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Tag:Mike McCoy
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:54 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 10:34 pm
 

Tebow WILL have competition next year

Tebow's season ends ingloriously in New England. (AP)

By Josh Katzowitz

We’ve been asking this for a while now: Is Tim Tebow guaranteed to be the Broncos starting quarterback next year? Our own Ryan Wilson brought this up in mid-January and listed a number of free agent quarterbacks Denver could pursue in an effort to knock Tebow out of his starting spot (including Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell and (yep) Kyle Orton).

Even coach John Fox has now confirmed that nobody is going to hand Tebow anything heading into 2012. That’s because Fox said Monday, via the Denver Post, that the team would acquire two quarterbacks in the offseason to compete against Tebow.

"Numbers wise that's accurate,” Fox said. "Who, what, where, when, what market -- it's still way too early how we get those quarterbacks."

You’ll recall that Tebow a was tad controversial last year as he continued to play poorly (for the most part) but still led his team to the AFC West title and a playoff victory against the Steelers (really, by the end of Denver’s run, our colleague Pete Prisco was one of the few who remained steadfast in his belief that Tebow is not a legit NFL quarterback).

What to do with Tebow?

But that doesn’t mean the read option offense Fox and Mike McCoy had to install midway through the season when Denver decided to replace Orton with Tebow will continue to work in 2012. Tebow still has to prove he has the arm strength, the accuracy and the ability to play effectively in the pocket.

“I think at some point he’ll have to be if he wants to play a long time,” Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said in January. “That’s one area he’s going to have to improve to be elite in this league. But the things he does running the ball -- he can make some throws, it’s just being comfortable doing it. He’s got to get better at it, and when he does, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Of course, the Broncos will HAVE to bring in at least two quarterbacks, because Tebow and practice-squader Adam Weber are the only signal-callers under contract for next year. Brady Quinn -- who apparently had a third-down package set for him in the playoffs (was he planning to Tim Tebow Tim Tebow?) -- is a free agent, and there probably isn’t much reason for him to return Denver.

So, for now, Tebow is the starter.

"He's going to come into our camp as the starting quarterback," Fox said. "He's young. He can get better."

Yeah, what does he mean by that? What can Tebow do better?

Um, this.

"It's the precision on the passing, it's the accuracy, the footwork, the mechanics, the rhythm, the timing, the quickness, the release. Everything," Broncos general manager Brian Xanders said recently. "And he wants to work at it. And he's dedicated. He's going to work really hard at improving those things. .. We're excited about him improving in those areas."

Until, perhaps, the Broncos can find somebody else who’s better than what we saw from Tebow last year.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:43 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 7:03 am
 

Raiders hire Broncos DC Dennis Allen

Bruce Allen has been hired to be Oakland's next coach (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz


Dennis Allen, the former defensive coordinator of the Broncos, has been hired to be the next Raiders head coach, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed (the news was originally reported by Fox’s Jay Glazer).

Reports out of Oakland suggested Allen had done well in his two interviews with the Oakland front office and that early favorite Winston Moss, the Packers assistant head coach, had not.

Latest Coaching News, Rumors

In his only season as the head of Denver’s defense, he helped lead a unit that propped up quarterback Tim Tebow for the last half of the season and allowed the Broncos to win the AFC West and beat the Steelers in the first round of the postseason.

Glazer writes that the two sides still have to negotiate a deal, but with Allen, the Raiders will get a coach whose defense finished in the bottom half of the league standings but who was lauded for the improvements his unit made in the final half of the season.

Although Moss -- who knows new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie quite well from their days together in Green Bay, leading to the speculation that he had a good chance of landing the job -- seemingly fell out of favor during the interviewing process, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg reportedly had a good shot at landing the job.

The Raiders also interviewed Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, while Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy declined his chance to interview.

Considering former owner Al Davis was such a big proponent of hiring offensive-minded coaches (see: Hue Jackson, Tom Cable, Lane Kiffin, Art Shell, Norv Turner, Bill Callahan, Jon Gruden, etc.), seeing a defensive-minded coach hired is an interesting concept.

It shows that Mark Davis, Al Davis’ son who is now in charge, will take a different tact than this father. Only time will tell whether this new path is the beginning of a Raiders resurgence or if Al Davis had the right idea the whole time.

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:28 pm
 

OAK has interviewed Moss; to look at Allen again

Winston Moss reportedly interviewed with Oakland on Jan. 14 (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

When Reggie McKenzie was hired as the Raiders general manager, the league consensus was that Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss was an early favorite, particularly since McKenzie was coming to Oakland from the Green Bay player personnel director position.

But since then, we hadn’t heard much about moss, though we know the Packers have interviewed Todd Bowles and Marty Mornhinweg and have shown interest in Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy (who declined an interview) and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Plus, as CBS Sports’ Charley Casserly reported Sunday, the Raiders also want to speak with Packers defensive coordinator* Dom Capers.

Turns out, though, that Moss already has interviewed for the job, all the way back on Jan. 14, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The day before the Packers lost to the Giants, Moss interviewed for four hours with the Raiders.

*Jeez, it seems like the only Packers assistant coach who the Raiders didn’t interview was the guy who ended up getting the Dolphins head coaching job.

But if you’re forecasting a favorite besides Moss, the paper has a thought on the matter.

Latest Coaching News, Rumors
Writes Vittorio Tafur, “There are those who think Mornhinweg might be the new favorite for the Raiders' job. He worked with McKenzie in Green Bay and was the Packers' quarterbacks coach when Green Bay won the Super Bowl with Brett Favre. Al Davis always liked to hire offensive coaches, and maybe his son, Mark, and McKenzie follow suit.”

In other Raiders head coach news, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Allen has been lined up for a second interview with the Oakland brass. That interview is scheduled to occur during this week's Senior Bowl activities in Mobile. 

Which might mean that Allen -- and not necessarily Moss or Mornhinweg -- is the favorite at this point.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:38 pm
 

Raiders to interview at least 4, including Tice

TiceBy Josh Katzowitz

While Winston Moss seems to be the favorite to win the Raiders head coaching job because of the Packers assistant head coach’s connection with new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, the organization is interviewing at least four other candidates for the job.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, the Raiders have asked permission from the Bears to interview new offensive coordinator Mike Tice, and although Chicago just promoted Tice to replace Mike Martz, the team can’t stand in Tice’s way*.

Along with Tice, the Raiders will interview Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, according to Delawareonline.com. Also, the Raiders will take a look at Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Denver defensive coordinator Bruce Allen (hey, if you’re going to fly to Denver anyway, you might as well get two interviews with one stone).

“I think it’s very complimentary to this organization that they’re having that opportunity and to their work,’’ Broncos coach John Fox told the Associated Press. “I think any assistant coach’s aspiration is to be a head coach. It speaks for what this organization has accomplished this season. Time will tell.’’

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*This became an issue earlier this week when the Bears refused the Vikings request to interview Chicago secondary coach Jon Hoke for for the Minnesota defensive coordinator job.

Already, the Raiders have interviewed Miami interim coach Todd Bowles.

Moss most likely will receive a call as well. He played for the Raiders in the 1990s, and McKenzie, formerly an executive in Green Bay, and Moss know each other quite well.

“There’s always opportunities to put yourself in the same position as a head coach would and see how you would do things or what you would change or what you would add or what you would take away,’’ Moss said. “So with that being said, I’ve done that, I feel good about the vision, the goals, the beliefs that can be instilled within an organization that would give me the opportunity to be a head coach.’’

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:28 pm
 

Fins to take 2nd look at McCoy, Philbin, Bowles



By Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like the Dolphins are getting closer to hiring a new coach. At the same time, they’re not getting very close at all.

After failing to land Jeff Fisher, who spurned the organization for St. Louis, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will get his second interview with Miami owner Stephen Ross when Ross travels to New York to meet with him. But … just because you’ve received a second interview doesn’t necessarily put you in elite company.

That’s because Todd Bowles, who replaced Tony Sparano for the final three games of the season (and went 2-1 in the process), will get a second interview as well. As will Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin (before you count out Philbin, whose 21-year-old son died earlier this month, the Miami Herald reports that Philbin wants the Dolphins job and is eager to relocate his family to Miami).

In fact, it seems the only coaches who didn’t make the second interview cut were Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer -- who, once again, probably won’t get the head coaching job he deserves -- and Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, who signed a two-year contract extension with Chicago on Tuesday.

So, the Dolphins are making progress, down from five candidates to three. But it seems like it’ll be a couple more days before Miami fans find out who will be next to lead the team.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:00 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 1:13 pm
 

Latest coaching rumors, news (Week 3)

Black Monday, part III

By Josh Katzowitz

Coaching news and rumors don't slow down just because there's football. If you missed all of last week's action, hit it here to catch up on Black Monday, week one and Black Monday, week two and then scroll down. Make sure to bookmark this page as we'll be updating it throughout the week with the latest news and rumors.

FRIDAY
12:30 p.m. ET
  • Looks like the speculation concering Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was true. He told Mike Tomlin he will retire.
THURSDAY
11:50 p.m. ET
  • Ah, the old switcharoo. Now that Steve Spagnuolo has taken the Saints offensive coordinator job, the circle is complete. He replaces former New Orleans offensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who left to take the Rams offensive coordinator job to work for Jeff Fisher, who replaced Spagnuolo as head coach. What does it all mean? Nothing, except the NFL is a crazy business.
10:55 a.m. ET
  • Although it appears that former Chiefs coach Todd Haley wants to coach in Arizona and that the Cardinals want Haley to coach for them, the Arizona Republic reports the two sides are having a difficult time making that happen. There's an open spot for a quarterback coach, but it sounds like Haley wants more responsibility than that.

WEDNESDAY
9:40 p.m. ET
  • After firing Jim Caldwell, the Colts have begun to prowl for their next head coach. First on the agenda: Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.
  • There is now a question whether Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will return to Pittsburgh next season. His contract is up, and it sounds like he might decide to retire from the game.
7:30 p.m. ET
  • Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, one of about 300 candidates for the Raiders head coaching position, has decided to decline his chance to interview with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, according to the Denver Post. McKenzie seemingly will still interview Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • As the Tennessean reports, Mike Reinfeldt has been promoted to senior executive vice president/chief operating officer and moved Ruston Webster to general manager.
TUESDAY
10:40 p.m. ET
  • Though it's been thought that Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss has a good shot to land the Raiders job, Oakland will interview at least four more candidates. That includes Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Bears defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
  • As Rapid Reporter Dan McLellan writes, Chargers offensive line coach Hal Hunter has been named San Diego's new offensive coordinator. “Hal has been an important part of our offense since I’ve been here,” coach Norv Turner said. “He has a complete understanding of what we want to do in the run and the pass.”
7:45 p.m. ET
  • One defensive coordinator domino has been knocked down as the Falcons have hired Mike Nolan to replace the departed Brian Van Gorder. Which could open up Steve Spagnuolo heading to New Orleans to replace Gregg Williams as Saints defensive coordinator.
  • According to the Florida Times-Union, former University of Florida and University of Illinois head coach Ron Zook will interview Wednesday for the Jaguars special teams coach.

5:30 p.m. ET

  • The Dolphins are down to three head coaching candidates -- Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, Miami interim coach Todd Bowles and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. You can now eliminate Mike Zimmer and Dave Toub from consideration.

MONDAY

5:15 p.m. ET

3:50 p.m. ET

  • Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has made the lateral move to become the defensive coordinator for Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Yep, it'll be a good old fashioned Titans reunion party in St. Louis

11:30 a.m. ET

  • Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy did such a good job with a Tim Tebow-led offense that he'll be interviewed by the Dolphins for their head coaching job.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:27 am
 

Report: Dolphins to interview Denver's Mike McCoy

Miami will reportedly interview McCoy on Monday. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's name shot up coaching candidate lists after a season that saw him turn Tim Tebow and an unconventional offense into a division winner. And according to multiple reports, he'll interview with the Dolphins for their head-coaching position on Monday.

Both the Miami Herald and NFL Network report that McCoy will head to South Beach for an interview.

McCoy's worked under John Fox with the Carolina Panthers for several years before taking the offensive coordinator position under Josh McDaniels in Denver beginning in 2009; he was retained when Fox replaced McDaniels in 2011.

In his three years in that position, he's authored the league's No. 1 ranked rushing offense (2011) and a passing offense that ranked in the top 15 in passing yards twice (2009, 2010).

Perhaps most impressive about McCoy, who's just 39, is what he's done with limited resources. The Broncos traded away Jay Cutler before the 2009 season and under McCoy, Kyle Orton still threw for more than 3,500 yards in two consecutive seasons. After the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall following the 2009 season, Brandon Lloyd became a Pro Bowler.

And, of course, in 2011, McCoy re-engineered the offense in the middle of the season to fit Tebow's skills and helped Denver win a division title.

When the Dolphins struck out on landing Jeff Fisher Friday, they began turning to other candidates. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's a hot name in South Beach right now, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin could get a second interview and according to the Herald, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has been "discussed internally."

If the Dolphins are truly looking to become a potent offensive team, McCoy could very well be their best choice.

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:40 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 9:40 pm
 

Film Room: Patriots vs Broncos divisional preview

Will Gronk get his Gronk on this time around? (Getty Images)
Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

It was assumed the Patriots would draw a rematch in their divisional round playoff opener. However, most figured that rematch would be of their Week 8 bout with Pittsburgh, not their Week 15 bout with Denver.

Here’s the breakdown of what could turn out to be the highest-rated divisional round Saturday night game of all-time.


1. New England’s plan for Tebow
Something to keep in mind is the Steelers had a sound gameplan last week, playing man coverage and using a tepid pass-rush to ensure that Tim Tebow stayed in the pocket. What the Steelers didn’t count on was Demaryius Thomas being able to get by Ike Taylor and Tebow being able to pull the trigger on downfield throws. Those two young ’10 first-rounders both had career days.

The Patriots might bet that the two youngsters can’t do it again.

On the one hand, that’s a smart bet given that Thomas and Tebow were inconsistent all season (Tebow especially). On the other hand, it’s foolish given that cornerback Kyle Arrington – who would draw the Thomas matchup, as Thomas almost always lines up on the favorable side of the left-handed Tebow – is not half the cover artist Ike Taylor is, and given that logic says if Tebow can win against the man coverage of the league’s best pass defense, he can surely win against the man coverage of the league’s worst pass defense.

In the last meeting, the Patriots played predominant Cover 3 in the first half:

The Broncos had success throwing skinny posts to Tebow’s left against the Patriots Cover 3 defense in the last meeting. Cover 3 is what you’d guess it is: three defensive backs each responsible for a third of the field. Because there is so much field to cover, the outside defensive backs often play man-to-man concepts (as Devin McCourty is doing on the right side). Cover 3 is something defenses play when they blitz or when they want to force a quarterback to throw (it’s the default zone coverage behind an eight-defender box).

In this example, the Patriots were clearly baiting Tebow to throw. Notice there are only five rushers (which is hardly a blitz considering Denver has seven guys in pass protection – the idea was to keep Tebow from scrambling). Also notice how linebacker Dane Fletcher has his back to the quarterback and is running towards the left passing window. (Fletcher was late getting there; Tebow did a good job recognizing the coverage and getting the ball out quickly. The result was a 22-yard completion to Eric Decker.)

The Broncos used great routes for beating this anticipated coverage, but Tebow was unable to connect on some of the throws.

Still, throws against Cover 3 are easier than throws against quality press-man, as long as the pass protection holds up. Denver’s protection was tremendous last week.

If tackles Ryan Clady and Orlando Franklin (who may need some help on the right side) can keep speed-rusher Mark Anderson at bay, the Broncos will be golden. (Keeping a backup like Anderson at bay may not sound difficult, but the former Bear was actually very disruptive in the last meeting.)

2. Stop the run!
The Patriots gave up 167 yards rushing in the first quarter of the Week 15 contest. They wound up winning the game handily, but they were on the fortuitous side of a few fumbles.

Common sense says you can’t bank on having success with such porous run defense. The issue last game was outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich’s inability to set the edge and the defensive line’s inability to prevent the Bronco linemen from contacting inside linebackers. This was a problem both with New England’s 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.

Nose tackle Vince Wilfork must stand out more this time around. The Broncos will be willing at times to block him one-on-one with J.D. Walton. The second-year center has been up-and-down (in a good way) handling tough solo assignments against nose tackles down the stretch this season. He was phenomenal against Antonio Garay of the Chargers in Week 12 but had been just so-so the previous week against Sione Pouha of the Jets. In Week 15 he held his own against Wilfork, but in Week 16 he got schooled by Marcell Dareus.
 
If Walton has a strong game, the Broncos can pound the rock inside. If he struggles, Denver’s at least capable of getting to the perimeter, though they’ll miss the fervid blocking of wideout Eric Decker.

3. Defending the Patriots tight ends
Greg Cosell, executive producer of the NFL Matchup Show, did an excellent job breaking down the Week 15 film back in December. Cosell wrote that the Broncos focused their coverages on Rob Gronkowski, successfully disrupting his timing by hitting him at the line of scrimmage.

However, that left fourth-round rookie safety Quinton Carter on Aaron Hernandez. Carter, like the rest of Denver’s safeties, is not great in man coverage, which Hernandez proved by posting what were at the time his career highs in catches (nine) and yards (129).

Though still a little green as a route runner (particularly against zone), Hernandez has the movement skills of a wide receiver. The Broncos may choose to defend him with rising rookie nickel back Chris Harris. That would leave safeties and linebackers to cover Gronkowski.

Defensive coordinator Dennis Allen may figure he can get away with that as long as coverage linebackers Wesley Woodyard and D.J. Williams are once again physical with the second-year superstar.

The Patriots’ counter to this would be splitting Gronkowski into a slot receiver position (likely in a spread 2 x 2 or 3 x 2 set), where he could line up a few yards off the line and operate against an overwhelmed defender in space. Even if the Broncos decided to sacrifice their run defense by going with dime personnel against the two tight ends, they still would be overmatched.

After all, just because Jonathan Wilhite is a corner doesn’t mean he can cover Gronkowski. This is the problem New England’s offense poses, this is why the Patriots are the No. 1 seed.

4. If lightning strikes twice ...
As the tight end analysis just suggested, the Broncos are faced with a very serious matchup problem that can only be solved by their players rising up and doing things no one thought they could do. It’s improbable, but as Denver’s offense showed last week, not impossible.

So let’s say for the sake of extra analysis that the Broncos can stop Gronkowski and Hernandez with their inside pass defenders. That leaves outside corners Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman on Wes Welker and Deion Branch (who did not play in the last matchup).

If the Broncos want to avoid the matchup problems that New England’s flexible formations create (such as Welker working against a linebacker in the slot), they’ll have to play man-to-man, with Bailey assigned on Welker and Goodman on Branch. Those aren’t bad matchups for either side – it would come down to who executes better (general rule of thumb, over the course of 60 minutes, put your money on the offense).

What we’re not considering is New England’s ability to run the ball. They’re not known for that, but against nickel or dime defense, they’re capable of controlling the game the old fashioned way.

Danny Woodhead has great lateral agility. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a steady, highly professional runner. Of course, he may lose snaps to the more dynamic Stevan Ridley, a third-round rookie who has come on as of late. The Patriots have an excellent run-blocking front five with LG Logan Mankins being a premier puller, RG Brian Waters a shrewd playside anchor, LT Matt Light a crafty angles-creator (including at the second level) and RT Nate Solder a ridiculous athlete out in front.

5. Broncos pass-rush slowing down?
Pass-rush pressure is always a prerequisite for beating Tom Brady. Lately, the Patriots have nullified it with an increased emphasis on three-and five-step drops. Brady is especially sharp at this when working out of an empty backfield.

The Broncos have not had the most fervid pass-rush the last month anyway. They sacked Brady just twice in Week 15. They got Ryan Fitzpatrick just once the next week and Kyle Orton once in the season finale. They got to Ben Roethlisberger in the wild card round but that’s a product of Roethlisberger’s style of play. Denver’s pass-rush did not control the flow of last Saturday’s game. Von Miller has had just one sack since his first game back from a thumb injury (December 11 at Minnesota) and has been less explosive playing with a cast.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all divisional-round games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com