The Philadelphia Eagles were anxious to get rid of Andy Reid as soon as possible on Dec. 31. Yet other teams are as anxious to pick up Reid as the Eagles were to get rid of him. Or at least one team may be, as the Arizona Cardinals are allegedly close to hiring the man they beat in the 2009 NFC title game.
According to ESPN on Jan. 1, the Cardinals could hire Reid as their new head coach by the end of the week. One source told Adam Schefter that he was “95 percent certain” Reid would win the job, yet another told him that the Cardinals have no leading candidate.
Whatever the truth is, Schefter confirmed that Reid would meet with Arizona on Jan. 2. He also alleged that Reid is already assembling a coaching staff for next season, indicating that he wants to return into the NFL as soon as possible instead of taking time off.
As I wrote on Jan. 1, the Cardinals are basically a carbon copy of the Eagles, with vast quarterback problems, a steady decline after the 2009 NFC championship game, and a 1-11 finish to 2012 that got their best coach in decades fired. Yet with Ken Whisenhunt gone, Arizona would turn to an even bigger winner in Reid -- albeit one who couldn’t turn around Philadelphia’s similar problems.
Since Reid’s wife Tammy is from Phoenix, and former Eagle Kevin Kolb is one of the Cardinals’ many quarterbacks, he has an obvious pull towards Arizona. But it was Reid who abandoned his plans to make Kolb Donovan McNabb’s replacement in Philadelphia once Michael Vick emerged in 2010. Kolb’s career has suffered ever since, as has Reid’s, so maybe they are both ready for one last shot together.
Reid is a pass-first coach, often against all logic. At the least, it would mean that he wouldn’t neglect superstar Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, as Whisenhunt did for most of 2012. That alone may be enough to make Arizona want to hire Reid.
But the Cardinals also have to consider their own defensive coordinator Ray Horton, as well as Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Since Reid seems to want to return fast, and since McCoy won’t be available to talk to after the Broncos start their playoff run, Arizona may make a quick decision one way or another.