Redskins

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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Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

The injuries just keep coming for Derrius Guice.

The second-year running back will miss the Redskins Week 15 contest against Philadelphia after suffering a left knee injury against Green Bay, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday. The injury is on the same knee that Guice tore his ACL in just a year ago that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.

The severity of the injury is still unclear. Guice underwent an MRI on his knee earlier on Monday. The team is still waiting for the results.

Guice missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during the Redskins Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and returned in Week 11.

Entering Sunday's contest, Guice was coming off the best game of his young career. In Week 13, the second-year veteran ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the Redskins' victory over Carolina.

Guice seemed on his way to another big game in Green Bay before getting hurt. He finished with 42 yards on just five carries, including a 23-yard run, the play he suffered the injury on.

The LSU product has shown flashes of how good he can be, but injuries keep occurring for Guice. He's played in five NFL games in his two-year career and been forced to leave the game early in three of those.

Whether the injuries are just a series of bad luck or not, the Redskins need Guice to stay healthy.

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    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    SAN DIEGO -- Davey Martinez has been busy. His rural retreat, usually well-used by this stage of the offseason, has sat empty. He spent time with his kids in Tampa in between declining appearance requests. He tried to get his life back in order for the last five weeks. Time to himself has not been part of the process. Nor has anything but positive feelings.

    “It’s been awesome,” Martinez said. “Really has. Something that I wake up in the morning and think about everything that transpired and how we got to where we got to and the final moment... That, to me, never gets old.”

    Relaxed in a dress shirt and sport coat, Martinez started Monday with interviews by the reporters pool at the Winter Meetings. Two of his former players -- Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon -- are among the prime focuses of the event. Future contracts are what the meetings become about. Martinez is now included in that topic.

    He’s entering the third, and final, year of his three-year deal. The Nationals hold an option for a fourth year. Martinez said he is not thinking about it.

    “No,” Martinez said. “I really haven’t. For me, I feel blessed I got an opportunity to do what I do. I know I’m coming back. Now, I’m just getting some time off and getting ready for spring training.”

    Martinez entering his third year is notable. Managers of the Nationals rarely make it there. Manny Acta started a third season as manager. Davey Johnson handled two-plus seasons as manager. No one has made it through three full seasons since baseball returned to the District. And, who would have thought Martinez would?

    Year One was a mess. The Nationals missed the playoffs, Martinez appeared off-kilter at times, and injuries doomed the season as much as under-performance. A mere 82 wins followed, the fewest since 2011. 

    The pressure was high before the failed season. Washington’s ownership chose Martinez specifically over bringing back Dusty Baker. Why? Because advancing to the first round was not enough. Only the World Series was acceptable. Martinez, with vast major-league life experience and zero managerial experience, was charged with guiding the team to a spot its owners and payroll expected. The team barely won more than it lost.

    Then May of 2019 hit. The 19-31 nadir following multiple embarrassments in New York, against the Mets of all teams, pushed Martinez’s employment status toward the edge. He said then it wasn’t on his mind, though at the time he was unsure how to fix expansive bullpen problems. Managing principal owner Mark Lerner said during the postseason he never considered firing Martinez. Both are difficult to believe as 100% truths. 

    As the team turned, so did the view of Martinez. The postseason performed as a breakthrough for both. Washington finally made it out of the first round of the postseason. Martinez’s decision-making worked and worked again, all the way through Game 7 of the World Series. By the end, narratives flipped. The team which couldn’t play well when it mattered most completed a comeback-filled championship run. The manager so many wanted to push out, became a man of the people, drifting into the streets during the championship parade.

    Another year is coming. Davey Martinez remains the manager of the Washington Nationals. He’s into his third year and, barring disaster, appears set to make it to the end, which would be more history for the organization.

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