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Cardinals interview Bevell, plan to talk to Arians

Cardinals interview Bevell, plan to talk to Arians

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals, one of two NFL teams still looking for a head coach, have interviewed Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and plan to talk to Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

Bevell, 43, was interviewed on Wednesday at Cardinals headquarters. He was the fifth known candidate to interview for the job vacated when the team fired Ken Whisenhunt the day after the season ended.

Multiple reports had Arians arriving on Wednesday night with the interview set to be conducted on Thursday.

Arians, a finalist for the Chicago job that went to Marc Trestman on Wednesday, is running out of options if he wants to be a head coach next season as positions were filled in rapid succession on Wednesday, leaving only the Arizona and Jacksonville jobs still open.

Arians spent 12 games as interim head coach in Indianapolis while coach Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia. The Colts went 9-3 in those dozen games with Arians in charge. He succeeded Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh and was there for five seasons before leaving to go to the Colts and their new rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Arians also was head coach at Temple for five years.

Of the others who interviewed with the Cardinals, one is off the market. Mike McCoy, Denver's offensive coordinator, took the head coaching job in San Diego earlier this week. The Cardinals also interviewed their defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Bevell, who grew up in nearby Scottsdale and played for Chaparral High, has a career of working with successful quarterbacks, including Seattle's rookie sensation Russell Wilson.

If he got the Arizona job, he'd be trying to repair the worst quarterback situation in the league. Arizona started four people at the position and the only one who had any success, Kevin Kolb, went down to a season-ending injury in Week 6.

``I was real fortunate to start my career with a great quarterback in Brett Favre,'' Bevell said after his interview, ``but there were a lot of other guys along the way that I was able to work with, whether it was in college or in the positions that I've had after that. ...

``It doesn't matter if it's the quarterback, your tight end, your running back, what do they do well? We want to accentuate those positives, and the things that they don't do as well. We need to cover those up and make their strengths come out. That's what I've tried to do.''

He said the Seahawks ``just loved'' Wilson from the start.

``We loved his intangibles, loved how he played the game, how important it was to him, his belief system that he had in himself and that he was going to always be successful,'' Bevell said, ``but then it was my job to figure out what he did well.''

Bevell said that from the first game against Arizona, which the Seahawks lost, to the last spectacular performance in the close loss at Atlanta last weekend ``we evolved and we changed.''

``It was all changing to do what was best for him, but then also to do what was best for the other guys that are around him to help them all be successful.''

Along the way, the Seahawks beat Arizona 58-0 in Seattle. He was asked why he would be a good fit with the Cardinals.

``I've had the opportunity the last two years to be in this division,'' Bevell said. ``I've also spent a long time in the NFC North, and I've just really been an NFC coach all along. So I do know a little more about it.''

He also knows the Phoenix area, for sure.

``It's also exciting because it's my hometown,'' Bevell said. ``It's where I grew up. I've got a lot of friends, and obviously my whole family still lives here, so I think that's an attraction for me as well.''

After leaving high school, Bevell was a redshirt freshman quarterback at Northern Arizona, then went on a two-year Mormon mission before enrolling at Wisconsin - the same school where Russell excelled - and quarterbacked the Badgers to a Rose Bowl victory over UCLA.

Bevell, who also interviewed for the Bears job, said he only knows the Cardinals' quarterback problems from afar.

``I know it's been a tough situation,'' he said. ``There have been quarterbacks, kind of this last year particularly, coming in and out, playing four guys. There have been injuries. There have been all kinds of different reasons. But that will be, if something happens that I'm the head coach, that will be something that we've got to rectify, got to figure it out, what the best thing will be for the Arizona Cardinals and be able to go from there.''

He does, after all, have that experience dealing with quarterbacks.

``I've definitely been schooled in that,'' Bevell said. ``We had some crazy situations going on, particularly with Brett and how those situations came about. So I do have some experience in that area. Obviously, I truly believe that so goes the quarterback, so goes your team.''

Bevell was offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings for five seasons before joining Pete Carroll in Seattle in 2011.

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Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

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Unsung LaToya Sanders’ two-way play has Mystics one game away from WNBA Finals

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Unsung LaToya Sanders’ two-way play has Mystics one game away from WNBA Finals

On a stacked Mystics team, LaToya Sanders knows her role. 

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound wisp of a center is asked to guard far bigger opponents throughout the season and still complement her teammates on the offensive end. It’s a lot to deal with. She does so without complaint. 

Sanders, the most unheralded of Washington’s five starters, did it all on Thursday night in a 103-91 WNBA semifinal win over the Las Vegas Aces at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

She finished with 17 points on a night when WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne (14 points, 5 of 15 shooting) struggled given her lofty standards. Sanders also played the kind of defense that left coach Mike Thibault insisting she should have been named WNBA first or second-team All-Defense. 

“My job is probably the easiest on the team,” Sanders laughed. “My job is basically to hit wide-open jumpers and lay-ups. Pretty sure I can do those two things.”

Indeed, she was efficient hitting 7 of 10 shots and all three free throws. Sanders also had to guard Vegas’ 6-8 center Liz Cambage, a big ask given their size difference. Cambage did have 23 points and 10 rebounds, but she only took 11 shots. 

Sanders and her teammates tried to make it as hard as possible for the Aces to get the ball inside for easy baskets in their two wins this week. Washington won Game 1 of the series 97-95 on Tuesday, a game that left Cambage visibly frustrated. She also earned a technical foul in Thursday’s game on a rough play underneath the Vegas basket.  

“When you’re LaToya Sanders and you’re 6-3 and you’re relying on your long arms to guard people, she takes a beating every night,” Thibault said. “She guards Camabge and [Phoenix Mercury center Brittney] Griner and [Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia] Fowles and all those people. And every night she wins a lot of those battles.”

But the really unsung part of Sanders’ game is her mid-range jumper. Thursday she was on when some of her higher-profile teammates like Delle Donne didn’t quite have their shot dropping. 

Sanders had six points in the third quarter as the two teams battled back and forth in a tight game and that set the stage for the decisive run that tilted the game toward the Mystics. She also had a hot start to the night with two baskets in the first quarter. 

“[Sanders is] a really good player. She's just on a team with so many other good players that she doesn't get as many shots,” Vegas guard Kelsey Plum said. “But she plays her role as good as anyone in the league. She's a vet. She rebounds the crap out of the ball. I just think that she does a great job for them. Everyone made us pay."

Thibault referenced a rebound Sanders grabbed in traffic to stifle a Vegas possession when they were trying to get the lead under 10 points in the fourth quarter. Instead, Washington was able to work the clock at the offensive end and score a knockout blow. It’s the little things that matter most when a team is pushing for a championship. The Mystics are one step closer. 

“Cambage is a talent, she’s a big girl,” Sanders said. “I just do what I can to try to make it difficult for her, but she’s going to hit some buckets here and there. I try to dish it out, but not take it.”  

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

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Orioles Roundup: Trey Mancini stays hot in 8-4 home loss to Blue Jays

In a fitting tribute to most games this season in Baltimore, Trey Mancini had a terrific day at the plate, but the pitching staff allowed too many home runs and the O's ended up losing.

Here's everything you need to know about the Orioles.

Player Updates:

OF Trey Mancini hasn't slowed down at all for the Orioles, turning in a 4-for-4 night to tie his career high in hits. He's hitting .286 with 34 home runs during his breakout season.

OF Austin Hays enjoyed a banner night, hitting his first home run of the season and making one of the year's highlight catches, robbing a home run well over the centerfield wall.

SP Gabriel Ynoa allowed three runs in 6.1 innings. He didn't walk anyone and allowed just six hits, but he also only struck out one batter despite pitching into the seventh inning, and two of the hits allowed were home runs.

Injuries

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Friday, 9/20: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Saturday, 9/21: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards