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Health forces Kubiak to retire

DENVER — Broncos coach Gary Kubiak informed his players after their victory over the Raiders on Sunday that he's stepping away from the game and the team he loves. He said the grind of coaching was taking too big of a toll on his health.

The Broncos beat the Raiders 24-6 Sunday, a bittersweet capstone to a disappointing season that began with expectations of repeating as Super Bowl champs and ended without a trip to the playoffs.

Kubiak, 55, leaves with two years left on his contract and a 24-11 record in Denver, including a 24-10 win over the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Including his eight seasons with Houston, his career record is 87-77.

Broncos star linebacker Von Miller said he could see the season wearing on Kubiak.

"His health is the most important thing," Miller said.

After an Oct. 9 loss, Kubiak was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a complex migraine then forced to sit out Denver's next game. It was his second major health scare. In 2013 with the Texans, he collapsed on the field and was diagnosed with a mini-stroke.

Two coaches fired

The Chargers and the 49ers head into the offseason looking for new head coaches.

San Diego announced that Mike McCoy, its coach since 2013, will not return. San Francisco let go of Chip Kelly after one season and also fired general manager Trent Baalke.

McCoy directed the Chargers to a 27-37 record over four regular seasons and, in 2013, the franchise's only playoff victory over the past seven years. But the team has lost 23 of its past 32, finishing last both seasons in the AFC West.

The 49ers went 2-14 to match the franchise record for losses reached in 1978, '79 and 2004. Kelly had replaced Jim Tomsula, who was also fired after just one season.

COLTS SHAKEUP? Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay has been "very unhappy" with his team's performance, and coaches fear that change is coming, ESPN reported. It's unknown if head coach Chuck Pagano's job is the only one in jeopardy or if general manager Ryan Grigson is also on the hot seat.

BILLS SEARCH: Interim coach Anthony Lynn, who replaced the fired Rex Ryan, is the clear favorite to take over the job permanently, the Associated Press reported.

WR SMITH CONFIRMS RETIREMENT: Ravens receiver Steve Smith confirmed that his career is over after 16 seasons. "I enjoyed it, but you know it's over, it's done," said Smith, 37. "I know it's my time. Some people say, 'Can I play another year?' I probably could, but what I lose, I'm not willing to risk." The five-time Pro Bowl receiver finishes with 1,028 catches, 14,697 yards and 81 touchdowns.

REPORTER EJECTED: The Eagles' public relations department had Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer ejected from the press box in the third quarter. According to other reporters on the scene, McLane objected to several writers being asked to be quiet and was soon escorted out by stadium security for a violation of "fan conduct." Other reporters were told they would be ejected if they interfered.

COLTS: Running back Frank Gore, 33, ran for 62 yards, giving him 1,026 this season. He is the oldest player to run for 1,000 yards since Washington's 35-year-old John Riggins did it in 1984.

FALCONS: Rookie safety Keanu Neal left with a possible concussion after colliding with Saints receiver Willie Snead in the fourth quarter. Neal, a former Gator, staggered off and was taken to the locker room for evaluation.

TITANS: DeMarco Murray, who finished his first season in Tennessee leading the AFC in rushing, said he played with a torn plantar plate in his right foot.

Health forces Kubiak to retire 01/01/17 [Last modified: Sunday, January 1, 2017 11:00pm]
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