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Coaching Tracker: Chudzinski lands Browns' job

The SportsXchange

Arizona Cardinals

Out: Ken Whisenhunt

Comment: Whisenhunt engineered by far the most successful run in franchise history, but it might have been time for a change for everyone involved after a disastrous 2012 season that ended with journeyman Brian Hoyer at quarterback. GM Rod Graves is also out, and the franchise collapsed under the poor talent evaluations at quarterback and across the offensive line.

Candidates: Rebuffed by Andy Reid, who may have requested to bring in his own general manager, the Cardinals promoted president of player personnel Steve Keim and have ratcheted up the coaching search. Arizona is scheduled to interview Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden. The Cardinals have already interviewed their defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, and requested to interview Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was previously the offensive coordinator under Whisenhunt. Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith is believed to be interested in the Arizona job, and Cardinals executives flew to Denver last week to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Buffalo Bills

Out: Chan Gailey

In: Doug Marrone

Comment: The Bills interviewed two candidates with NFL head coaching experience in Lovie Smith and Ken Whisenhunt and also met with University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. They ultimately decided on Marrone, Syracuse's head coach who said he will incorporate a "Moneyball" type of concept in evaluating talent. Buffalo has said it will start an analytics department, and Marrone said his experience as the offensive coordinator with the New Orleans said included statistical analysis and that it will put the Bills on "the cutting edge."

Chicago Bears

Out: Lovie Smith

Comment: A second consecutive late-season collapse led to the end of Smith's nine-year run in Chicago that was highlighted by a Super Bowl run after the 2006 season. Smith is a highly respected defensive mind, but the offense was never able to provide enough of a complementary force under coordinators Mike Martz and Mike Tice in recent seasons. Smith was 80-63 with the Bears.

Candidates: The Bears are interested in talking to Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was released from a Baltimore hospital midweek. He's not expected to have long-term health issues, but in the meantime, the Bears met with Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. Chicago has also been given permission to interview Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, but may not want to wait until the Packers' season is over to do so. Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis and New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael are also in the mix. The team is not interested in meeting with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cleveland Browns

Out: Pat Shurmur

In: Rob Chudzinksi

Comment: New owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager Joe Banner conducted an exhaustive process before choosing Chudzinski as the franchise's 14th full-time head coach. They zeroed in on Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, but soured when the Ducks' coach didn't appear 100 percent committed to leaving his current job. A host of candidates with NFL experience were interviewed and just when it appeared former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt had emerged as the frontrunner, the Browns announced Chudzinski as their man. Chudzinski was Cleveland's tight ends coach in 2004 and the team's offensive coordinator in 2007-08. He was lauded as the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator in 2011 during Cam Newton's record-setting rookie season, only to be on the hot seat in 2012 as the Panthers' highly-paid backfield floundered to produce - and see regular carries - much of the season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Out: Mike Mularkey

Comment: It was an ominous sign when Mularkey's assistant coaches were told they could pursue other jobs, and new general manager David Caldwell made Mularkey's dismissal official just a day after taking the reins. Mularkey was given a raw deal having only one year at the helm, but most GM's prefer to start fresh with "their" people - even if Caldwell and Mularkey were in the Atlanta organization previously. Mularkey trusted in ousted GM Gene Harris too much, and trumpeted the Jaguars' potential on both sides of the ball even as the team's 2012 season was spiraling out of control.

Candidates: Caldwell's ties to the Atlanta organization will immediately bring three Falcons assistants into the fray who have been tied to other openings this offseason. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has said he's staying in Atlanta, but that may change depending on his relationship with Caldwell. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong have also drawn interested from multiple teams. NFL.com reported Caldwell is interested in talking to St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Kansas City Chiefs

Out: Romeo Crennel

In: Andy Reid

Comment: Reid's arrival coincided with the "mutual" decision by the Chiefs and general manager Scott Pioli to part ways. Reid compiled a 130-93-1 regular-season record in 14 years with the Philadelphia Eagles. He guided the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles, five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance. However, he has often been a lightning rod in recent seasons for critics who claim he is too pass-heavy in his offensive approach.

Philadelphia Eagles

Out: Andy Reid

Comment: Reid's tenure was clearly coming to an end after 14 seasons that included nine playoff teams and one Super Bowl appearance after the 2004 season. The Eagles were the league's biggest disappointment in 2012, and both sides clearly need a fresh start.

Candidates: The Eagles considered a pair of candidates from the college ranks - Oregon's Chip Kelly and Penn State's Bill O'Brien - but both have decided to stick with their programs. It's a third that came as a surprise, with Notre Dame's Brian Kelly meeting with the team after the BCS title game. The Eagles were also set to interview former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Philadelphia also received permission to talk to Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and is also expected to talk to Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. The Eagles have already interviewed Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Atlanta assistants Keith Armstrong (special teams) and Mike Nolan (defense).

San Diego Chargers

Out: Norv Turner

Comment: Turner and GM A.J. Smith entered 2012 knowing it was a playoffs-or-bust season, and the Chargers went belly up by midseason under the weight of poor offensive line play that led to another season of regression by former elite QB Philip Rivers. Widely considered a better offensive coordinator than head coach, Turner will be a hot commodity on the assistant coaching circuit. General manager A.J. Smith was also fired.

Candidates: The Chargers will ramp up their coaching search now that general manager Tim Telesco has been hired. The Chargers did interview Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, who was subsequently hired by the Buffalo Bills. They are also interested in Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who is familiar with Telesco, who had been with the Colts' franchise since 1998. UCLA head coach Jim Mora has also reportedly been contacted, while former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith and former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt are both believed to be interested in the job.

IN THE AIR

SAFE: Jason Garrett, Cowboys; Rex Ryan, Jets; Jim Schwartz, Lions; Ron Rivera, Panthers; Mike Munchak, Titans

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