Coaching Carousel: Who's out, who's next?

Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
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 along the offensive line.
Candidates: Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton maintained an aggressive and fearsome unit despite the debacle taking place on the other side of the ball, although this appears to be a total house cleaning. Horton is expected to be a head coaching candidate elsewhere. Fired Eagles coach Andy Reid and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy have been announced as initial interviews.

Buffalo Bills
Out: Chan Gailey
Comment: Gailey is considered an offensive guru, but along with GM Buddy Nix made a fatal mistake by overreacting to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's hot start in 2011, lavishing him with a massive contract only to see Fitzgerald regress for the next year and a half. The Bills also gave up 435 points after signing DE Mario Williams to a $100 million deal.
Candidates: Perry Fewell went 3-4 as the Bills' interim head coach in 2009, and is a very respected defensive mind for the Giants. The biggest question would be if he's interested in another run in Buffalo. Ken Whisenhunt, fired by Arizona, will receive interest from Buffalo, according to a report. Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien is a familiar name from his days with the New England Patriots. A quiet name to consider is Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. He is a former head coach with the Saints and did a commendable job with a deplete unit in D.C. this season. He also played all but one of his eight NFL seasons with the Bills (1979-85) and his first coaching job was as an assistant at the University of Buffalo (1988-90).

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: Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who has ties to GM Phil Emery, was quickly mentioned since both come from the Bill Belichick-Scott Pioli tree. However, McDaniels' one ill-fated head coaching gig was with the Denver Broncos, where he made extremely controversial decisions to send QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall out of town. A reunion in Chicago would seem highly unlikely, although it's interesting that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was on McDaniels' staff in Denver, has reportedly been asked to interview, as has Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. Tom Clements (Packers), Dirk Koetter (Falcons) and Bruce Arians (Colts) are other offensive-minded coordinators who could bring much-needed creativity.

Cleveland Browns
Out: Pat Shurmur
Comment: New owner Jimmy Haslam figured to clean house. President Mike Holmgren had already departed, and GM Tom Heckert was fired along with Shurmur, who went 9-23 in two seasons.
Candidates: The Browns and Eagles are both believed to be highly interested in University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly. Offensive coordinators Dirk Koetter (Falcons) and Josh McDaniels (Patriots), Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

Kansas City
Out: Romeo Crennel
Comment: In the mold of Wade Phillips, Crennel is an excellent defensive mind who has not panned out in multiple head coaching opportunities (28-55 combined in five years). The Chiefs went 2-14 in Crennel's only season at the helm, and the only success was securing the No. 1 overall draft pick in April. Crennel could quickly land a defensive coordinator gig with a contender.
Candidates: The Chiefs would be hard-pressed to land Oregon's Chip Kelly over other NFL openings. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy from rival Denver would be an intriguing choice considering the Chiefs' woeful unit, as would Dirk Koetter (Falcons) and Kyle Shanahan (Redskins). Koetter will interview this week with Atlanta enjoying a bye, according to ESPN. If the Chiefs go the defensive coordinator route, the Giants' Perry Fewell can help K.C. glean more out of all the money it has invested in its d-line.

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 and Browns are both rumored to be interested in University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Monday Night Football announcer Jon Gruden, a former Eagles assistant and Super Bowl-winning coach, is only 49 and his name regularly pops up in connection with marquee openings on the college and NFL level. Gruden's brother, Jay, is the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and one of several hot assistant coaching names, along with Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

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.
Candidates: Andy Reid has a home in San Diego and is rumored to be very interested in the job, although it's uncertain if the interest is mutual. Fired Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is also believed to be interested, while the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the team is interested in talking to Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who led Indianapolis to a 9-3 record while Chuck Pagano was out this season. UCLA head coach Jim Mora also owns a home in the San Diego area, began his career as a low-rung employee for former Chargers head coach Don Coryell and has NFL head coaching experience with Atlanta and Seattle.

IN THE AIR: Jim Schwartz, Lions; Ron Rivera, Panthers; Mike Mularkey, Jaguars

SAFE: Jason Garrett, Cowboys; Rex Ryan, Jets; Mike Munchak, Titans