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Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Cameron added to list of Cards' coach candidates

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

The Arizona Cardinals made a formal request and were granted permission to interview San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Like Ron Rivera, the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, Cameron is considered one of the hottest assistant coaches. Cameron calls plays for a Chargers offense that leads the league with a 30.8 average, produced a running back (LaDainian Tomlinson) who set the NFL touchdown record with 31 and made Philip Rivers a Pro Bowl quarterback in his first season.

The formal request arrived in the Chargers' office late Tuesday afternoon.

Cameron, 45, coached quarterbacks for the Redskins from 1994 to 1996 and was head coach at Indiana from 1997 to 2001.

The Chargers earned the top seed in the AFC with a 14-2 record. Cameron will probably be contacted by the Atlanta Falcons, but he has not heard from them yet.

No time has been set up for the interview, but it would have to take place this week. Coaches currently in the playoffs can only be interviewed during the first week of the playoffs while their team is still playing.

The eighth known candidate for the Cardinals head coaching job is former Dolphins and Packers defensive coordinator Jim Bates. Bates was an interim coach for the Dolphins in 2004 and was a candidate for the head coaching job, a job that went to Nick Saban.

He went to the Packers and statistically turned the defense into one of the best in football in 2005. After Mike Sherman was fired, Bates was a candidate for the Packers head coaching job but lost out to Mike McCarthy.

Instead of working for McCarthy as defensive coordinator, Bates opted to not coach in 2006.

Many believe Bates could be a good head coach. Players like his aggressive style of coaching.

Along with Bates, the Cardinals assembled a list of candidates that includes Cameron, Rivera, Norm Chow of the Titans, Sherman of the Texans, Jim Caldwell of the Colts, and Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm of the Steelers.

John Clayton is an NFL senior writer for ESPN.com.