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About last night, dear

Scratch Josh McDaniels off your Ravens coaching list. We'd like to tell you more, but in typical Patriots' style McDaniels made his announcement in a statement and Bill Belichick wouldn't even confirm who had asked to interview him. Actually, this is probably a smart move on McDaniels' part. Right now there are only three head coaching jobs open and the commonly held belief is that Dallas assistant head coach Tony Sparano is likely to wind up in Miami with his pals Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland.

That leaves the Baltimore and Atlanta jobs. There are several good candidates and McDaniels' age was going to work against him. Next year, there could be double as many opportunities and McDaniels will be able to pick and chose, assuming the Patriots continue to be successful.

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*  Another guy who's a year too early for NFL coaching candidacy is Kansas' Mark Mangino. Mangino's Jayhawks beat Virginia Tech, 24-21, in the Orange Bowl last night and finished the season a spectacular 12-1. In last night's game, Kansas played surprisingly well on defense with 17 of their points coming as a result of turnovers. Mangino's name hasn't surfaced for NFL openings but he won a fistful of Coach of the Year honors this season and has been something of a turnaround guy at Kansas, where the Jayhawks have had just one losing regular-season since his first year in 2002. There are a few blemishes on the records of Kansas and Mangino over the years but nothing that would affect his chances for a pro job. More to the point is that unless Kansas has another great season and NFL teams aren't still gun-shy about guys who are purely college coaches, Mangino will be off the radar next January.


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