SBD/January 3, 2013/Franchises

Cardinals Interviewing Replacements For Whisenhunt; Hiring GM First "Not A Necessity"

Graves was fired on Monday, along with Whisenhunt and most offensive coaches
NFL Cardinals GM Rod Graves and coach Ken Whisenhunt on Monday were relieved of their duties after the team finished with a 5-11 record for the second time in three years, and team President Michael Bidwill said that he “decided on Sunday night to fire Whisenhunt, Graves and the entire offensive coaching staff with the exception of tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens,” according to Kent Somers of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Bidwill will travel to Denver this weekend to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.” Bidwill said that Cardinals VP/Player Personnel Steve Keim is “among the candidates” for GM. Other teams reportedly “would like to speak to Keim” about their GM openings. Bidwill “emphasized that filling the jobs will take time,” and said that hiring a GM first is "not a necessity” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/2). In Phoenix, Paola Boivin wrote, “Ownership had lost confidence in its management team. Fans had lost confidence in the organization. ... It’s the right call” (AZCENTRAL.com, 12/31).

EAGLE EYE: Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie on Monday when asked why he was retaining GM Howie Roseman said that he was holding Roseman “accountable for only the 2012 season.” Lurie: “The mistakes that were made in the 2011 draft have little or nothing to do with Howie’s evaluations.” In Philadelphia, Jeff McLane wrote Roseman “will play an important part" with the team as it moves on to its next head coach. Lurie said that Roseman, along with President Don Smolenski, “would help him select the next head coach.” Smolenski is “not typically involved in football matters” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/1).

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU? In Cleveland, Bud Shaw wrote “one reason to embrace” what Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III and CEO Joe Banner “have in mind is they've had it in mind for some time.” Haslam is a “dynamic owner looking for a dynamic head coach.” Former Owner Randy Lerner was “always looking for a fix, something to get people off his back, anything to loosen the knot in his stomach.” Haslam and Banner are “two professional businessmen trying to find the same complement between coach and GM/personnel department that they already found in each other” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/1). ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley wrote the Browns are “going to regret” letting former GM Tom Heckert “walk out the door” (ESPN.com, 12/31).

THE JAGGED EDGE: In Jacksonville, Gene Frenette wrote of the Jaguars parting ways with GM Gene Smith, “Now comes the really hard part: finding a GM to adequately restock a lineup that ... remains in dire need of upgrading across the board.” The Colts under first-year GM Ryan Grigson are “the model” that Jags Owner Shahid Khan “seeks to duplicate.” Khan has “begun his search for maybe the next Grigson, but let’s not be naïve about the challenges.” Frenette: “Whoever the Jaguars hire as general manager has a massive rebuilding job. This franchise is a lot closer to having a bare cupboard than Khan’s top priority of being a Super Bowl champion” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 1/1).

WIN OR GO HOME: In Las Vegas, Ed Graney noted seven coaches and five GMs were fired Monday, and "in just over two years, half of the league's 32 teams have changed coaches.” Graney: “This is what happens when billionaires become restless and start looking at league standings.” SI’s Jim Trotter said, "It's all part of the changing culture of the NFL. You see teams go from worst to first ... and you have owners saying, 'If they can do it, why can't we?' There is very little patience left for head coaches” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/1).
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