Falcons fire defensive coordinator, line coach

After squandering a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons are shaking up their defensive staff.

The team said Wednesday that Coach Dan Quinn has dismissed coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox, though there’s a chance Smith could stay with the Falcons in an advisory role.

The changes mean the NFC champions will have two new coordinators next season. Kyle Shanahan left to become head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and was replaced as offensive coordinator by Steve Sarkisian.

Smith will likely be replaced by a coach already on staff. The Falcons are considering defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel, linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich and defensive passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson.

Cox, a member of the Patriots’ 2001 championship team, coached the Falcons’ defensive line the past four seasons.

 Coming off a 1-15 season, the Cleveland Browns are lowering the price of many tickets.

The Browns said reducing ticket prices “was the right thing to do for our fans.” Tickets will be decreased in 40 percent of FirstEnergy Stadium, and no season ticket prices will increase.

 The Eagles released cornerback Leodis McKelvin, saving $3.2 million in salary- cap space.

McKelvin started 12 games in his only season in Philadelphia. He had two interceptions, including one returned 29 yards for a touchdown.

McKelvin played his first eight seasons with the Bills.


NHL: Jonathan Toews scored a power-play goal 3:09 into overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks over the host Minnesota Wild, 4-3.

Toews also had two assists, and Richard Panik had a goal and an assist for Chicago.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Erik Guay led Canada over the favored Norwegians in the super-G at St. Moritz, Switzerland, and became the sport’s oldest gold-medal winner.

The 35-year-old Guay beat Olympic super-G champion Kjetil Jansrud by 0.45 seconds – his first victory in almost three years.

Norway seemed sure to also take bronze, but late-starting Manny Osborne-Paradis of Canada edged World Cup champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde off the podium.

On his 33rd birthday, Osborne-Paradis claimed his first career championship medal, trailing Guay by 0.51.


NASCAR: The series will not permit damaged race cars to return to the track this season unless the repairs can be made on pit road within a tight window, one of a series of rule updates announced Wednesday.

NASCAR also announced that it will have a traveling safety crew starting this season, creating a consistent medical staff that drivers have been pushing for the last several years.


RYDER CUP: Captain Jim Furyk is tweaking the U.S. points system to put more value on winning PGA Tour events than high finishes in the majors.

Furyk also said that the final pick will be made after the BMW Championship in 2018 instead of a last-minute decision before the Americans leave for Paris.


OPEN SUD DE FRANCE: Dustin Brown hit eight aces and didn’t face a break point as he upset top-seeded Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4 at Montpellier.