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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jan 10, 2013 - 6:15 pm

ESPN NFL insider: Mike McCoy the 'leader in the clubhouse' for Cardinals job

ESPN NFL insider John Clayton does not know who the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals will be, but he told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Thursday he believes Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has a good shot.

"I honestly think it could be Mike McCoy," he said. "When you look at it, Mike McCoy is probably the hottest of the assistant coaches."

McCoy, who interviewed with the Cardinals last Saturday, is looked at as one of the top assistant coaches ready to make the leap to the head job.

An assistant on the Carolina Panthers' staff from 2000-2008, the Broncos hired McCoy to run their offense in 2008. He's credited for being able to get the most out of the talent he has to work with on offense, which has to be intriguing to a team like Arizona.

"He was able to work so well with Peyton Manning and he's done so well when he worked with Jake Delhomme," continued Clayton. "He's ready, and so he would be the hottest guy.

"When you start to handicap it, knowing that they have a good chance to go to the Super Bowl or at the very least they're going to be in the championship game, you have to wait for Mike McCoy."

And therein lies the rub with regards to McCoy. While a team like the Cardinals may want him and he may want the Cardinals, he cannot go anywhere until the Broncos are eliminated from the playoffs. And as the AFC's top seed, there is a good chance they'll be playing in Super Bowl XLVII.

But as Clayton said, the Cardinals might be one of the few teams that can afford to wait on someone like McCoy. After all, with defensive coordinator Ray Horton already in the fold, there wouldn't be pressure to quickly hire a capable coaching staff.

"If you have the defensive staff in place and you know what you want to try to do on offense, then I think you're in a position to get Mike McCoy," Clayton said. "I think Mike McCoy is the leader in the clubhouse if this team is willing to wait."

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