Giants’ steps...Panthers hire Baylor’s Matt Rhule...Pistons’ Blake Griffin knee surgery

January 7, 2020 GMT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the New York Giants and Patriots assistant Joe Judge are working on a deal for him to become the team’s next head coach. Judge has won three Super Bowls with New England in eight years as an assistant on Bill Belichick’s staff. He was the fifth candidate the Giants have interviewed since firing Pat Shurmur last week. The Giants went 4-12 and 5-11 in Shurmur’s two seasons.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have announced that Baylor’s Matt Rhule has agreed to become their next head coach. Panthers owner David Tepper visited Rhule at his home in Waco, Texas, and decided he wanted him to succeed Ron Rivera, who was fired with four games remaining in the season. The 44-year-old Rhule will inherit a Panthers team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2015. Rhule helped turn around programs at Temple and Baylor, leading the Bears to an 11-1 regular season record this past season before losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville general manager David Poile has made a rare mid-season coaching change after being fed up with the Predators underachieving. Poile fired Peter Laviolette (lah-vee-uh-LET’) after returning from a pair of weekend games in California, and he has hired John Hynes as the franchise’s third head coach. Poile says the Predators are better than they have performed this season. The Predators have won the Central Division each of the past two seasons and lost in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. 

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin is out indefinitely after having surgery on his left knee. The Pistons announced Tuesday that Griffin will have an extended rehabilitation period with no timetable for his return. The 30-year-old Griffin was an NBA All-Star last season for the sixth time. He has played in just 18 games this season and is averaging a career-low 15.5 points and a career-low 4.7 rebounds per game. The Pistons probably won’t want to rush Griffin back in part because they are mired in another rebuilding season.

BOSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball says it will investigate allegations the Boston Red Sox illegally used their video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during their 2018 World Series championship season. The claims were made Tuesday in a report by The Athletic. The website cited three anonymous sources it said were with the Red Sox during the 2018 season who said some players visited the replay room during regular-season games to get information on sign sequences. The Red Sox say they will cooperate with MLB’s investigation into the allegations.