Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Chargers open coaching search with Lovie Smith

Lovie Smith to interview with San Diego Chargers
www.nfl.com

Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith will interview with the San Diego Chargers on Friday.

New GM Tom Telesco may also meet with Colts OC Bruce Arians, who says he's interested in the San Diego gig.

No Broncos among HOF finalists

Finalists for Class of 2013
www.profootballhof.com

Four first-year eligible nominees – Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, and Michael Strahan – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in New Orleans, La. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.

Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenburg, and John Lynch didn't make the cut. This was Lynch's first year of eligibility; Davis has been a semifinalist for six straight years but never went beyond that, while Mecklenburg and Atwater's hall bids have been cut short here for the second year in a row.

And then there were eight

Jaguars fire Mike Mularkey
espn.go.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars dismissed coach Mike Mularkey after one season, the team announced Thursday.

Mark Mike Mularkey, we hardly knew ye.

Clady, McGahee, Holliday return to practice

McGahee Returns to Practice
blog.denverbroncos.com

Running back Willis McGahee joined his teammates on the practice field Tuesday for the first time since injuring his knee in Week 11 against the San Diego Chargers.

Also present at practice Tuesday were tackle Ryan Clady, guard Chris Kuper and wide receiver Trindon Holliday.

As per expectations. Prior reports said Clady had not practiced at all last week, but that he and Kuper were on track to start on Saturday against Baltimore in Denver's playoff opener.

McGahee will not be eligible to return to action until next week, provided the Broncos make it beyond the divisional round.

Chiefs dump Pioli

Chiefs, Pioli Part Ways
www.kcchiefs.com

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Friday that the club and General Manager Scott Pioli have mutually agreed to part ways.

“After several productive conversations, we made the difficult decision to part ways with Scott Pioli and allow him to pursue other opportunities,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Scott has been an invaluable member of the Chiefs family since joining us in 2009, and we sincerely appreciate his tremendous contributions over the last four years.

Invaluable? More like unvaluable, amirite?

Del Rio expected to remain in Denver

Jack Del Rio likely staying in Denver
espn.go.com

While interest can still develop, it appears the Denver Broncos will have their defensive coordinator returning for the first time in seven years.

Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio told reporters Thursday he has not had any interviews for head coaching jobs set up yet. Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has interest from four teams and has interviews set for this weekend while the Broncos are on their bye during the playoffs.

While Del Rio has done a stellar job for Denver this season, the potential availability of college coaches Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, Brian Kelly, and Doug Marrone, one-time SB coaches Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, and Ken Whisenhunt, and sought after coordinators like Mike McCoy and Ray Horton, has JDR far down the list of eligible coaching candidates.

No complaints here. Considering what Del Rio has done with Denver's defense in just one season and after one draft, imagine what he can do after another offseason.

Chargers may be eyeing Lovie Smith

Report: San Diego Chargers interested in Lovie Smith
www.nfl.com

Lovie Smith has piqued the interest of the Buffalo Bills, but that isn’t the only team hoping to speak with the recently fired coach of the Chicago Bears.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the San Diego Chargers would like to meet with Smith about replacing Norv Turner, who was fired Monday along with general manager A.J. Smith.

Of the seven coaches fired Monday, two have far and away the most impressive resumes as NFL head coaches go. The first, Andy Reid, is reportedly close to taking the Chiefs job, while the other, Lovie Smith, is apparently a target for the other AFCW vacancy. But while each would appear an upgrade over Norv Turner and Romeo Crennel, both teams have tons of holes to fill.

And, they have to face Peyton Manning twice a year.

Chiefs closing in on Reid for next coach

Andy Reid close to Chiefs deal
espn.go.com

The Kansas City Chiefs are on the verge of a deal to make Andy Reid their next head coach, according to league sources.

There still are minor details to work out but after nine hours of meetings Wednesday, one source involved in the talks said “the major issues have been discussed and agreed upon.”

One source close to Reid said this morning, “This is going to happen fast.”

It doesn't sound like Scott Pioli would be kept around, should the Chiefs indeed hire Reid.

As recently as Tuesday, it was appearing that Reid would be turning the Cardinals into Eagles West. Will he end up doing precisely that in Kansas City? If so, he figures to fare better than Pioli did in remolding the Chiefs as his image of the Patriots.

Update 12:28pm ET - Reid has reportedly told the Chiefs that he and former Browns and Eagles GM Tom Heckert are a package deal, which would indeed mark the end of Scott Pioli's time in KC. As his leverage/backup plan, Reid plans to interview with the Chargers and Cardinals about their vacancies.

Update 2:13pm ET - Finalization of a KC/Reid deal is close enough that the coach is reportedly canceling his meetings with San Diego and Arizona.

Ray Lewis to retire

Ray Lewis to retire after season
espn.go.com

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said Wednesday he plans to retire as the end of this season.

He told the team Wednesday that, “this is my last ride.’‘

Amazing player. May have covered up a murder.

Chiefs scare Koetter into re-upping with Falcons

Koetter signs extension with Falcons
msn.foxsports.com

A source told FOXSports.com the Atlanta Falcons have signed offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to a contract extension that will keep him off the market until the 2014 offseason.

This is a rather bizarre development, unless Koetter - who interviewed with the Broncos in 2011 - was convinced he didn't have a real shot at any of the openings he was scheduled to interview for. He met with the Chiefs yesterday about their vacancy, was scheduled to meet with the Eagles and Browns, and will forego both opportunities to stay put in Atlanta.

For Mike McCoy, that's one fewer competitor for him to fend off for the Philly gig.

Update 10:50am ET - Koetter had also interviewed with the Bears, so he also drops out of the competition with McCoy for that job.