As first reported by Phoenix station KTVK-TV and confirmed by several NFL insiders, former Philadelphia Eagles head coach could replace Ken Whisenhunt as the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach as early as the end of the week. Both Reid and Whisenhunt were fired on Monday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter cited team and league sources in following up that first report, and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora is hearing very much the same thing. One source told Schefter that he’s “95 percent” certain that Reid will get the job. La Canfora reported on Tuesday evening via Twitter that Reid will officially interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday. It’s possible, however, that the Arizona meeting could happen Thursday, because Reid will interview with Kansas City Chiefs executives in Philadelphia on Wednesday before traveling west.
The Cardinals are trying to fast-track the process. Cardinals VP of media operations Mark Dalton said on Twitter that current defensive coordinator Ray Horton interviewed for the position on Tuesday, and that the Cards might also talk with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Though Horton’s defense was the team’s lone bright spot in 2012, and he may be in line for one or more open positions around the league, it’s worth noting that the interview will also keep the franchise on the right side of the Rooney Rule.
La Canfora also reports that Reid, who was a bit of a lame duck through most of the Eagles’ 4-12 campaign, has already reached out to several people and may be close to assembling a full staff. In addition to retaining Horton, which Reid should most definitely do if he is able, Reid may reunite with former Eagles personnel man and recently fired Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert, who would replace fired Cards GM Rod Graves. In addition, Reid could add ex-Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, former Eagles offensive and defensive assistant Juan Castillo, and former Eagles assistant and Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress.
If Reid gets the job, the most obvious concern would be the quarterback position, which was once again a complete and total disaster for the Cardinals in 2012. Kevin Kolb, who thrived in a relative sense under Reid in Philadelphia, was injured most of the season, and his replacements provided little to nothing of value. With sketchy talent in the draft and free agency at the position, Reid may try to see if he can save Kolb’s career. Kolb was drafted in the second round by the Eagles in 2007, and he played well enough as a backup and spot starter to have the Cardinals on point to trade serious chips for him in trade, and then sign him to a six-year, $63 million contract in July of 2011.
Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill said on Monday that he’s not ready to give up on Kolb after two disappointing seasons, and that this will most certainly influence the franchise’s decision at head coach.
“That’s one of the questions we will really focus on with the coaching staff candidates,” Bidwill said. “How do we see about Kevin and his performance and how we can turn him into the quarterback of the future here for the Cardinals and make that decision, if he is the right guy?”
Reid thought that Kolb was the right guy in 2007, and he certainly got value from the trade in which the Eagles got a second-round pick and starting cornerback Dominique Rogers-Cromartie in return.
Reid was hired by the Eagles in 1999 and posted a 130-93-1 record in the regular season. He was 10-9 in the postseason.
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