Eagles interview former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt
The Eagles interviewed former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt today, the team announced.
The 50-year-old Whisenhunt was fired by the Cardinals the day after Arizona finished 5-11 this season. In six seasons in Arizona Whisenhunt compiled a 45-51 record in the regular season and went 4-2 in two playoffs appearances.
The Cardinals reached the 2008 Super Bowl in his second season -- they beat the Eagles in the NFC title game to get there -- but lost to the Steelers, 27-23. They made the playoffs the following season, but lost in the second round to the Saints -- the eventual champions.
That was Whisenhunt's final season with Kurt Warner at quarterback. He went 31-23 in three seasons with Warner. After the quarterback retired, the Cardinals went through several options under center, but could never find the answer. Whisenhunt's record was 18-30 in his final three seasons in Arizona.
He was previously the Steelers offensive coordinator from 2004-06. Pittsburgh won a Super Bowl in 2005 with a strong running game. In three seasons as the OC, the Steelers finished 16th, tied for 15th and seventh in the league in total yards and 11th, ninth and tied for 12th in points.
The Eagles also confirmed that they interviewed Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden today. They have a meeting scheduled with Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on Tuesday as they go about turning over every conceivable stone in their search for a new head coach.
Thus far, the Eagles have interviewed three college coaches, two NFL offensive coordinators, two defensive coordinators, a special teams coordinator, two former head coaches that were just fired, one former head coach that won a Super Bowl and a patridge in a pear tree (well, not so much the last one).
The team has been very selective in how they've announced and confirmed interviews, so there are sure to be others that have not been reported. But here's the timeline on the interviews owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and team president Don Smolenski have been on and where they stand in regards to those coaches:
Jan. 2 -- Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. Nolan has decided to stay in Atlanta, per FOXSports.com. If the Eagles are interested in Armstrong, they must wait until the Falcons' postseason run is over to hire him. Armstrong isn't high on their list.
Jan. 3 -- Penn State coach Bill O'Brien. He met with the Eagles in Martha's Vineyard, but decided that evening to stay in State College after he reportedly received a raise, among other reasons. The Browns also interviewed O'Brien.
Jan. 5 -- Oregon coach Chip Kelly. After a nine-hour interview in Arizona and a day of deliberation, Kelly opted to stay at his school. There were reports that he also received a bump in pay. The Browns and Bills also met with Kelly.
Jan. 6 -- Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. He has also met with the Bears, Cardinals and Chargers. Denver was knocked out of the playoffs on Saturday, so McCoy is eligible to be hired as a head coach.
Jan. 7 -- Former Ravens coach Brian Billick. The Eagles managed to keep this eight-hour interview secret for nearly a week. Billick, who won a Super Bowl in 2001 in Baltimore, hasn't coached in the NFL in five seasons.
Jan. 8 -- Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. After a short vacation, Kelly chose to stay in South Bend. There have been reports that he, too, will receive more money from his university.
Jan. 10 -- Former Bears coach Lovie Smith. He was fired by Chicago after nine seasons and a 10-6 season. Smith has also met with the Bills and Chargers.
Jan. 12 -- Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He also interviewed with the Chargers. Seattle was bounced from the playoffs by the Falcons on Sunday. The Eagles are expected to meet with Bradley again for a second interview. He is the likely leading candidate at this point.
Jan. 14 -- Gruden and Whisenhunt. Gruden has also met with the Cardinals and the Chargers. He is slated to also interview with the Jaguars. Whisenhunt has interviewed with the Browns and Chargers.
The Eagles were granted permission to interview Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, but he took a contract extension and elected to stay in Atlanta. They were also scheduled to meet with Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, but he was hired by the Bills before they had a chance to meet.