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Articles on this Page
- 01/14/13--20:19: _Six forwards likely...
- 01/14/13--20:28: _Isles defenseman st...
- 01/15/13--14:22: _Army's Trent Steelm...
- 01/15/13--14:56: _Competition remains...
- 01/15/13--15:26: _Rays prospect Taylo...
- 01/15/13--15:30: _No one has commitme...
- 01/15/13--15:36: _Tampa Bay Bucs' Vin...
- 01/15/13--16:49: _Captain's Corner: P...
- 01/15/13--16:52: _New Rays prospect W...
- 01/15/13--18:25: _Anti-doping officia...
- 01/15/13--18:32: _New USF Bulls defen...
- 01/15/13--18:34: _Lightning shows new...
- 01/15/13--18:35: _Lance Armstrong had...
- 01/15/13--19:11: _Sports in brief
- 01/15/13--20:12: _Sports on TV/radio ...
- 01/15/13--20:14: _Ravens present spec...
- 01/15/13--20:14: _Hokies QB Thomas sa...
- 01/15/13--20:17: _Radwanska continues...
- 01/15/13--20:18: _Nolan left mark on ...
- 01/15/13--20:23: _Broncos coordinator...
- 01/14/13--20:19: Six forwards likely fighting for two jobs with Lightning
- 01/14/13--20:28: Isles defenseman staying out
- 01/15/13--14:22: Army's Trent Steelman hopes to catch eye of NFL scouts
- 01/15/13--14:56: Competition remains intense for Lightning roster spots
- 01/15/13--15:30: No one has commitment to truth in college football recruiting
- 01/15/13--15:36: Tampa Bay Bucs' Vincent Jackson added to NFC Pro Bowl roster
- 01/15/13--16:49: Captain's Corner: Perfect weather
- 01/15/13--16:52: New Rays prospect Wil Myers excited to wear new uniform
- 01/15/13--18:25: Anti-doping officials want Armstrong under oath
- 01/15/13--18:34: Lightning shows new wrinkle on defense
- 01/15/13--18:35: Lance Armstrong had history of denying doping accusations
- 01/15/13--19:11: Sports in brief
- 01/15/13--20:12: Sports on TV/radio for Jan. 16
- 01/15/13--20:14: Ravens present special issue
- 01/15/13--20:14: Hokies QB Thomas says he'll return for senior year
- 01/15/13--20:17: Radwanska continues blazing-hot start
- 01/15/13--20:18: Nolan left mark on 49ers
- 01/15/13--20:23: Broncos coordinator to coach Chargers
By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
Monday, January 14, 2013
ESTERO — A short training camp doesn't just make for more intense practices, it creates intense roster battles as well. For the Lightning, a big one is shaping up at forward.
Assuming 13 forwards on the opening-day roster — and considering GM Steve Yzerman has said roster spots will be filled from within the organization — two jobs are available with six players in the mix: Cory Conacher, Tyler Johnson, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Kyle Wilson, Mike Angelidis and J.T. Wyman.
"We're not just trying to fill jerseys," coach Guy Boucher said. "We're really looking at what every player can do. There are holes we want to plug, definitely. It's going to be a fight."
Monday at Germain Arena, much of the scrutiny was on Conacher, who had a high-profile left wing spot on a line with C Vinny Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell.
"He did fine," Boucher said. "He did a good job. He pushed the pace with them. That's what I'm looking for, someone who can push the pace and is going to be first on puck in the offensive zone."
For Conacher, 23, the last cut at last season's camp who has 12 goals, 28 points in 36 games this season for AHL Syracuse, the day was somewhat of a dream as he said Lecavalier was a player he idolized.
"It's very exciting," he said. "I'm short of breath it's so exciting."
Not that he lost track of the moment.
"It's going to be very intense," Conacher said of this week, and added, "They're giving me an opportunity and I have to take advantage of it. It's important for me to prove I can play with guys like that."
UNHAPPY ENDING: D Mattias Ohlund, who has not been on skates since Nov. 11, said the surgery he had in February to repair his left knee has not had the desired effect, and for the first time acknowledged what so many have been thinking: His career might be over.
"I'm not even close to skating," Ohlund said. "Clearly, it's not going the way I thought or everybody wanted when I had my surgery done. My normal life is fine but I'm not close to where I want to be."
Ohlund, 36, had what amounted to a partial knee replacement as a thin layer of titanium resurfaced the bottom of his femur at the joint behind the kneecap. Cartilage there had worn away causing painful bone-on-bone friction.
"Nobody has told me it's impossible to ever play again, but clearly the longer it goes the chances of that are getting tougher and tougher," Ohlund said. "You have to be realistic that the chances are not great."
The problem for the team is the $11.75 million Ohlund has left on a contract that runs through 2015-16. Because he is injured he can't be bought out. Ohlund and Yzerman will chat this season about Ohlund's future.
RESPECTFUL: The 13 players who on Monday attended the funeral of Katie Moore — wife of former Lightning player Dominic Moore, who died Jan. 7 of liver cancer — arrived at Germain Arena at 5:30 p.m. for a 6:30 practice.
"It was very emotional," Lecavalier said of the funeral. "I can't even imagine what (Dominic) is going through right now, and the way he presented himself was incredible. We were happy to be there to support him."
WORKOUT: Purcell, Wilson and Dana Tyrell scored consecutive goals for the Blue team in its 3-2 victory over the White. Radko Gudas and Steven Stamkos scored for White. … The only consistent lines were Lecavalier's with Conacher and Purcell, and Stamkos between Marty St. Louis and Ryan Malone. … The Lightning skates at 10:30 a.m. today and will play two 30-minute scrimmages.
Damian Cristodero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, January 14, 2013
SYOSSET, N.Y. — Only one NHL player who played overseas during the lockout has refused to return to his team.
Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was asked to report to training camp by Monday morning or face suspension.
Instead, he was still in his native Slovakia with Slovan Bratislava of the Kontinental Hockey League. A photograph on Slovan's Facebook page showed Visnovsky on the team bus, headed to the Czech Republic for today's game against Lev Prague. An agreement between the NHL and the KHL bars players under contract with a team in one league from playing in the other.
The Islanders confirmed to the New York Times that they had neither suspended Visnovsky nor given consent for him to remain with Slovan.
He told Slovak paper Pravda he wanted to stay with Slovan because of "family issues" but conceded that the Islanders had a right to be upset with him.
When he was acquired from Anaheim in June, Visnovsky refused to report, citing a no-trade clause. An arbitrator ruled in the Islanders' favor.
HOSSA BACK: Marian Hossa, knocked out of the 2012 playoffs with a severe concussion on an illegal hit by Phoenix's Rafi Torres, took an accidental hit in practice and was symptom-free. "It was a good test and I passed it, I think," Hossa said.
KINGS: Coming off a Stanley Cup, the team is set to offer extensions to general manager Dean Lombardi and coach Darryl Sutter, the Los Angeles Times reported.
MOVES: The Canucks signed defenseman Jim Vandermeer, 32, who played with San Jose last season. … The Stars traded defenseman and Edmonton native Mark Fistric to the Oilers for a third-round pick in this year's draft.
By Bryan Burns, Times Correspondent
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG — Army QB Trent Steelman completed his career as the Black Knights' all-time leader for rushing touchdowns (45) and rushing yardage by a quarterback (3,320 yards). A four-year starter, Steelman is the only Army player to rush and pass for more than 2,000 yards.
But standing just 6 feet tall and hidden in Army's traditional run-heavy offense, Steelman garnered little attention from NFL scouts.
A month ago, Steelman made a position change to wide receiver. The early returns have been encouraging for the Bowling Green, Ky., native.
"I love it," he said. "I think it fits my skill set very well. I'm liking the position a lot."
Steelman is a member of the East Team for Saturday's 88th annual East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. On the second day of practice at Shorecrest Prep, Steelman made several difficult catches in heavy traffic, including a diving, full-extension grab while tiptoeing the sideline on a short out pattern.
"I'm just trying to get better every day," Steelman said. "Wide receiver is a new position for me, and although I've been training for about a month everything's still pretty new. I'm just hoping to learn and get better."
In a goal-line drill simulation, Steelman found himself back in familiar territory. The 210-pounder took a handful of snaps from center in the wildcat formation and showed his ability to get into the end zone. Steelman rushed for 1,248 yards and tied the single-season school record with 17 rushing touchdowns as a senior.
"(The East coaches) told me pretty much from the start I was going to get some looks from the wildcat, so I knew it was coming sooner or later," he said. "I love running the ball. I ran the option for a long time. It fits me pretty well."
ONE TO WATCH: One of the more intriguing prospects on the East Team is Southeastern Louisiana QB Nathan Stanley. Scouts love Stanley's 6-5, 215-pound frame and the zip he puts on his passes, but he is still an extremely raw talent.
Starting just one season at Southeastern Louisiana after transferring from Ole Miss, Stanley threw for 1,952 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 to help the Lions to a 5-6 record, 5-2 in the Southland Conference.
He has been heavily involved in the college all-star game circuit in an attempt to become more familiar to NFL scouts and coaches.
Friday, he participated in the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game in Tucson, Ariz., where he went 2-for-9 for 19 yards with two interceptions.
The tutoring Stanley has received heading into the NFL draft has proved invaluable.
"We've got some great coaches here, and I'm just trying to take in as much as I can," he said.
MISCELLANY: Florida K Caleb Sturgis routinely booted kickoffs deep into the end zone Tuesday. And his first kick, which went through the goal post, drew an audible gasp from East coach Jerry Glanville. "I thought I hit them a whole lot better (Tuesday) than I did (Monday)," Sturgis said. … Catch of the day went to Auburn's Emory Blake, who hauled in a one-handed, 20-yard out from Kansas State's Collin Klein while managing to drag both feet in bounds.
Getty Images (2012)
By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
ESTERO — The last thing Pierre-Cedric Labrie wanted was to cause an incident.
He does, however, want a spot on the Lightning roster.
So, after the 6-foot-2, 220-pound prospect crashed into Mathieu Garon during a scrimmage, he "right away" told the goaltender, who needed a few seconds to get back on his feet, he was sorry.
"An accident, of course," Labrie, a wing with AHL Syracuse, said Tuesday at Germain Arena. "I got pushed. It's not my intention, but (the coaches) asked me to go to the net, so that's what I did."
Actually, what coaches asked Labrie was show what he does best: use his body to create havoc by getting in front of the net or separating an opponent from the puck with a big hit.
Indeed, it is show time at Lightning camp, where, depending on your view, six players are after two forward positions or seven players are after three.
"There's a huge fight with a lot of guys," coach Guy Boucher said, adding, "Don't come in and try to be somebody else. You come in and do what you do best. You'll be evaluated on that. If you're trying to be somebody else, you'll be evaluated on that, too, and it might not be too good."
The six obvious contenders are Labrie, Mike Angelidis, Cory Conacher, Tyler Johnson, Kyle Wilson and J.T. Wyman. But if you believe right wing Dana Tyrell has to prove himself after last season's knee surgery, add him to the mix as well.
"They're going to take a look at all of us," Johnson said, "and if you play well, you never know what's going to happen."
The dynamic is not just about numbers. Given how the lines have been structured in two days of scrimmages at the camp that runs through Friday, the needs are a top-six player and one or two for the bottom six.
Conacher, 23, who for two days has played left wing on a line with center Vinny Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell, seems to have the inside track on the top-six spot.
That leaves Johnson, 22, in an interesting spot. Despite 20 goals and 35 points in 36 games for AHL Syracuse, he has played mostly on third and fourth lines in camp, though Boucher has said he wants a third line "that's got some shark to them."
"I mean, they just kind of let me play and whatever happens, happens," Johnson said. "It's a lot tougher (in the NHL) and there's less space (on the ice). I'm going to have to adapt to that and change my game around. At the same time, I really have to focus on my defense here. Playing good defense will lead to offense."
"But it has to be sustainable," said Wilson, who on Tuesday scored his second goal in as many days. "They have to see you're doing the right things to get those goals and they're not just lucky goals and the rest of the time you're loafing around out there in the wrong spot."
And that brings us back to Labrie, who said competing for a job adds no pressure, especially when he recalls lessons from Syracuse coach Jon Cooper.
"They always tell me you play better when you smile," Labrie said. "Just go out there and smile and be a menace."
Ask Garon about that.
Damian Cristodero can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @LightningTimes.
DIRK SHADD | Times
By Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Taylor Guerrieri's first foray into professional baseball last year couldn't have gone much better, with the Rays' touted pitching prospect showing why many envision him as a future front-line starter. • Guerrieri, 20, displayed confidence and poise from the start for short-season Class A Hudson Valley, both on the mound and on the microphone.
Manager Jared Sandberg said it was Guerrieri — the 24th selection overall in 2011 — who orchestrated an impromptu karaoke session on a mid-July, four-hour bus trip from Lowell, Mass. Guerrieri kicked it off with a rendition of Garth Brooks' Two Pina Coladas, then got his teammates singing until their 2:30 a.m. arrival in upstate New York.
"Everybody got a kick out of it," Guerrieri said, smiling. "That was probably my best bus ride ever."
Sandberg said that trip was a key to his team coming together in winning the New York-Penn League championship, which Guerrieri had a huge hand in. Guerrieri, drafted out of Spring Valley High in Columbia, S.C., exceeded expectations, posting a 1.04 ERA in 12 starts and walking just five in 52 innings while maturing on and off the field.
"Taylor had a tremendous year," executive VP Andrew Friedman said. "He got better as the year went on, showed great aptitude in terms of developing all his pitches. … He's young … but he definitely has the potential to be really, really good. And we'll keep working with him and try to put him in position where he can come up here one day and put on 200 plus-innings on his body and help us win games."
Guerrieri was regarded a top-10 talent coming out of high school but fell to the Rays partly due to his strong commitment to the University of South Carolina, as well as a minor drinking incident that led him to switch schools his senior year. Guerrieri believed he grew a lot last year, with Sandberg saying he was a great teammate and leader in the clubhouse.
"It comes with pro ball, this is your job and you have a lot of responsibility," Guerrieri said. "I want to make myself happy, my parents happy. I just want to do good for them."
Guerrieri said he learned how to pitch last season, not relying on overpowering hitters with his mid 90s fastball like he did in high school. He's developing his changeup and has a quality curveball, and he could throw both for strikes, according to Sandberg. Guerrieri's best weapon is his two-seam fastball, which goes down and away to right-handed hitters.
"He was lights out," said Hudson Valley third baseman Richie Shaffer, the Rays' 2012 first-round pick. "He had an unbelievable year, it's going to be fun watching him grow up and develop. He can be the real deal."
Guerrieri had a small hiccup physically and was shut down for a couple of weeks due to shoulder fatigue. But he said that was mostly precautionary, and the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder hopes to eventually shoulder the type of 200-inning load of Cy Young left-hander David Price and ex-Ray James Shields.
"I want the ball against the best players and best teams, and see what I've got," Guerrieri said. "Anytime I can pitch against somebody good, I don't back down from that."
Guerrieri enters an important and telling year, preparing to pitch in a full professional season for the first time. He'd love to start in low Class A Bowling Green but is willing to go where the team wants him.
The Rays already have gotten a glimpse of Guerrieri's potential.
"For a 19-year-old, he's very intelligent out there, he's way above anyone else as far as knowing how to pitch and execute a plan," Sandberg said. "He definitely falls in the mix of the homegrown pitching talent that we've established and we've had in the Rays organization.
"He has a high ceiling."
Joe Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
By Gary Shelton, Times Sports Columnist
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The one thing you can trust about college recruiting is simple. You can't trust anybody.
At its core, recruiting is an unsavory game of broken promises and double-reverses. It is about grown men trying to sell tomorrow to teenagers, although what either side says might not be true by tonight. It is about coaches and players talking about commitment, although neither side seems to have any idea what the word means.
Remember this as the college football programs of America approach the stretch run of their recruiting season. Everyone wants a better deal. Coaches want better players. Players want more prestigious programs.
Brian Kelly, the Notre Dame coach, wants to talk to the NFL, although the week before, he swore he did not. Linebacker recruit Alex Anzalone, who had previously committed to the Irish, immediately decommitted and enrolled at Florida.
So who is wrong here? Both? Neither?
Or, is it just one more chapter in the necessary evil of recruiting?
Another story: Auburn had picked up a commitment from a linebacker named Reuben Foster, who was so fired up to play for the Tigers that he had a large, rest-of-your-life tattoo plastered onto his forearm. But when Auburn fired Gene Chizik, he decommitted. His new favorites seem to be Alabama and Georgia, where the new ink is sure to be a lively conversation.
Perhaps you heard that USF had rescinded its scholarship offer to Robinson lineman Connor Rafferty, even though athletic director Doug Woolard is on record as saying that the scholarships offered during the Skip Holtz era would be honored.
Is that a shame? Yes. Should it surprise anyone? Probably not. Coaches tell players all the time if they think they fit into the future. It's hard to blame new USF coach Willie Taggart for being honest enough to tell a kid he doesn't think he'll get significant playing time. After the athletic director promised, there should have been a scholarship for Rafferty if he wanted to come despite that.
Compare USF with Cincinnati, for instance, where new coach Tommy Tuberville has evidently lost the Rolodex with his recruits' numbers. A cornerback named Demetrius Monday decommitted from the Bearcats because he never heard a word from Tuberville. Another commit, cornerback Jaleel Canty, finally called Cincinnati himself and was told that Tuberville was bringing in his own guys. Not that Tuberville felt as if he should, you know, call anyone to let them know.
So it's the coaches who are the bad guys? Right.
Also, it's the players.
If you follow USF, for instance, you have heard plenty about Asiantii Woulard, a quarterback from Orlando who has 1) committed to USF, 2) decommitted, 3) recommitted, 4) re-decommitted and 5) is considering.
Hey, some quarterbacks take longer to read a defense than others. Nothing against Woulard, who is making a four-year decision, but here's a question. Why commit in the first place? Why not just take it to the last minute before making any announcement at all?
This is why recruiting drives so many coaches wacky. These days, you have to recruit some players every blessed day. If you get a commitment, it doesn't mean the player isn't still going to take other trips and listen to other pitches. It just means you have moved into the first fallback position.
At USF, they still remember the recruitment of a quarterback from Jupiter named Tyler Cameron, who was on board two years ago. Late in the process, he switched to Wake Forest. Then there was Manatee quarterback Brion Carnes the year before. Carnes had committed to USF, but he wanted to keep making trips. USF told Carnes that if he kept dating, it would call the engagement off. When the Bulls did, Carnes' high school coaches cried foul.
And so it goes.
There has to be a better way, doesn't there? What if schools could offer 10 of their scholarships in the fall. Would that stop the waffling? Would that make the schools pick better? Would that make the athletes more committed? What if players weren't allowed to take any more visits once they promised? Here's an idea: What if coaches stopped recruiting the commitments of other schools except for, say, one wild weekend in January?
In the meantime, it could be worse. USF could get a commitment from a kid it had never scouted.
That happened, remember?
Five years ago, an offensive lineman at Fernley High in Nevada named Kevin Hart called a news conference to announce his college choice. Like a lot of athletes, he had two caps in front of him, one from Cal and one from Oregon. In the end, Hart picked up the Cal hat and said that's where he was going.
Except Cal had never heard of him.
Also, Oregon had never heard of him.
Hart made the whole thing up. The truth was, he didn't have a college offer. He did, however, have the whole spirit of recruiting down pat.
He lied, bless his heart.
Given the spirit of college recruiting, someone should have signed him the next day. Or hired him as a recruiting coordinator.
Listen to Gary Shelton weekdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on 98.7-FM the Fan.
By Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The Bucs on Tuesday doubled their number of Pro Bowl selections.
Receiver Vincent Jackson was added to the NFC's roster, replacing injured Lions wideout Calvin Johnson.
It's the third Pro Bowl appearance for Jackson, who is coming off a season in which he set career highs in catches (72) and yards (1,384). Jackson made the Pro Bowl after the 2009 and 2011 seasons. His yardage was second-highest by a Bucs receiver, behind Mark Carrier's 1,422 in 1989.
"It's always humbling to be selected to the Pro Bowl, and I would not have been able to achieve this without the help of my coaches, teammates, and the Buccaneers staff," Jackson, who turned 30 Monday, said in a statement.
"With all of the hard work we put in during the offseason and regular season, for it to be recognized by not only the fans, but also your peers in the league, is simply an incredible honor. I truly appreciate the support and am thrilled to share this amazing experience with the entire Buccaneer Nation."
Jackson joins defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who is making his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Jackson helped the Bucs register historic numbers and had a major role in the success of quarterback Josh Freeman, running back Doug Martin and receiver Mike Williams. Jackson was one of seven receivers to surpass 200 yards in a game — 216 in Week 7 against the Saints.
The Bucs might have more Pro Bowl participants.
If the 49ers defeat the Falcons in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, running back Frank Gore would be unavailable for the Pro Bowl — which is Jan. 27, the week before the Super Bowl — making alternate Martin the next option.
This is the first year the Bucs have multiple Pro Bowl selections since 2008.
By Mike Gore, Times Correspondent
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
What's hot: Florida is living up to its reputation. We continue to be blessed with beautiful weather and light winds. You couldn't ask for a better time to fish. The light winds and cooler water temperature will let you target some offshore species you may not usually go after in a smaller boat. This time of year brings grouper closer to shore. Keeper red grouper are being caught in 30-40 feet. Some really big gag grouper in the 15-pound range are being caught as well. While gags are nice to catch, we have to let them go. There are also plenty of Key West grunts.
Tips: The inshore bite has been really good. If you fish in the morning this week, you might want to bring your waders. The negative tides will keep you out of your favorite fishing holes until later in the afternoon. This year seems like another banner year for big gator trout. Most trips are producing trout up to 28 inches. They have been eating big hand-size greenbacks free lined on a small No. 1 hook. Redfish have been mixed in with the trout but are very finicky. You might catch two for every 20 you come across.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.
By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG — OF Wil Myers has had more than a month to reflect on being the prized centerpiece of the massive trade with Kansas City. But it wasn't until he got to the Trop for this week's winter development camp, pulled on a Rays T-shirt and shorts and worked out with his new teammates that it really hit him.
"When I was traded it didn't feel any different to me," he said Tuesday. "But now finally being here, obviously having new stuff on, it's really exciting to be part of this trade."
Myers, who joined 30 others for the four-day camp that includes workouts, sessions on media training and other topics and two public appearances, said he is looking forward to spring training — he will be invited to big-league camp — and focused simply on improving his game, with defense atop his to-do list.
And though he'd like to be in the majors as soon as possible, he seems accepting of the more likely, though not definite, possibility — for several reasons — that he will open the season at Triple-A Durham.
"I understand the business, I understand the whole aspect of that, and if I go to Durham it won't be a bad thing," said Myers, who grew up 45 minutes away in High Point, N.C. "I have a lot of friends and family there."
Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said he liked what he saw in his limited first glimpse of Myers, acquired with RHP Jake Odorizzi, LHP Mike Montgomery and INF Patrick Leonard from the Royals for RHPs James Shields and Wade Davis.
"His body looks good," Friedman said. "He really swung the bat well in the cage … he got the bat through the zone well."
LOOKING FORWARD: OF Josh Sale, the 2010 top pick, said he still doesn't know how he ended up with a positive drug test, and resulting 50-game suspension, in August as he was taking only certified supplements and simple multivitamins.
"It's not known how I came (up) dirty to be honest," he said.
With about 40 games still to serve, he'll participate in spring training then stay in extended spring for the first six weeks of the minor-league season.
"The way I look at it now, it's in the past," Sale said. "Even though I do have to learn from it, I've already learned from it and I'll continue to learn from it. I'm really focused on 2013, staying positive, staying focused, not getting derailed."
Sale was one of seven Rays minor-leaguers suspended for drug-related reasons in the past year.
"Obviously we're disappointed in the number of suspensions," Friedman said. "We have to remember that these are young kids and as much as you try to educate them, mistakes will happen. The important part is that they learn from them."
MAJOR MATTERS: Friedman said they continue to seek another bat, either a primary DH or a player with positional flexibility, more likely through free agency than trade. … Settlements are possible in the four remaining arbitration cases (Sam Fuld, Matt Joyce, Jeff Niemann, Ryan Roberts) before Friday's exchange of figures. … Though not necessarily comfortable about having any pitcher participate, Friedman said they are "supportive of guys that want to play for their country" in the World Baseball Classic, as closer Fernando Rodney said he plans to.
JAMES BORCHUCK | Times
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
For anti-doping organization, Armstrong's interview isn't enough
Anti-doping officials want Lance Armstrong to admit his guilt under oath before considering whether to lift a lifetime ban clouding his future as a competitive athlete. That was seconded by at least one former teammate.
"Lance knows everything that happened," Frankie Andreu told the Associated Press on Tuesday. "He's the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It's up to him how much he wants to expose."
Armstrong has been in conversations with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials, touching off speculation that he may be willing to cooperate with authorities there and name names.
Interviewer Oprah Winfrey didn't say if the subject was broached during the taping Monday at a downtown Austin hotel. In an appearance on CBS This Morning, she declined to give details of what Armstrong told her, but said she was "mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers."
World Anti-Doping Agency officials issued a statement saying nothing short of "a full confession under oath" would cause them to reconsider Armstrong's lifetime ban from sanctioned events.
The International Cycling Union urged Armstrong to tell his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims that the sport's governing body hid suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.
By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
TAMPA — When Bucs assistant Ron Cooper moved across town to become USF's defensive backs coach last week, the hope was that his experience — especially in three years working with elite corners at LSU — would give the Bulls and coach Willie Taggart much-needed recruiting help for 2013 at cornerback.
It didn't take long for Cooper to make good on that, as junior college CB Howard Wilder, a 6-foot, 185-pound standout at Pierce College in Los Angeles, committed to the Bulls on Tuesday, choosing USF over Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri and Houston.
Wilder enjoyed an official visit to USF in December the weekend Taggart was hired, but he wasn't ready to commit until learning that Cooper, his future position coach, worked with a pair of Thorpe Award winners and high first-round picks in Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, as well as All-American Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu.
"That explains everything," Wilder said, asked why he chose the Bulls. "They were my best fit."
USF struggled with pass defense in 2012, and its cornerbacks didn't account for either of the team's two interceptions, a total that matched the low among 124 Division I-A programs. What's more, starters Kayvon Webster and George Baker were seniors, leaving the Bulls without any successors with significant experience.
That makes Wilder a key addition. He'll compete with another junior college standout, Torrel Saffold, who enrolled last week, as well as promising but unproven returning players like rising senior Josh Brown and sophomore Kenneth Durden. One sign that USF's coaches think highly of Wilder: He'll wear the No. 6 jersey that Webster wore in his Bulls career.
With three weeks left until national signing day, USF's biggest recruiting needs remain quarterback and running back. The Bulls must soon decide if they'll hold out for Winter Park QB Asiantii Woulard, who has twice committed to USF and subsequently backed out and is now being courted by Kentucky, Clemson and UCLA.
If the Bulls decide they can't get Woulard a third time on signing day, the likely target is St. Thomas Aquinas star John O'Korn, who is currently committed to Houston and picked up an offer from Syracuse this week. USF already has a commitment from Fort Lauderdale's Mike White, who led University School to a state championship last month.
THIS AND THAT: LB Sam Barrington and Webster were back on USF's campus Sunday at the Tampa Shriners Hospitals for Children, visiting as part of the leadup to Saturday's East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. The two have been busy improving their stock as potential draft picks, working out in Miami at Bommarito Performance Systems, where former Bulls like Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerome Murphy and Carlton Mitchell trained before being drafted. … New defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan is a players' coach who makes defense simple and fun, said former NFL LB Ricky Hunley, who was his linebackers coach with the Bengals (2005-07) and Raiders (2011). "You've got good athletes. You don't want to slow them down," Hunley said. "You want them to play fast and use their God-given ability to make (stuff) happen."
By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
ESTERO — It was tough to tell if the defensive system the Lightning practiced Tuesday was a radical change from the static 1-3-1 formation it has used so often or just, as D Eric Brewer said, "another club in the golf bag."
Either way, it was interesting to see a more aggressive forecheck and defensemen stepping up at center ice to try to force dump-ins.
"As a player," Brewer said, "you always like to keep moving."
The difference this season is more blue-line speed and experience. Matt Carle and Sami Salo were added as free agents. Brian Lee will be with the team the entire season and Victor Hedman is expected to have a breakout year.
That means an ability to be more aggressive in the offensive zone when opponents try to set up breakouts because of confidence the defense will react appropriately. Tampa Bay on Tuesday sent in a deep forechecker with another slightly back to force puck carriers to a side wall. A third patrolled near the blue line and read the play.
On the back end, one defenseman stepped up at the red line to challenge puck carries. The other chased down the hoped-for dump-ins.
Much different from the 1-3-1 system used last season, when the Lightning, with a much slower back line, many times waited for teams to come to it. Against the Flyers in November, that led to the teams basically staring at each other with Philadelphia at times refusing to move the puck out of its zone.
"Nothing drastic," Brewer said of the new system. "You're just always trying to pressure when you have numbers and be more aware when you don't. For us, it's just clarifying the areas you can be more aggressive."
IN NET: Coach Guy Boucher said he might not decide until Friday night whether to start Anders Lindback or Mathieu Garon in net in Game 1 Saturday at home against the Capitals.
"I'm just trying to let those guys get into game shape," said Boucher, who added, "Come Friday we'll make our decision not necessarily on what we see during the week, but more what our bigger plan is."
PYATT TIME: Tom Pyatt had two goals and three points for the White team in its 3-1 victory over the Blue in a scrimmage of two 20-minute halves.
The forward downplayed the effort, saying it came, after all, in a scrimmage. But Pyatt, who had a career-best 12 goals last season, including seven in his last 25 games, said confidence carries over.
"For me, it's just getting comfortable," he said. "I have more confidence and I'm ready to take on a bigger role."
For now, that appears to be on a third line, perhaps with Benoit Pouliot. The pair clicked Tuesday with each assisting on goals by the other.
"They've shown that they can do some damage," Boucher said.
LINEUP: C Vinny Lecavalier played between Cory Conacher and Teddy Purcell for a second straight day. The line of C Steven Stamkos and wings Marty St. Louis and Ryan Malone also seems set. Adam Hall has been centering a line with Nate Thompson and B.J. Crombeen. … On defense, the most consistent pairings have been Brewer and Carle, Hedman and Salo, Lee and Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Brendan Mikkelson and Keith Aulie.
ALL ON: All 48 games will be televised: 37 on Sun Sports, six on Fox Sports Florida and five — Feb. 5 and March 18 against the Flyers, and Feb. 24, March 4 and April 11 against the Penguins — shown nationally on NBC Sports Network.
ODDS AND ENDS: D Matt Taormina did not skate; "getting treatment" was what the team said. … Syracuse D Evan Oberg cleared waivers. … Syracuse F Richard Panik was suspended three games for a hit on Rochester F Zegmus Girgensons. … Practice is at 10:30 a.m. today.
Around the league
CANUCKS: David Booth, who has yet to take part in training camp, is out four to six weeks with a groin strain.
FLYERS: Center Claude Giroux was named captain. He takes over from defenseman Chris Pronger, who has not played since Nov. 19, 2011, due to multiple concussions.
RED WINGS: Forward Henrik Zetterberg was chosen as captain, replacing retired defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
OBITUARY: George Gund III, the original owner of the Sharks, died Tuesday after a battle with cancer, the team said. He was 75. Gund and his brother Gordon relinquished their ownership stake in the Minnesota North Stars in 1990 in exchange for the rights to an expansion team in San Jose.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
When Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast Thursday and Friday, the seven-time Tour de France winner is expected to confess to having used performance-enhancing drugs. The confession comes after years of angry denials and lawsuits against his accusers. Here is a sample.
2004: The publication of L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong leads to a flurry of lawsuits. Armstrong sues the authors, the publisher and media that published excerpts. He also sues Emma O'Reilly, a U.S. Postal Service Team masseuse, who had said Armstrong used performance-enhancing substances during races in 1998 and 1999. The suits are dropped or settled before trial.
March 2005: Mike Anderson, a former Armstrong assistant, claims to have discovered a box of androstenone while cleaning a bathroom in Armstrong's apartment. Anderson said in a subsequent deposition, after both men sued each other, that he had no direct knowledge that his boss used prohibited drugs. An out-of-court settlement was reached and terms never were disclosed.
July 24, 2005: Armstrong wins a record seventh Tour de France title, taunting doubters with a podium speech: "I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles."
August 2005: After allegations of doping in the French sports daily L'Equipe, Armstrong responds: "Unfortunately, the witch hunt continues. (This) article is nothing short of tabloid journalism. (I have) never taken performance-enhancing drugs." On CNN's Larry King Live: "I have never doped, I can say it again, but I have said it for seven years — it doesn't help."
June 2006: French newspaper Le Monde reports claims by Betsy Andreu, the wife of former teammate and friend Frankie Andreu, that Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs after he underwent brain surgery while battling cancer in 1996. Armstrong issues an extensive statement vehemently denying the charges: "The allegations were rejected. It's over. We won. They lost. I was yet again completely vindicated."
April 2009: "This is just another example of the improper behavior by the French laboratory and the French anti-doping organizations. I am sorry that they are disappointed that all the tests were negative, but I do not use any prohibited drugs or substances." — Armstrong on being tested in France
In May 2010, after Floyd Landis had said he and Armstrong had both taken prohibited substances while teammates, Armstrong says, "Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago. . . . We have nothing to hide. We have nothing to run from. I think history speaks for itself here. He has no proof. It's just our word against theirs, and we like our word. We like where we stand.
"I'd remind everybody that this is a man that's been under oath several times and had a very different version," Armstrong said. "This is a man that wrote a book for profit that had a completely different version. This is somebody that took, some would say, close to $1 million from innocent people for his defense under a different premise. Now when it's all run out the story changes."
July 2010: "As long as I live, I will deny it. There was absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated. Absolutely not. One hundred percent. … I mean, I can't control what other riders do."
— At his final Tour de France, Armstrong denying that he doped or encouraged his teammates to do so.
May 2011: Former teammate Tyler Hamilton tells 60 Minutes Armstrong personally oversaw the team's doping programs. He says he saw Armstrong use EPO during the 1999 Tour de France and in preparation for the 2000 and 2001 tours.
Armstrong tweets: "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case."
June 2012: The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency formally charges Armstrong, and he responds, "I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one.'' He then sues the USADA in federal court in July, claiming violation of due process rights.
Times researcher Natalie Watson compiled this report with information from the New York Daily News, CNN, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)Online, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Washington Post and the Dallas Morning News.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
EUROPE NAMES MCGINLEY 2014 RYDER CAPTAIN
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Paul McGinley was chosen as Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2014, ending a chaotic campaign marked by a late challenge from former captain Colin Montgomerie.
McGinley, a 46-year-old Irishman, replaces Jose Maria Olazabal, whose team rallied to beat the United States in October at Medinah, outside Chicago. Europe defends the trophy at Gleneagles, Scotland.
"To lead the cream of the crop in the Ryder Cup is going to be a huge honor," McGinley said Tuesday. "To be quite honest, it is a very humbling experience to be sitting in this seat. It is a week I'm looking forward to. It's a whole new experience for me, the chance to be a captain."
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, strongly endorsed McGinley, saying, "He makes you feel so good about yourself."
LPGA: One month before its season, the tour announced a 28-tournament schedule that includes five majors and three more events than last year. More than half the tournaments are in North America. The season begins Feb. 14 with the Women's Australian Open in Canberra. The finale, The Titleholders, Nov. 21-24 in Naples, is the only event in Florida.
Francona: Sox aim was 'sexy team'
Theo Epstein signed former Rays star Carl Crawford and traded for Adrian Gonzalez following pressure from Red Sox owners to build a "sexy team," according to a book co-authored by former Boston manager Terry Francona. Epstein, who left as general manager after the 2011 season to become a Cubs executive, said Boston owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Larry Lucchino made the team's image a priority, according to excerpts that Sports Illustrated released. Francona: The Red Sox Years is co-written by the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy and is scheduled for publication Jan. 22.
ARBITRATION: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward, Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Cubs pitcher Matt Garza, a former Ray, were among 133 players filing for salary arbitration.
U.S. midfielder Holden returns
American midfielder Stuart Holden played his first game in 16 months and his second in 22 months, returning from knee surgery as second-tier Bolton defeated English Premier League club Sunderland 2-0 to reach the FA Cup's fourth round. Holden entered in the 74th minute. The 27-year-old member of the 2010 U.S. World Cup team injured his right knee in March 2011, returned to play in a League Cup match against Aston Villa that September, then had another operation on the same knee eight days later.
LIVESTRONG FLAP: MLS club Sporting Kansas City said it ended its naming-rights arrangement with Livestrong, the cancer charity started by disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong. Livestrong Sporting Park will just be called Sporting Park.
MORE U.S.: The men's national team will play its first home game in the final round of World Cup qualifying March 22 in Commerce City, Colo., against Costa Rica. The Americans open the 10-game campaign Feb. 6 at Honduras.
SKIING: American Mikaela Shiffrin, 17, earned her third win in her first full World Cup season at a downhill in Flachau, Austria.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
N.C. State at Maryland, 7 p.m., ESPN2; 1250-AM
Pittsburgh at Villanova, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Miami at Boston College, 7 p.m., Sun Sports
Michigan State at Penn State, 7 p.m., Big Ten
Providence at Georgetown, 7 p.m., BHSN
Auburn at Arkansas, 8 p.m., Ch. 38
Xavier at St. Bonaventure, 8 p.m., CBSSN
West Virginia at Iowa State, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Kansas State at TCU, 9 p.m., ESPNU
Alabama at Mississippi State, 9 p.m., BHSN
Purdue at Nebraska, 9 p.m., Big Ten
UNLV at San Diego State, 10 p.m., CBSSN
St. Mary's at BYU, 11 p.m., ESPNU
Abu Dhabi Championship, 10:30 p.m., Golf
CHL/NHL Prospects, 7 p.m., NHL
Pacers at Magic, 7 p.m., FSN: 1010-AM
Rockets at Mavericks, 8 p.m., ESPN
Heat at Warriors, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
FA Cup: West Ham at Manchester United, 3 p.m., FSC
Mexican Cup: Queretaro at Estudiantes, 8 p.m., ESPND
Mexican Cup: Pachuca at Correcaminos, 10 p.m., ESPND
Mexican Cup: Altamira at America, 10 p.m., Galavision
Australian Open (taped), 2 p.m., ESPN2
Australian Open, 7 p.m., Tennis
Australian Open, 11 p.m., ESPN2
Australian Open, 3 a.m. Thursday, ESPN2
TV: FSN: Fox Sports Network; BHSN: Bright House Sports Network; CBSSN: CBS Sports Network; FSC: Fox Soccer Channel.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It's a bad time for the Patriots to allow points late in halves and long kickoff returns throughout the game.
Fix that fast or the Ravens and speedster Jacoby Jones could run them right out of the postseason.
New England advanced to Sunday's AFC Championship Game with a 41-28 win over Houston despite giving up kickoff returns of 94 and 69 yards — the longest the Patriots allowed this season.
Baltimore moved on with a 38-35 double-overtime win at Denver after Jones caught a 70-yard touchdown from Joe Flacco with 31 seconds left in regulation. That's the same Jones who led the NFL in average kickoff return yardage (30.7) and brought back two of them for touchdowns.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is emphasizing, as he does every week, the need to stop kickoff returners and keep teams from scoring with time running out in either half — Houston scored 10 points in the last 1:15 of the first half and 15 in the game's last 12 minutes.
"We always think that the end of the half can get a little different than the rest of the game because of situational play," Belichick said Tuesday. "Also, sometimes offensively, teams change their method of attack and what they're doing and how they're doing it and that kind of thing. So you have to adapt and adjust to what they do."
COMING THROUGH: The Ravens overcame an assortment of injuries — 13 players with starting experience were sidelined during the regular season, and that was just on defense — and the late-season firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Yet Baltimore pressed on.
"I think that we are battled-tested," guard Marshal Yanda said. "We went through a lot of injuries. We went through line shuffles. We went through losses. … It's all about just battling through it and trying to get hot and trying to play your best football at the end of the year. I think we're doing that. We are just going to have to do a lot of things to continue to do that."
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas is returning for his senior season.
The 6-foot-6 redshirt junior told the Hokies coaching staff Tuesday, the final day to declare for the draft.
Thomas has started the past 27 games for Virginia Tech, passing for 6,096 yards and 37 touchdowns while running for 1,015 yards and 20 scores. He will enter his redshirt season year third in both career passing yards for the Hokies — 901 behind Tyrod Taylor's record of 7,017 yards — and in career total offense — 2,102 behind Taylor's record of 9,213 yards.
Thomas graduated in December with a degree in human development.
"I'm deciding to come back to Tech to better myself and this team for the future," Thomas said in a statement released by the school. "I'm looking forward to what this upcoming season holds. The NFL has always been a goal of mine, but the NFL will always be there while college is only a five-year experience that you can't get back."
Thomas had said before the Russell Athletic Bowl that his decision would be "up in the air" even if the NFL draft advisory board suggested he could be a first-round draft choice.
Some early draft projections had him ranked highly among quarterbacks because of his size and running ability, which have drawn comparisons to Cam Newton.
Arizona: Coach Rich Rodriguez has added veteran college and NFL assistant Jim Michalczik to his staff as offensive line coach. Michalczik won a national title with Miami in 1991 as defensive line coach.
Arkansas: The team hired former quarterback Barry Lunney Jr. as tight ends coach. Lunney played for the Razorbacks from 1992-95, leading the school to the SEC Championship Game in 1995 where they lost to Florida. He served as the Bentonville (Ark.) High School offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the past eight years — winning a pair of state championships. Also, receivers coach George McDonald resigned.
Oregon State: Coach Mike Riley promoted assistant head coach Jay Locey to chief of staff and graduate assistant Trent Bray to linebackers coach.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
MELBOURNE, Australia — Agnieszka Radwanska extended the best winning streak of the year to 11 matches as she rolled into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu this morning.
The No. 4-ranked Radwanska won leadup tournaments this month at Auckland and Sydney and is unbeaten this year.
"I can play even better," said Radwanska, who lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams last year. "I didn't really expect I could win that many matches in a row, and hopefully I can keep going."
Her last two trips to the Australian Open have ended in quarterfinal losses to the eventual champion, Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.
With top-ranked Azarenka and Williams on the other half of the draw, Radwanska's main obstacles to reaching the final are 2011 French Open champion Li Na, who beat Olga Goortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round, and potential semifinal rivals Maria Sharapova or No. 5 Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Kerber advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka, and No. 2-ranked Sharapova, the reigning French Open champion, was scheduled to play later against Japan's Misaki Doi.
Williams hurt her ankle in her opening victory Tuesday, causing speculation that her bid for a third straight major title could be in jeopardy. She has lost only one match since her first-round exit at the French Open last year.
In early women's second-round matches, No. 18 Julia Gorges beat Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2; Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh upset No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium ousted No. 23 Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0.
On the men's side, 10th-seeded Nicolas Almagro was first through to the third round with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver; No. 16-ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan beat Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1; and No. 20 Sam Querrey advanced when fellow American Brian Baker retired in the second set with what appeared to be a right knee injury. Baker, who returned to the tour last year after almost six seasons out with a variety of injuries, won a first-set tiebreaker and was even at 1-1 on serve in the second. He was later pushed from Court 6 in a wheelchair.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Mike Nolan's 3½-year tenure as 49ers coach offered few highlights on the field.
An 18-37 record before a mid-season firing in 2008. No playoff berths. A parade of offensive coordinators unable to develop QB Alex Smith.
But Nolan did take over a franchise decimated under former general manager Terry Donahue and coach Dennis Erickson. He began acquiring the pieces that current coach Jim Harbaugh, who succeeded Mike Singletary, used to make back-to-back runs to the NFC Championship Game.
Nolan, now the defensive coordinator in Atlanta, gets the chance to see the results of some of his work when the Falcons host the 49ers on Sunday.
"There's a lot of players still playing there that we added, that I'll see. I look forward to seeing them before the game. I'm glad they've done well. Not only for those players, but for the organization," Nolan said. "I put a lot of time and effort into that. So, in a strange way, it's a little rewarding that some of those guys are going so well."
San Francisco owner Jed York said he gives Nolan "a lot of credit for helping set the foundation for this current 49ers team.
"It's never easy to let somebody go that you have so much respect for, and you wish things had worked out differently for Mike. … He is a very classy man and he's a heck of a football coach," York said.
Some key 49ers were acquired during Nolan's regime, including LB Patrick Willis and S Dashon Goldson, both first-team All-Pros, DT Justin Smith, RB Frank Gore and TEs Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. In all, 13 players are left from Nolan's time in San Francisco.
ON THE OTHER SIDE: The 49ers secondary is coached by Ed Donatell, Atlanta's defensive coordinator in 2004-06.
Because of a relentless pass rush, that secondary usually doesn't stay in coverage long. OLB Aldon Smith was second in the league with 19.5 sacks during the regular season and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks had 6.5.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
SAN DIEGO — Mike McCoy's interview with San Diego went so well that both sides felt he was a perfect fit to become the Chargers' new coach.
McCoy had one thing to do, before accepting, so it was a good thing Chargers president Dean Spanos' private plane was at his disposal.
"There was no doubt in my mind when I got back on that plane to go back home," said McCoy, the former Broncos offensive coordinator introduced Tuesday as San Diego's coach. "They wanted to keep me here (Monday) night. But I said, 'I've got to talk to my wife about this before. If I made the decision without talking to my wife, I might get in a little trouble.' "
McCoy, wife Kellie and their two children flew to San Diego to take the job. "Without a doubt we knew this was the place we wanted to be," said McCoy, who signed a four-year contract.
McCoy replaces Norv Turner, who was fired along with general manager A.J. Smith after a 7-9 finish and a third straight season out of the playoffs.
The move comes three days after the top-seeded Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs in a double-overtime home loss to the Ravens.
PRO BOWL CHANGES: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says injuries to "multiple lower extremities" will keep him out of the Jan. 27 Pro Bowl. Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth was named to the AFC roster to replace Denver's Ryan Clady.
BILLS: New coach Doug Marrone turned to several of his former assistants at Syracuse in continuing to fill his staff. Buffalo announced the hiring of 10 assistants including former NFL running back Tyrone Wheatley, who will coach that position. Donnie Henderson, who will coach defensive backs, has been a defensive coordinator with the Jets and Lions.
BRONCOS: Cory Undlin was promoted to secondary coach, replacing Ron Milus on the heels of a tying 70-yard touchdown pass in the waning seconds of regulation in Saturday's double-overtime loss to Baltimore in the AFC division round. "This wasn't about one play or one game," coach John Fox said, according to the Denver Post.
CARDINALS: Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will be interviewed for the coaching position, AP reported. The team had San Diego's McCoy on its list of candidates.
EAGLES: Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley arrived for his second interview for the coaching job.
PACKERS: Three days after Green Bay was gouged by San Francisco for 579 yards, coach Mike McCarthy said he will evaluate everyone on his staff but is "very confident" defensive coordinator Dom Capers will return.