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Old 01-02-2009, 09:52 AM    (permalink
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ENGLEWOOD — Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said the process of finding a new coach would begin quickly with the arrival of the new year Thursday.

He meant what he said.

The Broncos moved quickly on New Year's Day, locking up interviews with three NFL assistants as well as making a preliminary move to contact University of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.

Bowlen could not be reached for comment on any of the day's events.

But the Broncos have finalized meetings with New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, newly named Tampa Bay defensive coordinator and former secondary coach Raheem Morris and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Spagnuolo will be the first to interview for the Broncos job since Mike Shanahan was fired Tuesday, with a meeting set for Saturday with Broncos officials.

Morris, who Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden recently promoted to replace the departed Monte Kiffin to run Tampa Bay's defense, will meet with the Broncos on Monday.

Also Thursday, the Broncos made preliminary moves toward Stoops, whose team will play Thursday in the Bowl Championship Series title game in Miami.

Wednesday, in his lone public appearance since Shanahan's firing, Bowlen continued to express the Broncos' job would be attractive to prospective coaches because of the offensive performance this season and the youth of the roster.

"This job . . . this is a very highly thought-of job and I expect to get a very good head coach. . . . I want him to be a 10 in every area," he said.

That appears to be the case in securing an interview with Spagnuolo, who will be the first in line for the Broncos because of rules regarding assistant coaches with teams in the playoffs.

When interviewing a coach with a team that has a first-round bye, as the Giants do, the Broncos are facing a Sunday deadline.

After that, assistants with playoff teams can be interviewed only after their teams are knocked out of the playoffs or in the week immediately after the conference championship games if their teams advance to the Super Bowl.

Because of that Sunday deadline, the Broncos aren't expected to interview Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz - the Titans have a bye this weekend so he will not be in the first wave of their interviews.

But Spagnuolo is a popular target around the league.

He spoke with the Browns on Thursday, is scheduled to interview with the New York Jets on Saturday and the Detroit Lions also have asked for, and received, permission to interview Spagnuolo at some point.

He moved the Broncos interview to Saturday evening despite the team being the last one of the four to contact him.

Because of the interview with the Jets and the Giants' preparations for their playoff game in a little more than a week, the Broncos will interview Spagnuolo in the New York area.

The Broncos are expected to interview McDaniels on the same trip as their interview with Spagnuolo.

The Redskins made a significant push to get Spagnuolo after the Giants' Super Bowl win against the previously undefeated Patriots in February, with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder bringing Spagnuolo to his estate for two days.

But Spagnuolo elected to stay with the Giants.

Giants players routinely have lauded Spagnuolo's preparation and the Giants finished fifth in defense during the regular season despite defensive end Michael Strahan's retirement and the loss of defensive end Osi Umenyiora to a season-ending injury early in the year.

Morris just was promoted by the Buccaneers to replace Kiffin, the team's longtime defensive coordinator who left to coach with his son Lane at the University of Tennessee.

A personality many in the league say people just gravitate to, Morris will be a popular head coaching candidate, several general managers predict, in the coming years if he is not hired by the Broncos.

The Buccaneers were second in the NFC against the pass this season and fourth in the league.

For his part, Stoops, who visited Broncos training camp during the summer with his coaching staff, is a known quantity to Bowlen.


But his contract at the football powerhouse averages about $3 million a year, and he will earn $6 million this year because of a $3 million bonus for staying at the school 10 seasons that kicked in on New Year's Day.

Bowlen is an Oklahoma graduate and he did spend some time with Stoops during the visit in August. The Broncos had not had any direct contact with Stoops as of Thursday, but they were making overtures to his representatives.

It is unlikely Stoops, who also was considered for the Redskins job last year, would consider an interview before his team faces Florida at Dolphin Stadium.

The Broncos also have discussed Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and could seek permission to speak with him once he is available to interview. The Vikings play host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in an NFC wild- card game.

Because of the league's Rooney Rule, the Broncos have to interview at least one minority candidate for the job and the league would prefer more than one is considered.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:07 PM    (permalink
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Any Giants fans a little worried about the huge distraction for Spagnuolo with the playoffs a week away?
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:15 PM    (permalink
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Any Giants fans a little worried about the huge distraction for Spagnuolo with the playoffs a week away?
Nope. I'm worried about not having spags for next season but the players love him and will kill for him while he's here and he's a pro who's well prepared and a very good quick thinker with his play calling so I have no worries about Spags heading into the playoffs. i'm much more concerned with killdrive's play calling, our protection and how much pressure we can generate defensively.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:17 PM    (permalink
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i still dont think that he should have been fired. you cant shoulder all of the blame on him, how many RB's did they go through. there defense was pig ****. he was in an extremely poor situation im just impressed he managed 8-8
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:20 PM    (permalink
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Any Giants fans a little worried about the huge distraction for Spagnuolo with the playoffs a week away?
i am. in fact, we've faced waaaaaaaaaaay too many distractions this season, and i think it ultimately will cost us a chance of repeating.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:25 PM    (permalink
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i am. in fact, we've faced waaaaaaaaaaay too many distractions this season, and i think it ultimately will cost us a chance of repeating.
I think you guys have every chance of repeating, spag is a good enough coach to keep his head where it matters. come on you have done alright without plax shooting himself up.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:28 PM    (permalink
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I think you guys have every chance of repeating, spag is a good enough coach to keep his head where it matters. come on you have done alright without plax shooting himself up.
we'll see. i don't feel too good about it, but i hope you're right.

its just so hard winning the SB, you have to be firing on all cylinders to do it. and we've regressed since Plax got hurt, and we've lost 3 of the last 4 (granted, the final game of the season we could have easily won with our starters).
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:29 PM    (permalink
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i am. in fact, we've faced waaaaaaaaaaay too many distractions this season, and i think it ultimately will cost us a chance of repeating.
I think the loss of Plax will be the most painful.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:30 PM    (permalink
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we'll see. i don't feel too good about it, but i hope you're right.

its just so hard winning the SB, you have to be firing on all cylinders to do it. and we've regressed since Plax got hurt, and we've lost 3 of the last 4 (granted, the final game of the season we could have easily won with our starters).
thats a fair point, thats why i worry about tennessee the franchises history including as the oiler does not involve the lombardi trophy. but i think if we get there and we have a healthy Dline then i think we are the team with the best shot of winning it all.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:31 PM    (permalink
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I think the loss of Plax will be the most painful.
definitely.

had we had either Plax or Osi, id feel extremely confident about winning the SB this year. without them though, i just don't think we have it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:52 PM    (permalink
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definitely.

had we had either Plax or Osi, id feel extremely confident about winning the SB this year. without them though, i just don't think we have it.
With either one I'd think we'd be favorites, without them we're just one of the contenders and who knows how it's going to play out.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:53 PM    (permalink
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With either one I'd think we'd be favorites, without them we're just one of the contenders and who knows how it's going to play out.
i still think we have a shot, don't get me wrong.

im generally a debbie downer come playoff time. i always look at the bad side of things and expect the worst to happen.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:59 PM    (permalink
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You picked the Chargers and the Dolphins this weekend, I believe this news.

Recent chatter is that the Broncos might hire Spags and Eagles GM Tom Heckert. I would like that move, if they did it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:02 PM    (permalink
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You picked the Chargers and the Dolphins this weekend, I believe this news.

Recent chatter is that the Broncos might hire Spags and Eagles GM Tom Heckert. I would like that move, if they did it.
picked the chargers but i always root for my boy Peyton in the AFC. And of course, Im a Parcells fan so im pulling for Miami.

I think Denver is perfect for Spags. Its gonna hurt losing the guy. Sheridan has some big shoes to fill.
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