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Bengals' Jay Gruden interviews for Cardinals job

Bengals' Jay Gruden interviews for Cardinals job

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is the latest to interview for the vacant head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals.

Gruden, younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, said his interview Thursday at Cardinals headquarters was his first for a head coaching job with any NFL team. He said he may interview with the Philadelphia Eagles next week.

The Cardinals also have interviewed their defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Although the Cardinals have not confirmed it, Steelers President Art Rooney II told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley interviewed for the Arizona job Wednesday. Haley was offensive coordinator of the Cardinals' 2008 Super Bowl team before becoming head coach at Kansas City.

Arizona is seeking a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after six seasons.

Gruden met with Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, newly named general manager Steve Keim and player personnel director Jason Licht.

``You can tell how passionate they are about the game, how much they want to win and bring this team back to where they were with Kurt Warner,'' Gruden said. ``The passion and drive is there. Now it's just a matter of maybe bringing in something new, some new ideas to try to get that thing done.''

The Cardinals filled their general manager's job by promoting Keim, vice president of player personnel, to the position earlier this week. Keim replaced Rod Graves, who along with Whisenhunt was fired after Arizona lost 10 of its last 11 to finish 5-11 for the second time in three years.

Gruden, 45, has extensive experience in the Arena Football League, including two stints as head coach of the Orlando Predators from 1998 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2008. In 2002 and 2003, he returned to the team as quarterback.

As a player, he was quarterback for the University of Louisville for four seasons, then played four seasons with the Tampa Bay Storm of the AFL.

He worked on the staff of his brother at Tampa Bay for seven seasons, while during some of that time continuing his Orlando Predators duties.

``I've been a head coach before for a while,'' Gruden said. ``I know it's a different league and it's not the NFL, but I've handled people and handled organization, handled salary caps, done all the things necessary to be a head coach. I understand the game and I think it would be a good fit.''

Gruden became offensive coordinator of the Bengals in 2011, helping to develop Andy Dalton into a successful NFL quarterback as the Bengals made the playoffs each of the last two seasons.

The Cardinals have had big problems on offense, particularly at quarterback, since Warner retired after leading the team to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season and a second straight NFC West crown in 2009. While the defense was among the NFL leaders in several categories, Arizona's offense was the league's worst. It's not just about the quarterback, Gruden said.

``There's a lot of things that need to be addressed when your offense sputters,'' he said, ``and they need to be addressed quickly.''

He said he turned down chances to interview for head coaching jobs a year ago.

`` It was my first year last year as a coordinator,'' Gruden said. ``The Brown family gave me an opportunity to be an offensive coordinator. I didn't want to jump ship after the first phone call. I wanted to go in there and see Andy Dalton progress another year, see A.J. Green progress another year, see what we could do. We did some good things, made it to the playoffs again and I got some calls this year and decided to take them, or else people might stop calling.''

He said his brother had offered some worthy advice to him going into his first head coaching interview.

``Jon's always got his two cents to add. He can talk with the best of them,'' Gruden said. ``And he's been around the block a few times. He's been to interviews and knows how the process works and been a big help. So I picked his brain a little bit and he's been excellent in the process, as usual.''

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Capitals vs. Panthers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Capitals vs. Panthers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-1, 7pts) are coming off of an overtime thriller at home over the Rangers thanks to Matt Niskanen's crafty timing.

Through the first six games of the season, Washington is undefeated on Wednesdays, yet has failed to win consecutive games. The Caps hope to change that trend Friday night at home vs. the Florida Panthers (0-2-2, 2pts).

The Panthers have yet to win a game this season, with each of the four games being decided by just one goal. The Panthers have no problem scoring, netting at least five goals in two of the first four games, but have failed to seal the deal. This is where the defending Stanley Cup champions will need to capitalize.

Only the Maple Leafs (33) and Hurricanes (33) have scored times more than the Capitals (24). Washington has a clear advantage in firepower. The biggest key to victory is keeping the space in front of Braden Holtby clean as a whistle. If the Caps control their goalmouth, they should have no issues dispatching the Panthers.

Here is everything you need to know about the Friday night game, which takes place at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. 

CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Friday, October 19, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals-Panthers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: Watch Capitals vs. Panthers on the NBC Sports Washington live stream page and the NBC Sports MyTeams App.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS-PANTHERS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: NHL: Florida Panthers at Capitals 
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: Travis Boyd (OUT, IR), Tom Wilson (OUT, Suspension)

Panthers: Michael Haley (OUT, Leave of Absence), Roberto Luongo (OUT, MCL injury), Mike Matheson (OUT, Suspension) 

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Evgenii Dadonov, W, Panthers: Dadonov is leading the Panthers this season with two goals and two assists on the season.

John Carlson, D, Capitals: Carlson had a heck of a game vs. the Rangers Wednesday night with a goal and two assists. The Capitals practiced faceoffs in practice leading up to Wednesday night's game and all of the practice paid off with Carlson's goal coming right off the faceoff from Backstrom. 

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 123

All-Time Series Record: 64-50-9

Playoff Record: N/A

Last Meeting: Panthers beat Capitals 3-2 (2/22/2018)

Last 10 Meetings: Tied 5-5 

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Kelly Oubre turns into 'Spooky Papi' ahead of home-opener vs. Heat

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NBC Sports Washington

Kelly Oubre turns into 'Spooky Papi' ahead of home-opener vs. Heat

As the weather in Washington, D.C. drops below 60 degrees, most athletes typically arrive at their games in sweatsuits for comfort or suits for luxury. 

Kelly Oubre, on the other hand, is going full gothic for the Washington Wizards' home-opener against the Miami Heat. Oubre is the self-proclaimed "Wave Papi," but tonight he is giving off a vampire-slayer vibe.

Maybe he didn't get the memo that Halloween is roughly two weeks from now.

For the sake of it still being October, let's call him "Spooky Papi."

His black belts and buckles match his rockstar lifestyle, but the bloody, disfigured skull accessory is one of the most ridiculous things we've seen at Capital One Arena. Ever. 

Maybe there's a hidden meaning to it all, or maybe it's just yet another in a long line of Kelly Oubre fashion statements. 

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