Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The NFL coaching carousel continues as five teams continue their search for a new head coach.
Every season, it seems like more and more coaches are given their pink slips as part of the offseason coaching carousel but in reality, it's always par the course. Seven coaches were let go on Black Monday, and one more was cut since then.
This time around, we had a healthy mix of long-standing veterans and relatively new faces added to the unemployment line. Some of these coaches laugh at the phrase "long-standing", they've been in one place for so long. Fourteen-year head coach Andy Reid was let go (and has already been hired elsewhere), while Chicago mainstay Lovie Smith was handed his walking papers as well.
Three teams have already found their man. The Kansas City Chiefs scrambled to bring in the aforementioned Reid, while the Buffalo Bills chose Doug Marrone, poaching him from Syracuse at the college ranks. After the team was sold, the Browns cut ties with Pat Shurmur and have made Rob Chudzinski their new hire.
Still, there's five teams without leaders right now, and below, we'll take a look at what their situation is.
Coach Fired: Ken Whisenhunt
Coaching Candidates: Mike McCoy (DEN), Jay Gruden (CIN), Ray Horton (ARI)
The Latest: The Cardinals originally started out in pursuit of Reid after parting ways with Whisenhunt, but the Chiefs did everything they could to prevent Reid from hearing them out. In the meantime, the Cardinals interviewed Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and their own defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
Their top candidate as of now is Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, though. On Saturday, the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs after a double overtime thriller against the Baltimore Ravens, which means the floodgates for McCoy are set to open, and the Cardinals are leading the charge.
Coach Fired: Mike Mularkey
Coaching Candidates: Brian Schottenheimer (STL), Mel Tucker (JAC), Jay Gruden (CIN), Keith Armstrong (ATL), Greg Roman (SF), Gus Bradley (SEA)
The Latest: After a two win season, Mularkey was the latest head coaching fire, getting the axe on Thursday after the team hired new general manger David Caldwell. The team interviewed St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on Monday and are expected to give the in-house interview of Mel Tucker on Tuesday.
Armstrong makes sense given Caldwell's ties to Atlanta, while Greg Roman makes sense given the fact that Roman and Caldwell are old friend and the fact that Roman is considered someone on the rise. The San Francisco 49ers are still in the playoffs though, so any interview for Roman will need to wait until they're eliminated or the Super Bowl bye week.
The Jaguars are still fresh to the search, but it does seem as though Caldwell has a great deal of input, so a hire from him will likely come from one of the candidates he's familiar with.
Coach Fired: Andy Reid
Coaching Candidates: Ken Whisenhunt (ARI), Brian Kelly (ND), Lovie Smith (CHI), Jay Gruden (CIN), Bruce Arians (IND), Gus Bradley (SEA), Keith Armstrong (ATL), Mike Nolan (ATL), Brian Billick (BAL), Mike McCoy (DEN)
The Latest: Philadelphia tried to get both Chip Kelly from Oregon and Brian Kelly from Notre Dame, and failed on both counts. Most recently, they've interviewed Whisenhunt and Gruden on Monday, and have invited Bradley in for a second interview on Tuesday.
Bradley is a legitimate candidate and a second interview is a big deal, but the real "big" news around their search revolves around Brian Billick, who has been away from coaching to be an analyst for the NFL Network and FOX Sports. Billick and the Eagles met last week, according to most reports.
Coach Fired: Norv Turner
Coaching Candidates: Lovie Smith (CHI), Ken Whisenhunt (ARI), Gus Bradley (SEA), Bruce Arians (IND), Jay Gruden (CIN), Mike McCoy (DEN)
The Latest: The Chargers have their new general manger in Tom Telesco, and that means their coaching search is really going to get underway. The team interviews Smith and Gruden already, and McCoy is definitely on their radar, possibly interviewing on Monday, though it was never confirmed.
Arians has been reluctant to speak too much about jobs he's interested in, but he did admit interest in the San Diego job after Telesco, a former Colts executive, was hired. It wouldn't be shocking at all if Arians was the team's top target. Still, McCoy has been unavailable until recently, and we might see a push in that direction.
Coach Fired: Lovie Smith
Coaching Candidates: Rick Dennison (HOU), Dave Toub (CHI), Mike Singletary (MIN), Mike Priefer (MIN), Darrell Bevell (SEA), Joe DeCamillis (DAL), Bruce Arians (IND), Marc Trestman (CFL), Pete Carmichael (NO), Mike McCoy (DEN), Mike Sullivan (TB), Tom Clements (GB), Keith Armstrong (ATL)
The Latest: The Bears have been all over the place in regards to their search, but lately, things have been narrowed down to Trestman from the Canadian Football League. It was even reported that the Bears had told Trestman he has the job, but the team has not confirmed this yet.
Chicago has also reportedly told other candidates that they're eliminated. It's really unclear where things stand as of now, but Trestman does seem like the best best. The team is apparently set to give Bevell his second interview on Tuesday and wants to hire its coach by Saturday, so things should happen soon.