NFC West: Black Monday 2012

Ranking the remaining coaching vacancies

January, 16, 2013
1/16/13
10:22
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The Chicago Bears' hiring of Marc Trestman as head coach leaves Arizona, Philadelphia and Jacksonville as the final three teams with vacancies heading toward the 2013 season.

Trestman was not a known candidate for any other job. His rather curious hiring should not affect the Cardinals in any way.

A quick look at the known candidates for the Cardinals, Eagles and Jaguars:
  • Arizona: Offensive coordinators Darell Bevell (Seattle), Jay Gruden (Cincinnati) and Todd Haley (Pittsburgh) have reportedly interviewed or will interview. Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton has already interviewed and remains on staff. Andy Reid and Mike McCoy were candidates before taking jobs elsewhere.
  • Eagles: The Eagles have interviewed and/or pursued Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley (Seattle), former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Gruden, McCoy, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Falcons special-teams coordinator Mike Armstrong, Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, Oregon coach Chip Kelly, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, and then-Syracuse coach Doug Marrone. Did I miss anyone? Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer joked that the Eagles have interviewed "every living male with a visor" to this point.
  • Jaguars: Bradley headed from his Eagles interview to meet with the Jaguars on Wednesday. Bevell and St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer also interviewed. Schottenheimer was a finalist for the job one year ago, but the Jaguars hired Mike Mularkey. Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker interviewed. San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman would be a logical candidate for the job given his success with the 49ers and close ties to new Jaguars general manager David Caldwell, Roman's former college teammate and roommate. The Jaguars were not yet conducting their coaching search when Roman was available for interviews during the window provided before divisional-round games. He remains off-limits during Championship Game week. Armstrong, the Falcons' special-teams coach, has also been mentioned as a candidate. AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky sizes up the field.

The chart is an expanded version of previous ones I've produced, designed to show which openings might be most appealing from candidates' perspective. I would order them Philadelphia, Arizona and Jacksonville based on a range of factors, including quarterbacks and ownership.

Todd Haley and other Arizona thoughts

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
8:30
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ESPN's John Clayton points to Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, among others, as a potential head coaching candidate in Arizona.

Haley, the Cardinals' offensive coordinator during their Super Bowl season, would come to the Cardinals familiar with ownership and some players, notably Larry Fitzgerald.

Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said the team plans to interview former Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Cue the video for John's thoughts. Oh, and Happy New Year a little early.

Only a select few outlasted Whisenhunt

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
5:10
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Ken Whisenhunt, hired by the Arizona Cardinals in 2007, had outlasted all but eight NFL head coaches when the team fired him Monday.

Bill Belichick, Marvin Lewis, Tom Coughlin, Mike McCarthy, Gary Kubiak and Sean Payton were hired by their current teams no later than 2006. Lovie Smith and Andy Reid were also in place before 2007. Both were fired Monday.

Whisenhunt, Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin and San Diego's Norv Turner remained from the 2007 hiring class until Monday, when Turner joined Whisenhunt among the ranks of former coaches.

As Jerry Glanville put it years ago, NFL means, "Not For Long."

Statements from Whisenhunt, Graves

December, 31, 2012
12/31/12
4:02
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The Arizona Cardinals have released the following statements from former coach Ken Whisenhunt and former general manager Rod Graves:

Whisenhunt

"Coaching the Cardinals has been an incredible and rewarding experience and I will always be grateful to Mr. [Bill] Bidwill, Michael [Bidwill] and Rod [Graves] for giving me that opportunity back in 2007.

"I’m very proud of what we as a team and as an organization achieved during that time. Collectively we accomplished some very special and unprecedented things. That’s a testament to the dedication, hard work and talent of so many coaches, players and people throughout the organization.

"But we all understand this business and when you don’t win enough games changes are made. That doesn’t mean it’s easy but you definitely don’t have to look far to find people that have it much worse.

"I want to especially thank Cardinals fans who treated my family and me so well and made our time in Arizona so special.

"While this chapter ends for us, we are hopeful that the ones ahead of us will be as enriching as this one has been."

Graves

"I am very grateful to Michael Bidwill, to his family, to the players and to the staff of the Arizona Cardinals for the opportunity to serve the organization. Working with talented others to build and enhance our brand over the past 16 years has been an awesome and totally enriching experience. It has been the opportunity that others only dream of. Every day I came to work I viewed it as the ultimate privilege and never once lost sight of that. My time with the Cardinals has ended but the organization and the people in it will always have a special place within me."

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