Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Atlanta Falcons' wide receiver Roddy White makes a catch before being brought down during the game against Carolina earlier this season.
FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons receiver Roddy White has made his fourth straight Pro Bowl roster.
White was added to the NFC Pro Bowl team on Wednesday as a replacement for injured Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson.
White had 100 catches for 1,296 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He led the NFC in receptions for the second straight year and finished second in the league.
He is the eighth player in NFL history to have at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards in five straight seasons.
White joins tight end Tony Gonzalez as Atlanta's representatives in the Jan. 29 game.
Johnson missed practice with an Achilles injury last week, but had 211 yards receiving with two touchdowns in Detroit's 45-28 loss at New Orleans on Saturday night in the playoffs.
Jets hire Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator
NEW YORK -- The future of Mark Sanchez and the Jets' offense is now in Tony Sparano's hands.
The Jets hired the former Miami Dolphins coach as their offensive coordinator Wednesday to replace Brian Schottenheimer and take over an offense that struggled mightily this season as New York failed to make the playoffs.
"When we sat down with Tony, I knew that he was the right person at the right time for our offense," coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. "I've admired his work as a competitor in the division for the past three seasons. His teams were always physical, tough and hard-nosed."
The team announced the hiring just over 12 hours after announcing that Schottenheimer told the Jets he wouldn't return next season despite having two years left on his contract. Schottenheimer, the son of former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, was highly criticized for the Jets' inconsistencies as they ranked 25th overall in offense. He also took a lot of the blame for Sanchez not progressing as expected in his third year.
Jaguars: Mularkey is a smart, not splashy, hire
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mike Mularkey is far from a splashy hire.
The Jacksonville Jaguars know it, and everyone around the league seems to be talking about it.
New owner Shahid Khan he spoke with some big-name candidates, and then decided to make the "smart" choice by hiring Mularkey. The former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator was introduced as the franchise's fourth head coach Wednesday and did little to alter his reputation as a colorless coach.
The Jaguars didn't seem to mind.
Although there were some who thought Khan would spend big for a well-known coach, he questioned whether those guys would be successful "after the splash." He believes Mularkey will.
"When you start sobering up, how does it feel?" Khan said. "That's the key issue. After the binge, how do you feel? ... A wonderful thing about football is everybody looks great until the ball is snapped. Once the ball is snapped, results speak for themselves and we know in September how good a job he is doing preparing, strategizing, (assembling) the staff. It will all come out. By that time, the buzz, the splash, is going to be history."
Mularkey, meanwhile, said he expects to be a better head coach than his brief stint in Buffalo. Mularkey learned a lot from his days with the Bills (2004-05), including that he shouldn't call plays. So the longtime coordinator will give up play-calling duties and hire an offensive guru.
The Tebow Show lures in new television viewers
NEW YORK -- Just how many television viewers tuned into Sunday's Steelers-Broncos game solely because of Tim Tebow?
Consider the wild-card playoff matchup in the same time slot last year for a rough estimate.
In 2011, Packers-Eagles attracted what at the time seemed like a massive audience. It averaged 39.3 million viewers and earned the highest rating for a wild-card game in a dozen years, an especially impressive feat considering most shows on TV draw far fewer people than they did a decade ago.
The game seemed to have all the elements to pull in lots of eyeballs. A nationally popular team in Green Bay. A large market in Philadelphia. A lightning-rod quarterback of its own in Michael Vick. A close score.
A wild-card matchup couldn't bring in many more viewers than that in this era, right? Well, Denver's overtime win Sunday averaged 42.4 million viewers, an 8 percent increase. It was the highest-rated wild-card game in 18 years.
Next, Tebow and the Broncos face the New England Patriots, a highly popular team in their own right. The clubs' regular-season meeting last month drew a huge audience.
Cowboys OL coach retiring after 29 NFL seasons
IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck is retiring, ending a 45-year coaching career that included 29 in the NFL.
Houck spent 13 seasons over two stints with the Cowboys. He returned to Dallas in 2008. His contract expired after this season, and the 69-year-old coach said it was the right time to retire.
Secondary coach Dave Campo also isn't returning with his contract expiring. Campo was a longtime assistant who also went 15-33 in three seasons as the Cowboys head coach.
The Cowboys are hiring Bill Callahan as Houck's replacement. Callahan, the former Raiders and University of Nebraska head coach, spent the past four seasons as offensive line coach for the New York Jets.
Houck was first with the Cowboys from 1993-2001, part of two Super Bowl championships.