Black Monday was especially dark this season. Seven NFL head coaches were fired, and five general managers lost their jobs. While a few teams remain in limbo, our focus now turns to coaching searches.
We’ll have all the news covered in Around the League, but come back to our head-coaching search tracker for a one-stop shop of all the latest news.
Here’s what we know:
» Cardinals executives flew out to Denver and spoke with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy about the team’s coaching job on Saturday.
» The team confirmed Sunday that they plan to speak with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinatorJay Gruden about their coaching vacancy this week.
» The Cardinals have requested permission to interview Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinatorTodd Haley for their head-coaching vacancy, a source informed of the team’s request told NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport on Thursday. That permission was granted, The Arizona Republic reported. Haley was the Cardinals‘ offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2008, then went 19-26 in three seasons as theKansas City Chiefs‘ head coach.
» The Cardinals interviewed defensive coordinator Ray Horton a second time Wednesday, and he told reporters afterward that Arizona is his No. 1 choice as far as a coaching destination. Horton said he likes the franchise and fans and would like to stay, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reported.
» Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith also has targeted the Cardinals.
» The Cardinals are undecided if they will hire a coach or a general manager first. In-house candidate Steve Keim will be interviewed for the GM job, NFL.com‘s Albert Breer reported Thursday.
» The Buffalo Bills have agreed to terms with Syracuse’s Doug Marrone as their new head coach, NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reportedSunday morning. Marrone interviewed with the Bills on Friday and had also drummed up interest from theCleveland Browns, whom reportedly met with Marrone on Thursday.
The Bills formally interviewed formerChicago Bears coach Lovie Smith on Friday. Smith is said to be intrigued by the opportunity with the Bills.
» The Bills also announced that they formally interviewed Oregon coach Chip Kelly late Friday night in Arizona, one day after the Fiesta Bowl. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reported that Kelly is very close to a deal with the Cleveland Browns.
» Bills president/CEO Russ Brandon, general manager Buddy Nix, assistant general manager Doug Whaley and senior vice president of football administration Jim Overdorf all flew to Arizona on Tuesday to interview former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt and Whaley worked together on the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ staff under coach Bill Cowher. “We won some Super Bowls together, so I have high regard for his coaching acumen,” Whaley said.
» Ray Horton, who was Whisenhunt’s defensive coordinator in Arizona, interviewed with the Bills on Wednesday.
»The Bills interviewed Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Saturday.
» The Carolina Panthers will retain head coach Ron Rivera. The decision to keep Rivera in his position was announced Saturday after Rivera met with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson to discuss his future.
» NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the Bears received permission to interview Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, according to sources close to Dennison.
» The Bears will interview Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, two people informed of theBears‘ plans told Rapoport. Trestman had 17 years of NFL experience in a variety of roles when he took the Montreal job before the 2008 season.
» FOX Sports insider and NFL Network contibutor Jay Glazer reported the Bears interviewed Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis on Saturday.
» The Bears are the first team to put in an interview request for Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, a source with knowledge of the coach’s situation told Rapoport. Arians can’t interview with any teams yet while the Colts prepare for their wild-card playoff game. The Chicago Tribune’s Dan Pompei reported permission has been granted, and the Bears are scheduled to interview Arians next week. The San Diego Chargers also are interested in Arians, according to Rapoport.
Coaches, GMs fired on Black Monday
Take a look at the coaches and GMs who have been relieved of their duties following the 2012 regular season.
» New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael was set to interview for the Bears‘ head-coaching job Thursday, Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
» The Bears have set up three early interviews. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reported that Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan will interview for the vacancy. NFL.com‘s Albert Breer reported Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will meet with Bears general manager Phil Emery. McCoy’s interview took place Sunday. Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong also will meet with the Bears, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
» Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements told ESPNWisconsin.com’s Jason Wildethat the Packers have granted the Bears permission to interview him.
» Emery apparently wants to watch the Jan. 19 East-West Shrine Game with the Bears‘ new head coach at his side.
» Oregon booster Phil Knight is making a strong push to keep Chip Kelly coaching in Eugene, NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. The Browns have been intently pursuing the Ducks head coach but face competition with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Kelly had a marathon interview session Saturday.
» While Kelly met with the Eagles on Saturday, the Browns met with Syracuse’s Doug Marrone for the second time, two sources told NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport. However, Marrone later agreed to terms of a deal with the Buffalo Bills, Rapoport reported Sunday morning.
» The Browns and Kelly are very close to a deal, Rapoport reported on Friday. On NFL Network’s “Around the League,” NFL.com‘s Albert Breer indicated the Browns are willing to “open the vault” for Kelly. Contrary to other reports, a source with knowledge of Kelly’s thought process told Rapoport that Kelly would not require or ask for total control of football operations if he takes a job as an NFL coach. Kelly’s Ducks beat Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night.
» Penn State coach Bill O’Brienconfirmed Thursday night that he will remain at the school after interviewing for the Browns‘ head-coaching job earlier in the day. “I’m not a one-and-done guy,” O’Brien told Pennlive.com. “I made a commitment to these players at Penn State, and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.” Pennlive.com reported O’Brien received a $1.3 million gift from a prominent donor to bring his total compensation to $3.6 million, according to high-level Penn State sources.
» Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton interviewed with the Browns on Tuesday. He’s also considered a candidate for the Cardinals and Buffalo Bills‘ head-coaching jobs.
» Former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt interviewed with the Browns on Wednesday, league sources told ESPN.
Kansas City Chiefs
» Andy Reid has signed a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs to become the team’s next head coach. There will be an official news conference Monday.
» The Chiefs announced Friday that they and general manager Scott Pioli “have mutually parted ways,” which could clear the way for the hiring of Tom Heckert, the former Cleveland Browns general manager and a friend of Reid’s. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Reid wants to bring both Heckert and Green Bay Packers director of football operations John Dorsey with him to Kansas City.
» Oregon booster Phil Knight is making a strong push to keep Chip Kelly coaching in Eugene, NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. The Cleveland Browns have been intently pursuing the Ducks head coach but face competition with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Kelly had a marathon interview session Saturday.
» Rapoport reported Sunday the Eagles are selling Oregon coach Chip Kelly on two major factors: First, a roster already stocked with the type of players Kelly recruited at Oregon, including a handful of short, fast wideouts. Second, a pair of in-house signal-callers that loom as a decent fit to operate Kelly’s up-tempo, spread attack.
» The Eagles have requested permission from the Cincinnati Bengals to interview offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, a source with knowledge of Gruden’s situation told Rapoport. That permission has not yet been given.
» Kelly met with the Eagles on Saturday and had lunch with the team’s brass. Reports said he was then scheduled to have dinner with the Cleveland Browns, but Comcast SportsNet Philadelphiaconfirmed that Kelly’s meeting with the Eagles did not conclude until well after midnight.
» The Eagles announced Friday that they have been granted permission to interview Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for their head-coaching vacancy.
» The Eagles interviewed Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday.
» The Eagles confirmed Thursday night that they had interviewed Bill O’Brien, who decided to remain Penn State’s coach and won’t further pursue any NFL jobs.
» The Eagles planned to fly to Atlanta on Wednesday night to interviewAtlanta Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for their head-coaching vacancy, team spokesman Derek Boyko told NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport.
» Reuben Frank of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reported the Eagles have no interest in hiring former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher.
San Diego Chargers
» The Chargers are interested in talking to former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith about their head-coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
» Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is the name most tied to the Chargers‘ head-coaching job in the early running, according to NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi. Ex-Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt also is interested in the job, according to U-T San Diego. A lot of coaches will be interested because of quarterback Philip Rivers‘ presence.
» It might take a while for true head-coaching candidates to emerge in San Diego. The team plans to hire a general manager first, then have the GM help search for a coach.