Capitals

Cardinals to interview Jay Gruden in coming week

Cardinals to interview Jay Gruden in coming week

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals expect to speak in the coming week with Jay Gruden about their vacant head coaching position.

The team on Sunday confirmed plans to interview the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator, younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden.

The Cardinals also confirmed that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was interviewed in Denver on Saturday. McCoy was the second candidate known to have been interviewed by Cardinals President Michael Bidwill in his search for a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after six seasons.

Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton was interviewed last week. The team has received permission to speak with Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but it's not known if any interview is scheduled.

McCoy also reportedly had meetings with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns on a busy weekend. The window for the interviews was narrow because the Broncos had a playoff bye this weekend. They are home against Baltimore in the AFC divisional round next Saturday.

The Eagles also have asked for permission to speak with Gruden.

The Cardinals are among five teams still searching for a head coach after two of the vacancies have been reportedly filled - by Andy Reid in Kansas City and Doug Marrone in Buffalo.

Bidwill has said that he does not expect his search to move at ``lightning speed.'' He also is conducting interviews for general manager to replace the fired Rod Graves with Cardinals vice president for player personnel Steve Keim among the candidates. Keim also has received interest from other teams.

The team has not officially confirmed that Haley was among those being sought for an interview, although a person familiar with the situation has confirmed that the Cardinals received permission from the Steelers to interview him. Haley was the offensive coordinator of the Cardinals' Super Bowl team in the 2008 season before being hired as head coach in Kansas City.

The Cardinals tentatively had lined up an interview with Reid, but that was called off as his talks with the Chiefs intensified.

Arizona fired Whisenhunt after the team lost 11 of its final 12 games to finish 5-11 for the second time in three years. Horton, who also interviewed with the Browns and Bills, is a rising name among coordinators after team's defense played well despite Arizona's awful offense, the worst in the NFL.

The concerns on offense, particularly the play at quarterback, probably are among the reasons that three of those targeted by the Cardinals - Gruden, McCoy and Haley - are offensive-minded coaches.

Horton said after his two-day interview last week that he considers himself a coach, not a defensive or offensive specialist, and is confident he could give the offense the attention it needs. Horton remains under contract for another season as Arizona defensive coordinator. He cannot make a lateral move to a similar position with another team but can go to a head coaching job.

Whisenhunt, who has been interviewed for some of the new vacancies, was offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh before being hired by the Cardinals in 2007.

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Bruins G Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL playoffs over COVID-19

Bruins G Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL playoffs over COVID-19

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has opted out of the team's playoff run.

The Vezina Trophy finalist -- and winner of the top goaltender award in 2014 -- said in a statement Saturday morning before Game 3 of Boston's playoff series against Carolina that "at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family."

Rask led the NHL with a 2.12 goals-against average and was second in save percentage and shutouts. 

RELATED: WHY THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT THAN 2018, OVECHKIN'S BIG GAME AND THE CAPS ARE IN TROUBLE

Boston and Carolina are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series. After a 3-2 loss on Thursday night, Rask said he complained that the NHL's fan-free playoffs lacked the usual intensity.

"It doesn't feel like playoff hockey out there. There's no fans, so it's kind of like an exhibition game," he said. "It just feels dull at times."

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Bryce Harper glad Phillies able to respond after 'embarrassing' Orioles series

Bryce Harper glad Phillies able to respond after 'embarrassing' Orioles series

When the Baltimore Orioles swept the Phillies in a midweek series, several Philadelphians were not pleased. 

One Phillies analyst called the performance "lifeless" and now Bryce Harper is referring to the whole team's effort as "embarrassing."

Much to Harper's and the Phillies' pleasure, the team was able to respond in the series opener against the Mets with a walk-off to get back in the win column. 

"That's a big win for us right there," Harper told reporters postgame. "We have to start out the series after the embarrassment we put up against the Baltimore Orioles, that was pretty terrible. To be able to start this series off on the right foot, that's huge for us."

RELATED: ORIOLES COMPLETE TWO SERIES SWEEPS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS

In the three-game set, Baltimore scored 26 runs against Philadelphia. The first two games saw the Phillies starters post four earned runs each and the finale was a miraculous extra-inning comeback for Baltimore, where they scored 10 runs in the final five innings. It was more than an indictment of the team's pitching than anything else.

Many teams across the league believed the Orioles would be walkover team in a 60-game sprint to get the 2020 season complete. After one of the worst records in the sport's history over the past two seasons and no sign of things turning around, that was expected to carry over. An 11-8 record a third of the way through shows that is not the case. Baltimore has the fouth-best record in the American League. Even in a normal season, they would be in line for a Wild Card spot. 

Harper and the Phillies learned that the hard way. 

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