This Week in U.S. Sports: NFL teams search for next McVay, MLB doesn't want to give out money
There were a bunch of appointments in the NFL this week and a lot of them look really familiar.
The MLB's hot stove is not so hot and DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins is nearing a return with the Golden State Warriors.
Kyler Murray is waffling and the NHL was doing its best NBA impersonation this week.
Here's what's happening this week in U.S. Sports.
1. Finding the next Sean McVay
The NFL is a copycat league. When Bill Walsh introduced the West Coast offense everyone ran it, when Buddy Ryan perfected the 46 defense, teams tried to duplicate it and now most organisations in football are trying to duplicate the success of Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams.
When the Rams hired McVay in 2017, he was the youngest coach in the NFL. But he came in and led Los Angeles to the playoffs in his first season and turned Jared Goff into one of the most productive quarterbacks in the league.
The Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns are all apparently trying to do the same thing now with their head coaches. Arizona hired Kliff Kingsbury, 39, to help mentor Josh Rosen, the Jets now employ Adam Gase – who the team hope will make Sam Darnold better – the Browns brought back Freddie Kitchens for a hope of continued success with Baker Mayfield and the Packers hired Matt LaFleur anticipating that he can get Green Bay back to the Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers.
This seems like a good plan except for the fact it took NFL teams nearly a decade to catch up with Walsh and no one ever truly duplicated the success of Buddy Ryan's 46, so these teams better hope the McVay way works.
2. The Cold Stove is bordering on freezing
MLB's hot stove season really has not been even lukewarm this year. Only one position player has signed a deal longer than two years (Andrew McCutchen) and only one player has signed for more than three without a team option on the end of a deal (Patrick Corbin).
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned and a slew of other good players are either still waiting for a deal or are settling for less than what many thought they would get. Yasmani Grandal reportedly turned down a four-year, $60million deal with the New York Mets only to sign a one-year, $18.25m contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Brian Dozier, who has averaged more than 24 home runs a year in seven MLB seasons, signed a one-year, $9m deal with the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
The big deals have not been made yet, but there are not many $100m contracts to be found following a season in which MLB made a record-breaking $10.3billion in revenue.
3. The return of Boogie
Cousins may be back sooner than we thought.
For months the Warriors have been vague about when the team's center would return. Some reports initially said he would be back in mid-January, but others were suggesting he would not play again until February or even later.
Now we have an idea of when he will be back though. A report emerged this week that Cousins is targeting a January 18 return against the Los Angeles Clippers and head coach Steve Kerr confirmed that this was the goal.
The Warriors are one step closer to being as close to full strength as they have all season long and the NBA is inching near a much more entertaining basketball campaign.
4. Kyler Murray may play football after all
One of the biggest discussions in the NFL Draft this year centres around Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.
Murray led Oklahoma to a 12-1 record, a Big 12 Championship and a College Football Playoff berth this season in his first year at the helm for the Sooners. But throughout the season, it has been widely accepted that he would go on to play baseball starting next year. The Oakland Athletics took Murray with the ninth pick last year but agreed to let him play one final year of football.
Well now, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland brass believes Murray is going to declare for the NFL Draft. This does not mean that he will play football — he has about a month to decide what he wants to do officially — but it is a long way off from what a lot of people thought to start the year.
Murray is considered one of the best quarterbacks in the draft and Kingsbury said in October in an interview he would take him with the top pick if he had the chance. Well, the Cardinals have the first selection and Kingsbury is the team's coach, so that is actually a possibility now.
5. Drama all over the NHL
The NHL is not typically known for its drama but it saw a lot of it on Thursday alone. First off, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie and Olympian Sergei Bobrovsky was suspended by the team for an unknown incident.
Bobrovsky is a free agent after the season and has reportedly been stewing behind the scenes for much of the campaign, especially after the Blue Jackets made a slow start to their term. The Blue Jackets could entertain trading him at the February 25 deadline considering his contract situation and if that happens, that is a huge name on the market for a contender like the Colorado Avalanche.
Speaking of Colorado, Nathan MacKinnon is an MVP candidate who was very upset with head coach Jared Bednar in a loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. The Avalanche lost the game 5-3, and in a quick moment on the bench during the third period, MacKinnon was visibly frustrated with Bednar and appeared to mouth "do your job" in his coach's direction.
Colorado have fallen to fourth in the Central Division after starting the season on fire. The team are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games and have lost two games in a row while out-shooting their opponents excessively.