Del Rio keeps job as Jags coach

After conducting his most extensive review in 15 years, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver decided to stick with coach Jack Del Rio.

At least for another year.

Weaver held a half-day meeting with Del Rio on Tuesday, then said the two would continue their rebuilding project with the Jaguars.

"I believe in Jack, that he's the guy," Weaver said two days before his 75th birthday. "After going through this process, Jack is the guy that can get us there. The fans have to have enough trust in me to believe that I'm making the right decision for the franchise."

The announcement came amid reports that Del Rio was a candidate to succeed Pete Carroll at Southern California.

Carroll left USC to become the Seattle Seahawks' coach. The Los Angeles Daily News reported Monday that Del Rio, an All-America linebacker for the Trojans in 1984, had been sent a contract to sign. The USC job went to Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin.

Del Rio, a Ravens linebacker coach from 1999 to 2001, is 58-57 in seven seasons and has just one playoff victory in Jacksonville. This season, the Jaguars appeared headed to the playoffs before losing their final four games and finishing 7-9, last in the AFC South for the second straight season.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Packers defensive back Charles Woodson received the honor after tying for the league lead with nine interceptions, returning three for touchdowns.

Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy recipient, is the first cornerback chosen top defensive player since Deion Sanders in 1994.

He received 28 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters, doubling the number of votes for Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis in becoming the first Green Bay winner since Reggie White in 1998 and just the second Packer in the 36-year history of the award.

Woodson had 63 unassisted tackles and 18 assists, according to the Packers, plus 21 passes defended, four forced fumbles and one recovery, two sacks for 18 yards and three quarterback hits.

SEAHAWKS: Chief executive Tod Leiweke takes issue with criticism he was less than genuine in interviewing minority candidates before Seattle hired Carroll as coach and executive vice president.

Speaking Tuesday moments after he introduced Carroll as coach, Leiweke said he offered the Seahawks president's job last month to former Colts and Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy.

He cited it as proof that he embraced the league's Rooney Rule. Seattle satisfied the rule by interviewing Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

In other news, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press that Texans assistant head coach Alex Gibbs has agreed to join Carroll's staff in an unspecified role.

BILLS: Cardinals assistant coach Russ Grimm has been given permission to talk to Buffalo about its head coaching job.

CHIEFS: Former Browns head coach Romeo Crennel has spoken to the Giants by telephone about their vacant defensive coordinator's job, but he said he is giving Kansas City the first shot at hiring him.

BENGALS: Cincinnati re-signed Mike Zimmer as defensive coordinator.

The team, which ranked 27th in the 2007 NFL yardage rankings, rose to fourth in Zimmer's second year as the Bengals won the AFC North.

DOLPHINS: The National Football Post, citing a league source, reports that Miami is expected to hire former Giants defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan to coach its linebackers.

JETS: Punter Steve Weatherford has passed a stress test and should be fine for Sunday's playoff game at San Diego.

Weatherford missed Saturday's victory at Cincinnati because of a rapid heartbeat.

In other news, wide receiver Braylon Edwards has been placed on probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor aggravated disorderly conduct in Cleveland.

CARDINALS: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin says he feels much better and is optimistic about his chances of playing in Saturday's divisional playoff game in New Orleans.