THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals expect to speak in the coming week with Jay Gruden about their vacant head coaching position.
The team on Sunday confirmed plans to interview the Cincinnati Bengals offensive co-ordinator, younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden.
The Cardinals also confirmed that Broncos offensive co-ordinator Mike McCoy was interviewed in Denver on Saturday. McCoy was the second candidate known to have been interviewed by Cardinals President Michael Bidwill in his search for a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after six seasons.
Cardinals defensive co-ordinator Ray Horton was interviewed last week. The team has received permission to speak with Pittsburgh Steelers offensive co-ordinator Todd Haley, but it’s not known if any interview is scheduled.
McCoy also reportedly had meetings with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns on a busy weekend. The window for the interviews was narrow because the Broncos had a playoff bye this weekend. They are home against Baltimore in the AFC divisional round next Saturday.
The Eagles also have asked for permission to speak with Gruden.
The Cardinals are among five teams still searching for a head coach after two of the vacancies have been reportedly filled — by Andy Reid in Kansas City and Doug Marrone in Buffalo.
Bidwill has said that he does not expect his search to move at "lightning speed." He also is conducting interviews for general manager to replace the fired Rod Graves with Cardinals vice-president for player personnel Steve Keim among the candidates. Keim also has received interest from other teams.
The team has not officially confirmed that Haley was among those being sought for an interview, although a person familiar with the situation has confirmed that the Cardinals received permission from the Steelers to interview him. Haley was the offensive co-ordinator of the Cardinals’ Super Bowl team in the 2008 season before being hired as head coach in Kansas City.
The Cardinals tentatively had lined up an interview with Reid, but that was called off as his talks with the Chiefs intensified.
Arizona fired Whisenhunt after the team lost 11 of its final 12 games to finish 5-11 for the second time in three years. Horton, who also interviewed with the Browns and Bills, is a rising name among co-ordinators after team’s defence played well despite Arizona’s awful offence, the worst in the NFL.
The concerns on offence, particularly the play at quarterback, probably are among the reasons that three of those targeted by the Cardinals — Gruden, McCoy and Haley — are offensive-minded coaches.
Horton said after his two-day interview last week that he considers himself a coach, not a defensive or offensive specialist, and is confident he could give the offence the attention it needs. Horton remains under contract for another season as Arizona defensive co-ordinator. He cannot make a lateral move to a similar position with another team but can go to a head coaching job.
Whisenhunt, who has been interviewed for some of the new vacancies, was offensive co-ordinator at Pittsburgh before being hired by the Cardinals in 2007.