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Winning Broncos assistants become popular

Thursday - 1/3/2013, 8:40pm  ET

EDDIE PELLS
AP National Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Welcome to the Denver Broncos 2013 job fair.

Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has interviews for vacant head-coaching jobs set up all weekend.

If a few things fall certain ways, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio could be next on a few teams' lists.

Such is life as an assistant coach of a winning team when there are plenty of losing teams out there looking for a turnaround.

Executives from up to four teams -- Cardinals, Bills, Eagles and Bears -- could wind up in Denver this weekend to visit with McCoy for what will essentially be a get-to-know-you interview for both the coach and the interested suitors.

McCoy has become as coveted an interview as there is since "Black Monday," the day seven NFL teams fired their coaches. He can afford to be picky. Knowing as much, he says he'll be asking as many questions as he answers when the process starts.

"If you're going into a new situation, you've got to make sure it's the right one," said McCoy, who interviewed with Miami last year and was, for a time, thought to be the leading candidate there. "It's not just about taking any job."

This year, McCoy coached the fourth-ranked offense in the league, a unit that scored 30 or more points in all but five games this season. True, he had Peyton Manning on his side, which can make almost any coach look like a genius. Just as impressive were his accomplishments in 2011, when he turned Tim Tebow into a playoff quarterback, reconstructing the playbook in midseason into a 1950s-style, run-based offense that won nine games despite the league's 31st-ranked passing offense.

"That's our job as a football coach, is to take advantage of your talent and that's the No. 1 job I have here," McCoy said. "We've got to make adjustments as a coaching staff, as players, and figure out, 'What do we do best as an organization?'"

Other highlights on McCoy's resume are his nine years as an assistant for John Fox and a glowing endorsement from Manning.

"I think he's ready. I think he's paid his dues," Manning said. "Mike's a good leader. He's had some good coaches that have been mentors to him, different coaches that he's worked with in his years in the NFL that I think he's incorporated some of their leadership philosophies and his own philosophy."

Del Rio's path back to a head-coaching job could be a little trickier. So far, Del Rio said, there have been no requests for interviews this weekend, though things often develop quickly and unexpectedly on a coaching search.

He wasn't on anyone's radar when Jacksonville hired him in 2003, after three years as linebackers coach at Baltimore followed by a year in Carolina as Fox's defensive coordinator.

Over the nine years with the Jaguars, Del Rio went 69-73 and made two playoff appearances -- a tenure with plenty of ups and downs, but during which he built a solid reputation as a coach who knows defense and connects with players. This year, he reunited with Fox, took several pieces already in place and molded them into the third-ranked defense in the league, led by Von Miller, who finished with a franchise record 18
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