NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Head Coaching Vacancies

Ryan DavenportContributor IJanuary 14, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23:  Head coaches Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals shake hands following the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Bears defeated the Cardinals 28-13.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Nearly two weeks after a record-setting seven NFL coaches were fired following Week 17 of the 2013 season, there are still a number of teams still without replacements for their recently-axed coaches.

In the past two days, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Diego have all made progress in their respective head coaching searches, but none of the three appear to be on the verge of naming a replacement, at least not publicly.

Here's a look at the latest developments in each of the three teams' quests to find new coaches and reverse the fortunes of their franchises.


San Diego

On Sunday, the San Diego Chargers interviewed Jay Gruden, currently the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals and younger brother of Super Bowl-winning coach John Gruden.

According to ESPN, Gruden seemed excited at the prospect of taking over for longtime coach Norv Turner in San Diego.

"The Chargers are an excellent franchise," Jay Gruden said. "They've always been competitive. For a number of years they were near the top of the division and won it a few times. It would be excellent to be a part of it."

Gruden has done a nice job with the Bengals' offense, especially given how many young playmakers he's had. With Philip Rivers under center, Gruden could be even more effective.



With former coach Andy Reid already setting up shop over in Kansas City, the Eagles appear to be a ways away from coming to a decision on who their next head coach will be.

They've had some intriguing candidates, such as Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Oregon's Chip Kelly, but both opted to return to college ball, so now the Eagles are left to sift through the remaining names on the market.

FOX Sports is reporting that the Eagles have scheduled second meetings with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and have already met with former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, former Bears coach Lovie Smith and former Super Bowl winner Brian Billick earlier in the week. And they're not done yet.

Whisenhunt was dismissed by Arizona on Dec. 31 after six seasons. He led the Cardinals to their only Super Bowl appearance in his second season and Arizona won its second straight NFC West title the following year. But after a 4-0 start this season, the Cardinals lost 11 of their last 12 to finish 5-11 for the second time in three years.

The Eagles also were scheduled to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden on Monday, bringing the total number of known candidates to 11.

With so many hats left in the ring, it's difficult to see how the Eagles could possibly come to a quick decision, but they have the benefit of having a variety of qualified candidates in the pool.



Even after a 10-6 season, Lovie Smith found himself on the chopping block, and the Bears decided to move on.

According to ESPN's Michael C Wright, the Bears have interviewed a number of candidates, but their eventual hire may be one of their last meetings, as two of the NFL's most successful offensive coordinators had to wait to meet with Chicago as a result of their current teams' postseason schedules.

Of the 13 known candidates interviewed by the Chicago Bears for their head coaching vacancy, at least one expects the club to settle on one of the last four to meet with general manager Phil Emery.

That group consists of offensive coordinators Tom Clements (Green Bay), Rick Dennison (Houston), Darrell Bevell (Seattle) and Bruce Arians (Indianapolis).

The Bears' priority appear to be improving an offense that went from being dynamite in the early goings to anemic by season's end.

Who their next coach is remains to be seen, but at least it seems as if the team is narrowing down their list to some degree.