Who Is Mike McCoy, and Why Are the Eagles Interviewing Him to be Their Head Coach?

Who Is Mike McCoy, and Why Are the Eagles Interviewing Him to be Their Head Coach?

Jeff Lurie and Howie Roseman will be one of a handful of
groups to sit down with Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy over the
weekend. Besides the obvious though – working with Peyton Manning this season –
how has McCoy’s star risen so fast in league circles?

It’s simple, really. What you have to like about McCoy is
how he has demonstrated the ability to work with – and more importantly win
with – any caliber of quarterback in the NFL.

Got a franchise quarterback and football mastermind in
Peyton Manning? Great, see you in the tournament. Have a passer of middling
talent and ability (to put it kindly) such as a Kyle Orton? No problem, that dude
can put up back-to-back 3,500-yard seasons. Want Tim Tebow under center even
though he can’t throw a football with any consistency whatsoever? Still going
to the playoffs and actually winning a game there.

It hasn’t mattered who was at the helm for the Broncos since
McCoy arrived as the offensive coordinator in 2009. He’s gotten the most out of
them all.

That success followed McCoy from Carolina, where as the
quarterbacks coach he helped transform Jake Delhomme into a reliable option.

McCoy had been an offensive in assistant for the Panthers
since 2000, gaining the title of quarterbacks coach in ’04, Delhomme’s second
season with the team. Delhomme had already helped led the team to a berth in
the Super Bowl, though his numbers left something to be desired. The next
season he would set career highs in yards (3,886) and touchdowns (29), and in ’05
he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Just another average quarterback exceeding expectations with
McCoy standing somewhere in the picture.

But McCoy’s most famous and arguably greatest work of art
was last year with the Broncos, after they traded Orton mid-season. The team
essentially told him to rip up the playbook, and make the offense work with Tim
Tebow. Miraculously, he did.

Denver finished 8-8 that year, and 7-4 under Tebow despite
the fact that he was completing a pathetic 46.7% of his pass attempts. Then
they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the postseason. Granted, a lot of the
credit falls on the Broncos’ defense for keeping in many of those games, but
just the fact that McCoy could retool the entire offense on the fly was
impressive.

It might be tempting to attribute this season’s job entirely
to Manning, who is often described as being like the offensive coordinator is
actually on the field. For what it’s worth, Peyton thinks McCoy is worthy of a
head position.

“I think he's ready [for a head
coaching job], I think he's paid his dues,” Manning said of McCoy on Wednesday,
according to USA
Today. “He's a strong leader. In my opinion, he deserves a shot at one
of these head coaching gigs.”



“Mike has been a great resource for me,” Manning continued. “He's been
incredibly supportive and patient with me in kind of putting together this
hybrid offense. I tell you, he's a worker. We spend a lot of hours together —
early mornings, late nights — trying to get kind of our plan in place for what
kind of offense we were going to be. There's no substitute for a work ethic,
and Mike certainly has that.”

McCoy, 40, pitched the ball around a bit himself as a
quarterback at the University of Utah and has spent his entire coaching career between
Carolina and Denver. It’s a respectable resume.

What I think strikes people the most about McCoy though is
his ability to adapt within tight windows. Tebow couldn’t execute the offense Orton
ran, but Orton couldn’t execute the offense Manning is running, either. Anybody
who can work with such varying levels of talent to that extreme is going to be
successful in the NFL.

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NFL Playoff Wrap: Packers, Steelers off to conference title games after dramatic wins

NFL Playoff Wrap: Packers, Steelers off to conference title games after dramatic wins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- This time it was a catch, and another win for the Green Bay Packers.

Call it a "Half Mary" from Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers threw a 36-yard pass to a toe-dragging Jared Cook on the sideline, and Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Packers to the NFC championship game with their eighth straight win while thwarting a huge Dallas rally in a 34-31 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.

The throw on the run from Rodgers to Cook -- confirmed on review -- wasn't nearly as debatable as Dez Bryant's famous catch that wasn't in the Cowboys' divisional round loss to Green Bay two years ago.

Cook kept both feet inbounds with a knee just above the ground out of bounds.

And it came after the Cowboys tied the game twice in the final 5 minutes behind rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in their playoff debut.

It was the third field goal of more than 50 yards in the final 1:38 -- two from Crosby and one from Dallas' Dan Bailey. And Crosby had to make the winner twice after Dallas coach Jason Garrett called timeout before the first attempt.

Rodgers, who sparked last week's wild-card win over the New York Giants with another Hail Mary before halftime, is headed to an MVP showdown with Atlanta's Matt Ryan next Sunday. It will be his third NFC title game -- all on the road.

Green Bay's win was the first by a road team after 12 straight home victories in the playoffs dating to last season.

The Cowboys (13-4) almost became the third team in the Super Bowl era to win in the playoffs after trailing by 15 points in the fourth quarter. The first was Dallas in 1972, when "Captain Comeback", Roger Staubach, rallied the Cowboys for a 30-28 win over San Francisco.

Instead, Dallas ended up with its fifth straight loss in the divisional round and a 21-year drought in trips to the NFC championship game.

Prescott got the Dallas rally going with a 40-yard touchdown toss in the first half to Bryant, the first playoff TD for the star receiver.

Then he set the stage for the first tying score on a 6-yarder to Jason Witten, also the first postseason touchdown for the 14th-year tight end.

Rodgers led the Packers to a go-ahead 56-yard field goal from Crosby with a big boost on a pass interference penalty against rookie Anthony Brown that wiped out an interception from Jeff Heath, whose pick earlier in the game helped Dallas rally.

The Cowboys answered with a 52-yarder from Bailey (see full recap).

Steelers hold off Chiefs to set up rematch with Pats in AFC title game
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Who needs to reach the end zone when you have Le'Veon Bell chewing up yards and the clock, and Chris Boswell setting an NFL playoff record with six field goals?

Throw in a stingy Pittsburgh defense for most of Sunday night, and a multitude of mistakes by Kansas City, and the Steelers' 18-16 victory sent them into the AFC championship game.

The Steelers (13-5) needed to hold off a last-ditch threat by the Chiefs (12-5) before advancing to face New England next Sunday night for a spot in the Super Bowl. The Patriots won at Pittsburgh 27-16, but Ben Roethlisberger was injured and didn't play.

Spencer Ware's 1-yard touchdown run took Kansas City within 18-16. The Chiefs at first converted the 2-pointer to tie it, but tackle Eric Fisher -- the first overall selection in the 2013 draft -- was penalized for holding. The next try failed.

With 2:43 remaining, Justin Gilbert misplayed the kick return and was tackled at the Pittsburgh 5. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for 7 yards on third down and Pittsburgh then ran out the clock, securing a ninth straight victory for the Steelers. The Chiefs have not won a home playoff game since 1994, losing five in a row.

The scoring started furiously in the opening minutes, then the game became a kicking exhibition by Boswell, who also had six field goals in the regular season against Cincinnati. And Bell put on a virtuoso running performance, patiently finding holes and then exploding through them. He added a team-record 170 yards rushing to the 167 he had in a win over Miami last week.

The Steelers became first team to win a playoff game without a TD since eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis in the 2006 AFC divisional round at Baltimore.

Using a no-huddle attack almost to perfection early on, the Steelers drove deep into Kansas City territory. But they bogged down inside the 5 and Boswell made a 22-yard field goal.

The Chiefs were just as efficient on a six-play march capped by receiver Albert Wilson lining up in the backfield, then slipping uncovered into the end zone for a 5-yard score.

Pittsburgh's answer came on a 52-yard heave to All-Pro Brown, who somehow was covered by linebacker Justin Houston. That led to Boswell's second field goal, a 38-yarder. He added a 36-yarder to cap a 14-play drive on which Pittsburgh again barely huddled.

A clean game up until then turned to, well, turnovers, on successive series. Bud Dupree pounded Alex Smith, whose pass shot high into the air and was caught by linebacker Ryan Shazier.

The Steelers got to the Kansas City 5, where Frank Zombo leaped to deflect Roethlisberger's throw, and All-Pro safety Eric Berry -- burned for 26 yards on the previously play -- picked it off in the end zone.

Boswell's fourth field goal, from 45 yards, made it 12-7 at the half. His 43-yarder, setting the franchise record for a postseason game and tying the league mark of five, came on Pittsburgh's first series of the second half. A 43-yarder midway in the fourth quarter gave Boswell the NFL record.

Kansas City's Cairo Santos got in on the kicking act with a 48-yarder to make it 15-10. At that point, 10 seconds from the end of the third quarter, the Chiefs were outgained 333 yards to 150 (see full recap).

Best of NBA: James Harden's 12th triple-double paces Rockets' rout of Nets

Best of NBA: James Harden's 12th triple-double paces Rockets' rout of Nets

NEW YORK -- James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.

Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.

Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.

Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game (see full recap).

DeRozan leads Raptors past Knicks
TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, Norman Powell added 21 and the Toronto Raptors used a dominant third quarter to beat the New York Knicks 116-101 on Sunday.

DeRozan also had five rebounds and five assists before coming out late in the third quarter.

The Raptors improved to 27-13, taking the lead for good late in the first quarter. They led by 38 points in the third in winning their third straight game overall and fifth in a row against the Knicks.

DeMarre Carroll added 20 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 18 points, Justin Holiday had 17, and Derrick Rose added 16. The Knicks are 2-10 in their last 12 to drop to 18-23 (see full recap).

Hawks stay hot by beating Bucks    
ATLANTA -- Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.

Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.

Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season (see full recap)