The San Diego Chargers are "nearing a deal" to make Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy their next head coach, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported early on Tuesday.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the Chargers announced that a deal has been reached and that McCoy will be introduced at a 2 p.m. PST press conference.
McCoy, 40, has been with the Broncos since the 2009 season, coaching quarterbacks and serving as the team's offensive coordinator. McCoy has received interest as a head coach primarily for the outstanding job he's done the last two seasons, adding the read-option to the Broncos offense in the middle of the 2011 season in order to suit quarterback Tim Tebow's unique skill-set. The Broncos led the NFL in rushing in 2011, winning the AFC West and advancing the divisional round of the playoffs. McCoy made more adjustments to the offense when the team signed Peyton Manning last offseason. Denver ranked fourth in total offense, including fifth in passing, and had the NFL's No. 2 scoring offense.
Prior to working with the Broncos, McCoy spent nine seasons as a position coach with the Carolina Panthers, spending his last two seasons (2007-08) as the team's passing game coordinator. The Panthers ranked fifth in "passing yards per play" in the 2008 season.
McCoy has also been interviewed by the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles and was scheduled to meet again with the Cardinals on Tuesday. McCoy's interview with the Chargers took place on Monday.
"The Chargers have great tradition and great people," McCoy told the team's official website. "The great thing is it’s a family run business. I’m big into family. There’s an open door policy for everyone to feel welcome and open to come enjoy the environment that we’re all in this together."
Other candidates in San Diego include Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
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Below is an updated look at where current head coach and general manager vacancies stand on Jan. 15, over two weeks removed from when most of the positions were opened up on "Black Monday":
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals interviewed Ray Horton, their current defensive coordinator, the day after they fired Ken Whisenhunt. After promoting Steve Keim from vice president of player personnel to general manager, the search for a new head coach was ramped up, with Keim and president Michael Bidwill interviewing Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who could be the preferred choice, reports Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Chicago Bears: Few teams have cast as wide a net as GM Phil Emery has to find the next head coach of the Bears. Emery has interviewed a handful of special teams coordinator, including current Bears coordinator Dave Toub. Other special teams coordinators interviewed by the Bears include Joe DeCamillis (Dallas Cowboys), Keith Armstrong (Atlanta Falcons) and Mike Priefer of the Minnesota Vikings.
Offensive-minded coaches o the Bears' list include Rick Dennison (Houston Texans), Mike Sullivan (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Mike McCoy (Broncos), Pete Carmichael (New Orleans Saints), Tom Clements (Green Bay Packers), Darrell Bevell (Seahawks), Bruce Arians (Colts), and Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. Hall of Fame Bears linebackers Mike Singletary, who is currently the assistant head coach/linebackers coach of the Vikings, has also been mentioned as a candidate in the Windy City.
Arians, Bevell and Trestman are the three names on the team's "short list", reports Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Cleveland Browns: Last Thursday, the Browns hired Rob Chudzinski to be their head coach and now owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner are searching for a general manager to replace Tom Heckert. Former NFL linebacker and longtime Kansas City Chiefs personnel executive Ray Farmer has interviewed for the GM position and, according to ProFootballTalk.com, is the favorite to land the position. Vikings assistant GM George Paton was also a candidate, but no interview took place and Paton is now considered to be out of the running.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Newly-hired general manager David Caldwell wasted little time in firing head coach Mike Mularkey, who guided the franchise to a 2-14 record in his one season on the job. Caldwell interviewed current defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who was 2-3 as the club's interim head coach in 2011, on Monday, and is scheduled to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Tuesday. Also in the mix is St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who will also meet with Caldwell on Tuesday.
The presumptive favorite, however, is San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who played with Caldwell at John Carroll University in the early 1990s. The 49ers remain alive in the NFC Playoffs and the Jaguars cannot make contact with Roman until after the 49ers' season is officially over.
New York Jets: Last week, the Jets expanded their search for a new general manager, which up to that point, had included interviews with current assistant GM Scott Cohen, 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and Falcons director of player personnel David Caldwell, who reportedly spurned a $1 million housing allowance from the Jets to take the Jaguars job.
As part of the Jets' expanded search, the team interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers director of football & business administration Omar Khan, Seahawks vice president of football administration John Idzik, Miami Dolphins assistant general manager Brian Gaine and former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo. Alouettes GM Jim Popp and then-San Diego Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye were also candidates. Raye has subsequently been named the vice president of football operations for the Colts.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the club has narrowed its search for a new GM, focusing on Cohen, Kahn and Angelo.
Considering the circus-like atmosphere the Jets have been, promoting an in-house candidate like Cohen could be a risky move by owner Woody Johnson. Khan has managed the Steelers' cap and contract negotiations, which would come in handy as the Jets are currently projected to be around $25 million over next season's salary cap. However, fired GM Mike Tannenbaum also had a salary cap background, which could compromise Khan's candidacy. Hiring an experienced executive like Angelo would seem like a sound move, but unlike the coaching profession, where fired coaches get multiple bites at the apple, former general managers tend to stay former general managers. In the current NFL, only Bruce Allen of the Washington Redskins held the same GM title in another NFL city, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have scheduled their first "second interview" of the process, meeting on Tuesday with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The two sides – Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, GM Howie Roseman and president Don Smolenski – met in Atlanta on Saturday and today's meeting will take place in Philadelphia.
On Monday, the Eagles interviewed former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Other candidates in Philadelphia include Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, former Ravens head coach Brian Billick, former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, and were interested in Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien, each of whom remained in college, and Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, who was hired by the Buffalo Bills.
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