Thursday, January 3, 2013
Reid to Chiefs? Where the Cardinals stand
By Mike Sando
The Arizona Cardinals' plans to speak with Andy Reid about their head coaching vacancy appear in jeopardy with Reid close to accepting the Kansas City Chiefs' offer.
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, mentioned early in the week by ESPN's John Clayton, is now in the mix for Arizona.
Arizona has already interviewed its own defensive coordinator, Ray Horton.
The Cardinals are also without a general manager.
Haley would come to Arizona already familiar with the organization from his tenure as the team's offensive coordinator under former coach Ken Whisenhunt. He would presumably fit if the team promoted vice president of player personnel Steve Keim to the GM role. Haley and Keim worked together in Arizona previously.
Haley posted a 19-26 record as head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. That included a 10-6 season in 2010, when the Cardinals were 5-11.
On Monday, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill mentioned Reid as a candidate to replace Whisenhunt. On Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter cited a source expressing "95 percent" confidence in Reid becoming the Cardinals' next head coach. Later Tuesday, Schefter cited other sources expressing skepticism that Reid-to-Arizona was that likely.
News of Arizona's interest in Reid surely worked in Reid's favor in negotiations with the Chiefs. That doesn't mean there was nothing to the Reid-to-Arizona stories. Bidwill announced the team's interest and plans to interview Reid, an indication the team had participated in discussions with the former Philadelphia Eagles coach or his representatives.
Hiring Reid would generate much more buzz in Arizona than hiring Haley. If Reid lands in Kansas City, the Cardinals will be perceived to have settled for whichever coach they wind up hiring. That is OK as long as they hire a good coach.
Horton has said he would hire a defensive coordinator to run the Cardinals' defense if Arizona promoted him to head coach. That would allow Horton to focus all his efforts on being a head coach. It might also weaken the defensive coaching.
Horton remains under contract to the Cardinals. If he does not land a head coaching job elsewhere, Arizona could keep him as coordinator while naming Haley or someone else as head coach. That could create an uncomfortable dynamic, particularly if the head coach has no history with Horton. Haley and Horton have not coached together previously.
Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is another potential candidate to replace Whisenhunt. The Cardinals have lined up an interview with him for the weekend. McCoy has spent much of his coaching career with the Carolina Panthers.