress' hiring with a release that did not include any quotes.

Childress, who spent nearly five seasons with the Vikings before he was fired in 2010, will try to improve the Browns' dismal offense, which scored just 218 points last season, finished 29th in total yardage, 28th in rushing and 24th in passing. He'll also have input in the team's vital decision at starting quarterback -- a choice that could impact the club for years.

Baseball

NEW YORK -- Commissioner Bud Selig expects baseball to expand its playoffs this season.

Players and owners have already agreed to add an additional wild-card team in each league, but are still deciding whether it would take effect this year or in 2013. Selig said there are scheduling issues to be worked out -- once they are, the new 10-team format would begin with a one-game playoff.

"I really believe we'll have the wild card for 2012, this year," Selig said Friday night in Chicago at a White Sox fan festival. "Clubs really want it. I don't think I've ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card this year."

Golf

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Tiger Woods moved into contention in the second round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, shooting a 3-under 69 on Friday to finish two shots behind leader Thorbjorn Olesen.

Olesen, from Denmark, shot a 67 to reach 7 under. Teen stars Matteo Mannasero of Italy and Gareth Maybin of Northern Ireland were a stroke back. Mannasero shot a 65, and Maybin had a 70.

Rory McIlroy was in the group with Woods at 5 under after a 72 that included a two-stroke penalty for brushing away sand in front of his ball on the fringe at the ninth hole.

Top-ranked Luke Donald was 1 under after a 72.

■ SAN DIEGO -- Kyle Stanley made more than enough birdies to offset one big mistake, giving him a 4-under 68 on the South Course at Torrey Pines and a one-shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Stanley went over the back of the 14th green and into the hazard for a double bogey, but he made five birdies the rest of the way and wound up one shot clear of Brandt Snedeker, who had a 64 on the North Course.

Phil Mickelson could only manage a 68 on the North Course after opening with a 77 on the South. He missed the cut in his hometown tournament for the first time in 10 years.

College football

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin extended the contract of coach Bret Bielema through the end of the 2016 season.

Bielema, who got a raise to $2.5 million last February, had his five-year deal extended through Jan. 31, 2017. Wisconsin is 60-19 in six seasons since Bielema was promoted from defensive coordinator to replace Barry Alvarez.



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