NFL head-coaching search roundup

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NFL head-coaching search roundup

While most fans seemed content with Phil Emery's decision to fire Lovie Smith, while many of Smith's players expressed outrage at Halas Hall upon hearing the news.
So where did legendary Bears coach Mike Ditka, who is no stranger himself to being shown the door in Chicago, stand on the issue? Dikta told WMVP-AM on Monday that the Bears firing Lovie Smith was "stupid," and that Smith is "a very good coach."
Whether or not Ditka is correct on his first opinion -- that Smith did not deserve to be fired -- reports surfacing early in seven teams' coaching hunt shows that Ditka is right about his second statement, and that Smith won't be unemployed for long.
There has been no confirmation on any one team being linked with Smith, but a separate report from Monday said four teams have reached out to the former Chicago coach about their head coaching vacancies.
Those teams include: Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City, Philadelphia and San Diego. One reason for the interest could be teams fulfilling the Rooney Rule, stating that a team must interview at least one minority before filling a head-coaching vacancy.
The Bears have been linked to a handful of coaches, including Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong, Mike Sullivan, Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and Cowboys special teams coach Joe Decamillis, all confirmed by Adam Schefter and NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
Jim Miller joined David Kaplan in a phone interview after Smith was fired on Monday, and tossed out a few names who may be in consideration for the job. Miller also made his case for Jon Gruden to come to Chicago.
Here's a quick (and unofficial) round-up of where the other six teams in search of a new head coach are looking...
The Cardinals have had the most public spotlight on their coaching search, as Andy Reid is expected to interview today for the position. Ken Whisenhunt was fired after the Cardinals went 5-11. Reports have differed on how close Reid is to accepting the position, though current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton will interview for a second time for the job. Whoever gets the job in Arizona, one of his main goals would be to fix the 63.5 million man in quarterback Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals also fired general manager Rod Graves. Mike McCoy is also interviewing in Denver for the position, per Adam Schefter.
Schefter also tweeted that Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone will interview with the Browns for their head coaching position...another college coach, Oregon's Chip Kelly, has been a hot rumor all season long, but nothing firm has come on his interest with his Ducks playing tomorrow in the Fiesta Bowl tomorrow...the Browns also, per Jason LaCanfora on Twitter, interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton
Andy Reid is meeting with the Cardinals tonight, but before he does that he will meet with Kansas City brass about the Chiefs open head coach position. Kansas City was reportedly interested in Falcons defensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who signed an extension in Atlanta earlier this week.
Things have been quiet in San Diego, but there is speculation that Jon Gruden may land the Chargers' open position, but Rapoport says Gruden has not scheduled any interviews...Bruce Arians, who coached the Colts in Chuck Pagano's absence, is an option, and Ken Whisenhunt is reportedly interested in the position, too.
The Eagles, who fired Andy Reid after 14 seasons, apparently liked what they saw from the NFC top-seeded Falcons this year. They will reportedly interview defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coach Keith Armstrong. They wanted to interview defensive coordinator Dirk Koetter before he signed an extension to stay in Atlanta...Oregon coach Chip Kelly is another real option here, and has been connected to Philadelphia for quite some time...Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Syracuse's Doug Marrone are also potential candidates
The Bills have been connected to Lovie Smith in the past few days, but no official word has come out on an interview...Buffalo has met with Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired in Arizona...the Bills are also planning to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and, per Schefter, Doug Marrone will interview for the position as well.

Saturday on CSN: Kyle Hendricks, Cubs face Reds

Saturday on CSN: Kyle Hendricks, Cubs face Reds

The Cubs face off against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and you can catch all the cation on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m.

Starting pitching matchup: Kyle Hendricks vs. Robert Stephenson

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World Series thank-yous follow Kris Bryant to Las Vegas

World Series thank-yous follow Kris Bryant to Las Vegas

MESA, Ariz. – Kris Bryant didn’t need to pose for a Crate & Barrel billboard in Wrigleyville or walk a goat around a Bed Bath & Beyond commercial shoot. Cub fans just kept sending him free stuff.

The wedding gifts actually shipped to his parents’ house in Las Vegas, where he honed the swing that landed him on a new Sports Illustrated cover that asked: “How Perfect is Kris Bryant?”   

This happens when you mention your registries on a late-night show with another Vegas guy (Jimmy Kimmel) after leading an iconic franchise to its first World Series title in 108 years.        

So Bryant will be the center of attention in Sin City this weekend when the Cubs play two split-squad games against the Cincinnati Reds. But that spotlight will pretty much follow the National League’s reigning MVP wherever he goes. 

At least this gives Bryant a chance to chill at the pool and organize the house he moved into in January. 

“My mom just kept throwing stuff in my car: ‘Here, take it!’” Bryant said. “Opening all those boxes, I can’t believe how many presents we got from fans. It was unbelievable. Jess is going to have to write all the thank-you notes. I’m just signing my name on them. You have literally like 700 thank-you notes to write.

“I said: ‘You need to just go get the generic thank-you.’ She’s like: ‘No, they took the time out of their day to buy us a present.’ This is going to take her the whole year. So if there’s anybody out there that’s waiting for one…”    

The wait is finally over for generations of Cub fans. Spring training will always have a “Groundhog Day” element to it. But this camp – with no major injuries so far or real roster intrigue or truly wacky stunts – has felt different. As the players get ready for a new season – one without 1908 looming over everything – they can’t escape what they did. 

“Every day something reminds me of it,” said Kyle Hendricks, who will start Saturday in Las Vegas. “Even going to throw in these spring games, when they announce your name and the whole crowd erupts because of the World Series. That wasn’t happening last year. 

“Little things like that make me notice. Something every day is brought to my attention, so it’s still getting used to that part.”  

The Cubs insist there won’t be a hangover effect in 2017, believing that this young group is too talented and too focused to get derailed by distractions and overconfidence. But the Cubs could go 0-162 this season and Bryant would still probably be breaking down boxes for recycling.   

“It’s funny,” Bryant said. “We just put cameras on my house for security and I’ll just look at it sometimes. I’ll randomly see my mom just unloading boxes. I’m like: ‘Mom, what’s going on? Are we getting more stuff?’ She’s like: ‘Yeah, we keep getting more boxes.’”