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Cardinals Fire Ken Whisenhunt, Target Andy Reid

After the Arizona Cardinals blew a 4-0 start by finishing their 2012 campaign with 11 loses in their last 12 games, most everybody knew a coaching change was imminent.

The organization confirmed that assumption this week by effectively cleaning house, firing their virtually their entire offensive staff, along with head coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves. Whisenhunt was with the the Cardinals for six seasons, leading the franchise to its one and only Super Bowl appearance, while Graves served as the Cards’ GM for 16 years before being dismissed.

Whisenhunt will join Romeo Crennel, Andy Reid and others on the coaching carousel

Whisenhunt also guided the team to two of its three playoff appearances in the past 28 years and became the winningest coach in the franchise’s history during his tenure, going 45-51 during the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs.

“I’m very proud of what we as a team and as an organization achieved during that time,” Whisenhunt said in a statement via ESPN.com. “Collectively we accomplished some very special and unprecedented things. That’s a testament to the dedication, hard work and talent of so many coaches, players and people throughout the organization.

“But we all understand this business and when you don’t win enough games changes are made. That doesn’t mean it’s easy but you definitely don’t have to look far to find people that have it much worse.”

Whisenhunt was just one of several coaches fired on what’s become known as “Black Monday”, the day after the final games of the regular season. He now joins those coaches on the carousel, which will likely send the newly unemployed to new coaching positions with other teams.

Whisenhunt has expressed interest in the San Diego Chargers job, which was vacated when Norv Turner received his pink slip, while the Cardinals are reportedly pursuing Andy Reid, who was just let go after 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, for their head coaching position.

According to league sources via ESPN.com, there is a 95% chance that Reid will wind up on the Arizona sideline next season. The team will interview its current defensive coordinator Ray Horton for the job on Wednesday, but as long as Reid is interested, it appears he has his next gig already lined up.

Reid will certainly land somewhere as long as he wants to coach and it appears that is the case, as he’s spent the last few days assembling  a new staff of assistants and has been telling them that an announcement could come soon.

Reid would be a welcome addition to the Cardinals, but with all the offensive struggles they endured this season, don’t expect him to immediately turn things around. With the NFC West stacked with young talented teams, there may not be room for the Cardinals to squeeze into the playoffs over the course of the next few seasons.



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