Coaching Tracker: Eagles finally lure Kelly away from Oregon

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: Arizona was interested in Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was hired by the San Diego Chargers. The Cardinals also spoke to Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, and Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was due to interview Wednesday. The Cardinals have already interviewed their defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was previously the offensive coordinator under Whisenhunt.

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

In: Marc Trestman

Comment: The Bears cast an extremely wide net before conducting a second interview with Marc Trestman and finally hiring him Jan. 16. Trestman spent the past five years as the head coach of the Montreal Alouttes in the Canadian Football league, but was also a longtime NFL assistant and respected quarterbacks coach. He moved quickly to hire Aaron Kromer away from the New Orleans Saints to serve as his offensive coordinator, as the Bears clearly are making a strong statement that improving the long-suffering offense is priority No. 1 this offseason. Trestman, 57, has served as an offensive coordinator himself for four different NFL teams, and is primarily known for his work as a quarterbacks guru.

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 immediately brought a pair of Falcons assistants into the fray who have been tied to other openings this offseason. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong drew initial interest from multiple other teams, although they don't appear to be candidates elsewhere at this juncture. Caldwell talked to St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and will reportedly interview Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The Jaguars also interviewed current defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, as well as Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

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 pulled the stunner of the coaching musical chairs season when Chip Kelly was announced as the 21st head coach in franchise history Jan. 16. That came on the heels of second interviews earlier in the week for Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Kelly had interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills shortly after Oregon's bowl victory, but had appeared to have decided to return to the Ducks for at least another year. However, the 49-year-old Kelly "continued to evaluate the opportunity," according to the Eagles in announcing the hire.

San Diego Chargers

Out: Norv Turner

In: Mike McCoy

Comment: Once new general manager Tom Telesco was in place, the Chargers immediately began to intensify their head coaching search. Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith were among those interviews, but the process concluded when Telesco was impressed enough with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to hire him and cancel a Wednesday interview with Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. McCoy, 40, is viewed as an innovative offensive mind who won a playoff game with Tim Tebow under center in the 2011 season and then completely revised the scheme upon the arrival of Peyton Manning last year.

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