Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Barring a completely unexpected firing, the NFL's head coaching carousel is done spinning for this offseason.
Arizona held the final vacancy, and they filled it last night by hiring Colts OC Bruce Arians, who had stepped in for an ailing Chuck Pagano to perform one of the most remarkable coaching feats of the year. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record during Pagano's absence, only months after he himself was unceremoniously dumped by the Steelers.
The decision comes at the expense of Cards DC Ray Horton, who apparently figured the job would be his following the Chargers' hiring of Mike McCoy, who had been seen as Arizona's top choice to replace Ken Whisenhunt. Upon learning he'd been passed over, Horton reportedly had a 'heated exchange' with Arizona GM Steve Keim, and Arians is expected to replace him with Philly DC Todd Bowles.
Tying that Cards/McCoy/Whisenhunt circle together is McCoy's hiring of the former Cards head man to run his offense and call plays in San Diego. McCoy and Whisenhunt each cited their shared presence on the Dan Henning coaching tree as a reason they welcomed the chance to work together.
Meanwhile, Norv Turner, the man McCoy replaces with the Chargers, will indeed become the Browns OC under Rob Chudzinski, who will also retain two members of Pat Shurmur's staff, and added three others, including Norv's son, Scott.
Norval had also received an interview request from the previous team to fire him - Oakland - but he turned down Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen's advances.
On the topic of nepotism and the Chargers (confused yet?), San Diego promoted the 33-year-old son of team owner Dean Spanos to the position of EVP of Football Ops. Young John has supposedly gotten his hands dirty in working from the bottom of the organization, but he's also receiving this promotion after running the team's college scouting for several years. How'd that work out, A.J.?
Back in August, Mike Martz had plenty of positive words for his former protege Adam Gase, who Jeff Legwold says pitched Johns Elway and Fox on aggression and playing at a high tempo.
Obviously, we are fully on board, as is Mark Kiszla, with Gase's suggestion that his offense will be working at a breakneck speed in 2013.
FWIW, Eric Decker says he sensed no disagreement on Peyton Manning's part when John Fox instructed him to take a knee on Saturday.
If you can bear to read it, here's an excellent moment-by-moment account by Peter King of Joe Flacco's 70-yard touchdown throw, and Von Miller's agonizing role in the play.
Mike Silver contrasts the bold decisions of Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick with the meek ones of John Fox and his ilk.
Jeff Legwold says that running the ball on 3rd-and-7 in the closing minutes of regulation appeared a departure from Denver's gameplan for Saturday.
While nobody is blaming Saturday's loss completely on Fox's conservativeness (not even close), Mike Klis and others continue to erect that strawman and then knock it down with unprovable arguments like suggesting that Tom Coughlin would have done the same thing. Let's hope Klis is right in suggesting the Broncos may finally bring in some competition for Matt Prater.
Tom Kensler says Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil were among his favorite Broncos to cover during the 2012 season.
A federal judge dismissed Jonathan Vilma's defamation suit against the Ginger Hammer.
Jay Cutler surely has a sad face, as new Bears head coach Marc Trestman dumped Jeremy Bates and broken up the Jay/Jeremy/Brandon tri-bromance.
Seahawks exec John Idzik is considered the frontrunner to land the LOLJets GM gig, while "former" Broncos "GM" Ted Sundquist apparently also INTERVIEWED for the "job."
This excellent NFL Films video of the best of 2012 aired on NFLN prior to last week's games, and the first image of a player is a foreboding look at Rahim Moore, alone, with his head against a wall at SAF@MH. It's unclear whether he's praying or is dejected, but either way, it's kind of eerie.
Chris Brown says that if Chip Kelly fails in Philly, it won't be related to scheme, and he provides some great clips to help us all gain a better understanding of what Kelly's Ducks did so well. Naturally, Kelly's players think he'll do more than fine in the NFL.
Chase Stuart is compiling a list of all NFL coaches, like Kelly, who got their jobs despite having had no prior experience in the league of any kind.
This doesn't figure to catch anyone by surprise, but the Broncos were pretty honest in their injury reports this year, while the Pats have not been.
Chuck Culpepper considers Manti and Lance's places among the greatest sports hoaxes of all time.
Will Leitch wonders why we don't fall for fabricated stories like these more often, but then again, maybe we do?
Drew Magary gives Te'o the Live Funbag treatment, and of course, Tim Tebow gets dragged into the conversation.