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Police: Body of man killed in Arkansas found in Missouri

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St. Louis woman charged with murder after allegedly stabbing man to death

SELIGMAN, Mo. (AP) — Police say the body of a man killed in northwestern Arkansas was found last week in southwestern Missouri, and two suspects in the case were later arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Officers called to an apartment unit in Springdale, Arkansas, on Nov. 23 said they found a trail of blood leading from the apartment. A man there said a group of men had shown up, argued with 39-year-old Richard Phillips then forced Phillips to leave with them.

Police say four days later on Nov. 27, a group of hunters discovered Phillips’ body north of Seligman, Missouri.

Arrest warrants were issued for 30-year-old Reginald Baker, of Seligman, and 41-year-old Daniel Blanks, of Fort Smith, Arkansas. They were arrested over the weekend in Tulsa.

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Former Ravens coach Brian Billick joins Arizona State’s staff; All-NFL honors for 3 Ravens | NOTES

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Former Ravens coach Brian Billick joins Arizona State’s staff; All-NFL honors for 3 Ravens | NOTES

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick has joined Arizona State’s staff as an offensive analyst and adviser to head coach Herm Edwards, the Sun Devils announced Monday.

Billick, who coached the Ravens from 1999 to 2007 and won Super Bowl XXXV, will reunite with his former defensive coordinator, Marvin Lewis, who serves on staff as a special assistant to Edwards. Billick said in a statement that Arizona State reached out two weeks ago, when he was coaching the Hula Bowl, a college football all-star game.

“I have known Coach Edwards for over 40 years and both Ray Anderson and Marvin Lewis for almost that long,” Billick said in the statement. “I really enjoyed tapping into the players there and helping them to highlight their abilities. They proposed this opportunity to me, to have another set of eyes looking at and evaluating Sun Devil football and I thought it was the right time for me to make this move.

“I love what they are doing at ASU. It’s all about structure in the NFL and hopefully that’s what I can bring to the table at ASU. My work for the last 12 years in television at Fox and the NFL Network has allowed me to take a step back and see the game from a different angle. It broadened my perspective and that is what I will bring to this position.”

Edwards said Billick, who recently served as analyst for the NFL Network and has contributed to the Ravens’ team website, “has built one of the finest reputations the NFL has ever known, serving as a head coach, an assistant coach and as a respected television analyst. Brian has one of the brightest offensive minds in football today and that is especially why I hired him. He will serve as a valuable resource to our entire coaching staff, but specifically to our offensive staff.”

Edwards, who served as head coach for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs in the 2000s, is 25-18 overall in four seasons at Arizona State. The Sun Devils are coming off an 8-5 season, including a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 Conference play.

More honors for trio

After earning first-team All-Pro honors earlier this month, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, kicker Justin Tucker and punt returner Devin Duvernay were named to the All-NFL and All-AFC teams Monday by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Andrews led all NFL tight ends in receptions (107) and receiving yards (1,361) and set franchise records for receiving in both categories. Tucker made 35 of 37 field-goal attempts this season and went 32-for-32 on extra-point attempts. Duvernay, meanwhile, led the league with 13.9 yards per punt return.

Tucker has been named All-NFL by the PFWA in four straight seasons. This is the first such honor for Andrews and Duvernay.

Former Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon was named All-AFC after a standout first season with the New England Patriots. Former Maryland cornerback J.C. Jackson, now a star for the Patriots, was also named All-AFC.

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Even Andy Reid — coach of the winning Kansas City Chiefs — thinks the NFL should reconsider its overtime rules

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Even Andy Reid — coach of the winning Kansas City Chiefs — thinks the NFL should reconsider its overtime rules

Even the winning coach, in this case Andy Reid, is questioning the NFL’s overtime setup.

One day after Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs won the overtime coin toss, then marched downfield for Travis Kelce’s 8-yard touchdown reception to end an epic divisional-round playoff game with the Buffalo Bills, Reid recognized how fortunate the Chiefs were.

“I had a chance to talk with Sean afterward,” Reid said of Bills coach Sean McDermott, “and that I’m sure is something they’re going to look at again too. And I wouldn’t be opposed to it — it’s a hard thing.

“It was great for us last night, but is it great for the game, which is the most important thing we should all be looking out for? To make things equal, it probably needs to be able to hit both offenses, both defenses.”

That never happened Sunday, and it has not happened much in the playoffs since the current rules were adopted in 2010 for the postseason and 2012 for the regular season. Under those guidelines for the playoffs:

  • Teams play 15-minute periods until there’s a winner.
  • A touchdown or safety on the first possession wins the game.
  • If the score is tied after each team’s first possession, either because neither team scored or because each kicked a field goal, the next score wins the game.
  • There are no coach’s challenges with all reviews initiated by the replay official.

In 11 playoff games that went to overtime, including the first in a Super Bowl when the New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons with a touchdown on the first possession in 2017, the team that got the ball first won 10 of them — seven with opening-drive touchdowns.

The only loss in that span was in the NFC championship game in the 2018 season, when officials blew a blatant pass interference and illegal hit penalty on Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman late in regulation. New Orleans Saints fans insist that overtime never should have occurred.

In regular-season games, the team that got the ball first is 86-65-10 with 34 opening-drive touchdowns, according to Sportradar. So the imbalance isn’t as profound as in the postseason.

Reid knows both sides of overtime outcomes. In the AFC title game in the 2018 season, the Chiefs rallied to force the extra period. But the Patriots won the toss and Tom Brady marched his team downfield against an exhausted defense for a winning touchdown.

This time, Reid was in a better spot after Bills quarterback Josh Allen called tails and heads came up.

“We should never let a football game be determined from a coin,” Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins said. “That’s the craziest rule in sports. Like, you can fight your entire fight the whole game, and then the game comes down to a 50-50 chance of a coin toss.

“This ain’t Vegas. We’re not at the casino table. This ain’t no 50-50 bet and there ain’t even no 50-50 bet. And it’s just crazy that that was the outcome.”

Those who support the current system stress that the defense needs to make a stop, and if it can’t then it gets what it deserves. The opposite viewpoint asks why shouldn’t both teams’ defenses be put in that position?

Might changes be coming? The NFL’s powerful competition committee, which makes proposals for rules changes, has gone into, well, overtime on the topic through the years. If a team or several teams bring it up with specific suggestions for alterations, the committee will consider them. Should those ideas seem worthy, a proposal would be made to the 32 owners at the league meetings in late March.

For now, though, players, coaches and fans have to live with what’s on the books. Not that it helps Dawkins and the Bills.

“It shouldn’t be a race, like, the first guy to touch that wall wins … but that’s what we’re dealt with now,” Dawkins said. “So I don’t want to make an excuse for it. But hopefully it’ll change.”

___

AP’s Josh Dubow, Dave Skretta and John Wawrow contributed.

AP’s Josh Dubow, Dave Skretta and John Wawrow contributed.

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Kafer: I crossed the King Soopers picket line because the strike wasn’t personal

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Kafer: I crossed the King Soopers picket line because the strike wasn’t personal

I thought nothing of crossing the picket line at King Soopers last week before an agreement was reached and the picket stopped. I needed groceries and others’ employee-employer negotiations are not my business. What a job pays is a matter of market forces not a contest between good guys and bad guys. I’m not going to serve as a prop in that play.

As I write, the United Food and Commercial Workers union has come to a loose agreement with Kroger to end the strike. The union was demanding higher wages and the restoration of hazard pay the company previously offered during the first part of the pandemic.

The latter demand seems baseless given the availability of free vaccines and the lower severity of the omicron strain. Moreover, according to health officials, the current infection wave possibly peaked last week in Colorado.

As for whether the pay rates sought by the union or by the company best reflect the market value, I can’t say. I can, however, predict what will happen if labor costs go up. Grocery prices will rise to cover the additional cost. And, since grocery prices have already risen due to inflation, people are likely to change how they shop. Overall, demand for groceries is somewhat inelastic since people have to eat, but shoppers can cut back, buy more generic goods, drop nonessentials from the grocery list, or try to find a marginally better bargain at another store chain. The stores depend on volume to generate profits. Prices can only go up so much before reduced sales impact a company’s viability.

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