PHOENIX — NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said Thursday the inspection of the footballs by referee Walt Anderson before the AFC championship game was handled properly.

Blandino also said the process of checking the footballs and security surrounding the inspections will be enhanced Sunday for the Super Bowl.

As the league’s investigation into the New England Patriots’ use of under-inflated footballs moves along, Blandino made it clear the officiating crew for New England’s win over Indianapolis did its job.

“My major concern is did we follow proper protocol?” Blandino said. “Everything was properly tested and marked before the game. (Anderson) gauged the footballs himself; it is something he has done throughout his career.

“Officiating is not part of the investigation.”

BROWNS: Receiver Josh Gordon said that his latest trouble with the NFL results from having a few drinks with teammates.

Gordon, 23, said in an open letter that he accepts responsibility for a failed alcohol test that could bring another suspension from the league. He said he had two beers and two other drinks with teammates on a Jan. 2 flight to Las Vegas after Cleveland’s season ended.

JETS: The team hired Rex Hogan as senior director of college scouting.

Hogan spent the last 12 years in Chicago’s scouting department, working as a national scout the last three seasons after serving as a college scout for nine years. He replaces Terry Bradway, who was fired by new general manager Mike Maccagnan two weeks ago along with director of college scouting Jeff Bauer.

CARDINALS: Running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was placed on probation in a case stemming from alleged assaults on his wife during arguments at their apartment last year.

Dwyer pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 18 months of probation plus community service.

WASHINGTON: Chad Grimm was hired as a defensive quality control coach.

Grimm’s father is Russ Grimm, the Hall of Fame guard who helped the team win three Super Bowls as a member of the famed “Hogs” offensive line.