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SUPER BOWL: Players believe co-ordinators deserve to be head coaches, glad they aren't

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Super Bowl co-ordinators would seem ripe for the head coaching market. Yet the four in Sunday's game aren't going anywhere.

At least not to other NFL teams as the field boss, because all openings have been filled.

That's too bad, say members of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.

It's also good.

"I definitely feel like he will make a great head coach," Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said Wednesday of defensive co-ordinator Dan Quinn. "He's very positive, knows how to lead and teach, and players feed off that.

"But I'm also glad he's going to be here."

As will offensive co-ordinator Darrell Bevell. Quinn was interviewed by Minnesota and Cleveland this month, while Bevell was in the mix for the top job with the Vikings and Redskins.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has built a coaching staff marked by its enthusiasm, aggressiveness and willingness to think outside the box. As Bevell says, Seattle is a "fun place" to be coaching.

Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin looks forward to future work with Bevell.

"He really knows how to communicate," Baldwin said. "He's approachable and he listens to players. Plus, he has a great offensive mind.

"He doesn't just put in play, he explains them and then he explains the different concepts for running a specific play at a specific time. That helps you learn it like the back of your hand."

The praise is equally effusive for Adam Gase and Jack Del Rio in Denver.

Gase moved up to offensive co-ordinator when Mike McCoy left to become San Diego's head coach after last season. At 35, he is 2 years younger than his quarterback, Peyton Manning.

Gase opted off the coaching carousel when it began to spin in early January, although Broncos boss John Elway gave Minnesota and Cleveland permission to speak with Gase.

"Most coaches would say 'Hey, that's my final goal,'" Gase said. "But I can't keep looking in the rearview mirror and saying, 'Hey, I turned this down and I've never gotten another opportunity.' I just felt like it was the right thing for me at that time."

His players stress they believe Gase will become a head coach, but right now they don't want him going anywhere.

"When I first got to Denver, Adam Gase was my wide receiver coach," Demaryius Thomas said. "I learned so much from him, not just about receiving, but football in general. I came from the triple option and he taught me so much.

"He's a great co-ordinator and he can be a great (head coach)."

Del Rio, who replaced John Fox and went 3-1 this season while Fox was recovering from heart surgery, was interviewed in Denver by Southern Cal just before Fox was stricken. But the Trojans eventually hired Steve Sarkisian away from the University of Washington.

Unlike Gase, Quinn and Bevell, Del Rio played in the NFL — he was a top-level linebacker for more than a decade — went 69-73 in just under nine seasons as the Jaguars' head man. Fox hired him in 2012 to replace Dennis Allen, who had left to coach the Raiders.

Del Rio hasn't exactly been seeking out another head coaching gig, but he won't shy away if an offer comes.

"There certainly are opportunities each and every year, and at some point it will match up with what somebody's looking for and what I offer," he said. "In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the heck out of my opportunity here to fight and find a way to win a world championship. I'm not going to spend a lot of time wondering if there was a lot of talk, a little talk or those types of things."

Nor do his Broncos defenders want to spend time wondering what it would be like without him.

"He's here, we're playing for him in the Super Bowl," linebacker Danny Trevathan said. "And I think he's helped us play some real good ball."

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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