Sports Briefs 1-28-14

TOM WITHERSAP Sports Writer Published:

CLEVELAND -- Browns coach Mike Pettine hired Jim O'Neil as his defensive coordinator on Monday, reuniting him with the coach who helped him turn around Buffalo's defense last season.

Pettine also retained special teams coordinator Chris Tabor from Rob Chudzinski's staff.

In addition, Pettine plucked assistants Chuck Driesbach (linebackers), Brian Fleury (assistant linebackers coach) and Jeff Hafley (secondary) off the staff he worked on in Buffalo as defensive coordinator.

Pettine made Brian Angelichio, who spent the past two seasons in Tampa Bay, his tight ends coach and kept Bobby Babich (assistant secondary coach) and Shawn Mennenga (assistant special teams coach) from Cleveland's previous staff.

• Football

Carroll in support: Pete Carroll is in support of the NFL looking further into whether medicinal marijuana could be beneficial for players.

The Seattle Seahawks coach said Monday he supports Commissioner Roger Goodell's message last week that the league could consider medicinal marijuana as a treatment if science proved it could benefit players who have sustained concussions.

Goodell approves: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is showing the Pro Bowl more love after previously threatening to cancel it if play didn't improve.

Goodell said in an ESPN Radio interview that participants played harder and made Sunday's game very competitive.

Seau family plans to object: The family of the late NFL star Junior Seau plans to object to the proposed $765 million settlement of player concussion claims because the fund would not pay wrongful death claims to survivors.

Cold-weather Super Bowls: A team owner who helped bring an outdoor Super Bowl to a cold-weather site wants the game in the New York-New Jersey area every 10 years.

• Basketball

No moves on top: Arizona and Syracuse are 1-2 in The Associated Press college basketball poll for the eighth consecutive week.

Florida jumped from sixth to third while Wichita State (21-0), the other undefeated Division I team, moved up one spot to fourth.

San Diego State and Kansas both moved up two places to fifth and sixth. They were followed by Michigan State, which dropped from third, Oklahoma State, Villanova and Michigan.

UConn still No. 1: Connecticut remains No. 1 in The Associated Press poll after two easy victories while Middle Tennessee makes it first appearance in the poll since 2009.

Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford and Louisville followed the Huskies, with the first five teams unchanged in Monday's vote.

• Olympics

U.S. to bring 230 athletes: The United States will bring 230 athletes to the Sochi Olympics, the largest delegation ever for any country at the Winter Games. The previous record was 216 by the U.S. in 2010 in Vancouver.

NHL undecided: The NHL has not decided whether to let its players participate in the Olympics beyond this year, casting doubt on who will be competing for hockey gold in four years.

• Elsewhere

Blue Jackets fall: Jordan Staal scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:55 remaining to help the Hurricanes rally for a 3-2 home win over the Blue Jackets.

R.J. Umberger and Derek MacKenzie scored for the Blue Jackets. Columbus lost its second straight after stringing together eight wins in a row.

Reds sign Nelson: Infielder Chris Nelson and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a minor league contract.

The 28-year-old third baseman played for the Rockies, Yankees and Angels last season, batting a combined .227 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 64 games. Cincinnati said Monday he will report to big league spring training.

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