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Cardinals lose out on McCoy, eye Seattle's Bevell

Cardinals lose out on McCoy, eye Seattle's Bevell

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Cardinals' list of potential coaches lost a name when the San Diego Chargers hired Mike McCoy.

Now the Cardinals are going to take a look at Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, reportedly setting up an interview with the man who provided the game plan that led to the Seahawks' 58-0 victory over Arizona.

The other known candidates to replace the fired Ken Whisenhunt are Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

With the exception of Horton, the candidates are rooted in offense and that's the Cardinals' area of greatest need. Arizona had the worst offense in the NFL last season.

Bevell, who also is in the running for the Chicago Bears' job, played a key role in the development of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The tandem of Bevell and Wilson, who both played college ball at Wisconsin, helped the Seahawks' offense become more potent as the season progressed.

Seattle put together an impressive rally before losing 30-28 at Atlanta in the NFC semifinals last weekend.

Bevell, 43, has local roots. He grew up in Scottsdale, and attended Chaparral High. He spent a redshirt freshman season at Northern Arizona before leaving for a two-year Mormon mission. When Bevell returned, he enrolled at Wisconsin and quarterbacked the Badgers to a Rose Bowl victory over UCLA in 1994.

He joined the professional coaching ranks in 2000 as an offensive assistant in Green Bay and was promoted to quarterbacks coach of the Packers three years later. Bevell served as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings from 2006 to 2010. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll brought him in as offensive coordinator in 2011.

The Cardinals obviously had high interest in McCoy, interviewing him in Denver over the Broncos' bye weekend in the first round of the playoffs. They wanted a second interview, but were thwarted when the Chargers closed the deal.

It was the second time a would-be candidate was taken away. Cardinals President Michael Bidwill had reached out to fired Philadelphia coach Andy Reid but never even got a chance to interview him because the Kansas City Chiefs moved in quickly to secure an agreement.

Whisenhunt, who has interviewed for several NFL head coaching jobs since his dismissal, was fired by Arizona after six seasons, tied for the longest tenure for a coach in the Cardinals' long, mostly losing history. He got the team to the Super Bowl in his second season and won a second straight NFC West title the following year, but quarterback Kurt Warner retired and the team's offense never recovered.

The Cardinals used four quarterbacks this season. Only Kevin Kolb had much success, helping the team to a 4-0 start before going down in week six with what proved to be a season-ending rib injury. Kolb threw for eight touchdowns with three interceptions. The other three QBs - John Skelton, rookie Ryan Lindley, and late-season pickup Brian Hoyer combined for three TDs and 18 picks.

Arizona went six games without a touchdown pass, losing 11 of its last 12 to finish 5-11.

Arizona also fired general manager Rod Graves, promoting Steve Keim, the vice president for player personnel, to fill the vacancy.

Horton, who also interviewed for the jobs in Buffalo and Cleveland before those teams went elsewhere for a coach, has a year left on his contract as defensive coordinator and presumably would return to that job if he doesn't get the head coaching position.

The Cardinals have confirmed interviews with Horton and Gruden but not with Haley, although Steelers President Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the interview did take place.

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Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

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Wizards take out Sixers to tie season series behind Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter's hot shooting

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USA Today Sports Images

Wizards take out Sixers to tie season series behind Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter's hot shooting

The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 109-94 on Sunday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Playoff implications: Later in the season the stakes are raised and the Wizards' win over the Sixers on Sunday night could loom large in just a few weeks.

By beating the Sixers, who had won seven straight entering the matchup, the Wizards tied up the season series with their second win. A loss would have handed Philly the tiebreaker in playoff seeding if the two teams finish with the same record at season's end.

Now that their season series is over and locked even, it will come down to their record against other Eastern Conference teams if they tie. At 22-15 vs. the East, the Wizards currently have the edge on the Sixers, who are 18-14 in that category.

The Wizards dominated the Sixers for much of the night and they did so by once again moving the ball with generosity and precision. They had 35 assists on 43 field goals. The Wizards have had 30 or more assists in five games this season and four have come within the last month.

Those four games have been part of a 9-3 surge for the Wizards since John Wall got injured. With their win against Philly, the Wizards moved to 35-25 on the season and a half-game out of third in the East. The Sixers are among several teams nipping at their heels in an increasingly crowded conference.

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Oubre put on a show: The Wizards led 67-48 at halftime and that was in large part due to Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s impact on both ends of the floor. He had eight points in each of the first two quarters, including four threes, and made several key plays on defense.

Oubre had three blocks to set a career-high by halftime, including one on Robert Covington that bounced off Covington's leg and gave the Wizards possession. He also took a charge on Ben Simmons and flashed a smile for the cameras as he sprinted back down the floor.

Oubre ended the game with 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting. It wasn't long ago that Oubre was in a significant shooting slump.

In his last 11 games before the All-Star break, Oubre was averaging just 9.4 points on 31.2 percent shooting. In three games since the break, Oubre has scored 47 points (15.7/g) while shooting 51.5 percent. It's safe to say he's put those shooting struggles behind him.

Oubre had been making his mark defensively as the Wizards closed the first half on a tear, but Sunday showed how much of a boost he can provide when he's in a rhythm offensively. He completely changed the game and helped the Wizards knock off a team that came to Washington super hot.

Porter wasn't fazed: Otto Porter did something on Sunday that likely has never been accomplished before. He hit not one, not two, not three but four buzzer-beaters all in the first half. Three of them were to beat the shot clock. Then, he hit another one to end the first half:

That shot capped an 8-1 run to end the second quarter for the Wizards and it brought a burst of energy out of the crowd. Porter had 14 points in the second quarter and shot 6-for-6 in the frame. The Wizards outscored the Sixers 37-20 in the second and Porter led the charge.

Porter finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Much like Bradley Beal, who had 24 points in this game, Porter has thrived in this second extended absence for Wall. Both Beal and Porter battle inconsistency as they adapted to being the primary focus of opposing teams back in November when Wall first went down. But this time around, they have answers to everything teams are throwing at them.

Porter's patience at the end of the shot clock on Sunday was an example of that. His confidence seems to be at an all-time high, knowing he has enough tricks to keep his opponents guessing. That was on display with under two minutes to go when he drained a three in Covington's face, turned around to stare at him afterwards and then shook his head as he trotted down the court, as if he were saying that no one can stop him. 

Up next: The Wizards are off Monday before playing back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Bucks and Warriors. Tuesday is an 8 p.m. tipoff on TNT. We will have pre- and postgame coverage of Wizards-Bucks on NBC Sports Washington Plus beginning at 7 p.m.

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Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall, dies in car crash

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Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Caravan

Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall, dies in car crash

NBA agent Dan Fegan, who had previously represented many high-profile NBA clients including John Wall, died in a car crash Sunday morning, according to The Aspen Times. 

According to the report, Fegan's SUV was struck by a bus while trying to merge onto Highway 82 in Colorado a little after 9 am this morning. 

The two passengers in the car - an unidentified woman and Fegan's 5-year old daughter - were airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. 

Fegan was 56.