The New Year began with seven head coaching vacancies. One of those positions has been filled, as former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has reached an agreement with the Kansas City Chiefs. The news of Reid’s agreement came as no surprise as hours before, the Chiefs and general manager Scott Pioli mutually agreed to part ways. Reid is expected to bring his own general manager with him to Kansas City, with Green Bay Packers director of football operations John Dorsey the favorite to land the position.
Arizona Cardinals: Early in the week, the Cardinals had been the favorite to land Reid, but Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt intercepted the veteran coach and sealed the deal. Arizona president Michael Bidwill has been busy interviewing other candidates, including current defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who has had two interviews for Ken Whisenhunt’s old job. The Cardinals have also requested permission to interview Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator in 2007-08.
Other candidates for the Cardinals include Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and the team may have interest in Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. The Cardinals are also reportedly one of two targets of Lovie Smith, who plans on remaining in a head coach position after he was fired by the Chicago Bears on Monday.
Buffalo Bills: CEO Russ Brandon is leading the search for the team’s next head coach and has spent the better part of the week in the Phoenix area. Thus far, the Bills have interviewed former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton. The Bills will meet with Oregon’s Chip Kelly on Friday and have interviews lined up with Lovie Smith and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. A dark horse candidate in Buffalo is Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone.
Carolina Panthers: We’re adding the Panthers to mix because head coach Ron Rivera is scheduled to meet with owner Jerry Richardson on Saturday. The Panthers fired GM Marty Hurney during the 2012 season and Rivera is no lock to return in 2013. However, the Panthers closed out the regular season on a high note, winning four straight and five of their last six to finish 7-9, which should buy Rivera another season in Charlotte.
Chicago Bears: GM Phil Emery has a lengthy list of candidates to replace Lovie Smith. Thus far, Emery has interviewed Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Emery is scheduled to meet with Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy over the weekend. The Bears are also interested in Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Cleveland Browns: Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner will interview Oregon’s Chip Kelly on Friday. The Browns also interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien, who is staying at the school. Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone has also been interviewed for the Browns’ vacancy.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles interviewed Penn State’s Bill O’Brien on Martha’s Vineyard before O’Brien decided to remain with the Nittany Lions, aided by a $1.3 million raise via a donation made by PSU donor and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula. The Eagles have also interviewed Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and will interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday. The Eagles remain interested in Oregon’s Chip Kelly and have been granted permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
San Diego Chargers: As Shutdown Corner has mentioned throughout the week, the Chargers’ primary focus is on their search for a new general manager. Those efforts are being spearheaded by president Dean Spanos, who, along with consultant Ron Wolf, has already interviewed in-house candidate Jimmy Raye, the Chargers’ director of player personnel. The Chargers have also interviewed Colts director of player personnel Tom Telesco, who, if hired, could be part of the team’s hiring of Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who has emerged as an early candidate for the Chargers’ head coaching vacancy. The Chargers are interested in speaking with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday.
Additional candidates for the GM position include San Francisco 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble, Falcons director of player personnel David Caldwell, New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and Cardinals vice president of player personnel Steve Keim.