McCoy, Del Rio may benefit from Broncos' success


McCoy, Del Rio may benefit from Broncos' success

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The more the Denver Broncos win, the better the chance they lose - coordinators, that is.

Defensive boss Jack Del Rio and his offensive counterpart, Mike McCoy, figure to be hot commodities for any head coaching vacancies when the season finally winds down. That's simply the price of success.

``You like to see people get opportunities and have those options,'' said coach John Fox, whose Broncos (11-3) will host Cleveland (5-9) on Sunday. ``I'm sure it will be no different this year.''

Losing a defensive coordinator has almost become a rite of passage for cornerback Champ Bailey. One year with the Pro Bowler and they're out the door.

That's been the case the last six seasons and there's a possibility it could happen again after this year, especially with the way Del Rio has the defense humming along.

Surely, orchestrating one of the top defenses in the league will garner Del Rio some consideration for another head coaching job.

Bailey understands, though. He would never stand in the way of an upgrade, even if it meant learning another new system from yet another coordinator.

``It (stinks) not to have a guy coming back that you've done good things with, but any time a guy gets a promotion, you've got to applaud that,'' Bailey said. ``I'd be happy for him. It would (stink) for us, because we'd have to start all over again, but it is what it is.

``Everybody wants a promotion.''

McCoy nearly had one a year ago, receiving not only kudos for the job he did with overhauling the offense to fit Tim Tebow's unorthodox style, but strong consideration as a head coach. He was in the running for the Miami Dolphins job before it went to Joe Philbin.

This season, he's assisted in resurrecting the career of Peyton Manning, who's thrown for the fourth-most yards passing (4,016) in a season for the Broncos and has an outside chance to break Jay Cutler's franchise mark (4,526) set in 2008.

Not bad considering Manning was coming off neck surgery and few figured he would have this bountiful of season.

So dominant has the offense been during the Broncos' nine-game win streak that they're beating teams by an average of 12.7 points.

Even more, they've also averaged 29 points a game this season, an output that could draw teams in need of a head coach toward McCoy.

Although, he quickly deflected the attention.

``Good players make good coaches,'' McCoy said. ``My wife and I and the kids, we absolutely love Denver. We'll see what happens. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. If not, hey, we can stay here for a long time.

``We have a lot of football left this year to go. We'll see what happens down the road.''

McCoy has certainly earned the respect of Manning, who also credits quarterbacks coach Adam Gase with his stellar performance this season.

``I'm grateful for their help and support,'' Manning said.

A defensive coordinator moving on after a season in this city has almost become expected. After last season, Dennis Allen bolted to take over in Oakland.

Other coordinators who have filled the spot over the last few years include Larry Coyer (2006), Jim Bates (2007), Bob Slowik (2008), Mike Nolan (2009) and Don Martindale (2010).

That has Bailey wondering - kiddingly, of course - if he's doing something to drive them off?

``I know I'm up there,'' Bailey said of where he would rank among players who've had the most coordinators through a career. ``I've got to be up there. I don't know how many I've had - 12, 13, whatever. It's nothing new to me.''

Del Rio has a rather good thing going in Denver with two of the elite pass rushers in the game in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, a talented linebacker collection and a secondary led by Bailey. That's a pretty formidable ensemble in which to build a dominating defense.

He's really in no rush to go anywhere just yet.

``When you're a young guy and you haven't been there, the urgency and desire to get that opportunity is such that you'd take just about any job given to you,'' said Del Rio, who was in charge in Jacksonville for nine seasons. ``I don't feel that way now. If there's something that fits and the right situation comes along, so be it. But in the meantime, I'm all in, 100 percent as a lieutenant on this staff. I'm somebody that John Fox, John Elway ... and the players can count on. I'm 100 percent invested in helping them be their best.''

Any chance Baily would consider being a player-coach, should Del Rio ever move on?

That way, Bailey could assure a level of continuity for years to come.

``Ahh, no,'' Bailey said, smiling.

NOTES: Broncos OL Chris Kuper missed practice Friday with a balky left ankle and migraine symptoms. He's doubtful for the game against the Browns. ... FB Chris Gronkowski (hamstring) was limited at practice. There are nine other players on the injury report listed as probable. ``Right now, we're relatively healthy considering we're second-to-the-last regular season game and that's all good,'' Fox said.


AP National Writer Eddie Pells contributed to this report.


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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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