Mike McCoy to talk with Bears, Cardinals


Mike McCoy to talk with Bears, Cardinals

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Whether it was a quirky quarterback or a quintessential one, Mike McCoy helped them fit comfortably and successfully into Denver's offense.

The man who dusted off the old read-option for Tim Tebow a year ago and helped guide Peyton Manning through his outstanding comeback in Denver this season is a hot head coaching candidate for his work as the Broncos' offensive coordinator.

McCoy will use the bye week to interview for newly vacant head coaching jobs in Arizona and Chicago.

``With team success, you get recognition,'' coach John Fox said.

Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said the team has reached out to McCoy to interview for their head coaching vacancy following the firing of Ken Whisenhunt after six seasons that included the long-suffering franchise's only Super Bowl appearance.

McCoy also will interview for Chicago's position following the firing of Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season, a person familiar with the situation said. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly speak about the interviews, said the talks would take place in Denver this week.

McCoy, who interviewed with the Miami Dolphins last year after retooling Denver's offense to fit Tebow's skill set, burnished his head coaching credentials this season while blending the power formations the Broncos used in leading the league in rushing last year with Tebow and some of the spread formations that Manning ran in Indianapolis.

Manning returned from a year off due to neck issues to put up MVP numbers and lead Denver (13-3) to the top seed in the AFC playoffs with a league-best 11-game winning streak.

McCoy spent nine years as an offensive assistant in Carolina before joining the Broncos as offensive coordinator in 2009.

Manning recently credited McCoy and quarterbacks coach Adam Gase with helping him navigate his way through a new team and a new system.

``It's been a team effort and I really appreciate the help that Mike and Adam have given me going all the way back to when I first got here,'' Manning said.

With a slew of openings in the NFL, another potential head coaching candidate is Broncos defensive coordinator and former Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio, who helped Denver improve from 22nd against the pass a year ago to third and jump from 18th against the run to third this year.

Del Rio recently indicated he'd be picky about moving on.

``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 of the Jaguars 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.''


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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings


3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings


Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period. Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period. Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

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