In the offices of the Payson Roundup, there is a handful of diehard Cardinals fans, including Melinda McQuerrey, which means a hot topic of discussion around the water cooler was who would replace Ken Whisenhunt as head coach of the team.
Of course rumors are swirling around the country, not just at 708 N. Beeline Highway.
But no matter who is in on the discussion, the names Andy Reid, Ray Horton and Mike McCoy seem to pop up as the most likely candidates to be the new Arizona coach.
We well understand, other names will possibly pop up including Oregon University coach Chip Kelly who is in the Valley where his Ducks team is playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
On Jan. 1 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Reid had been hired, KTVK in Phoenix reported he was “very close” to being named Cards coach and ESPN said there was a “95 percent” chance he would replace Whisenhunt.
The Cardinals, however, are denying those reports and it appears team officials are continuing to interview candidates for the vacant position.
Reid would be an interesting choice because he has the experience and gridiron moxie it will take to reverse Arizona’s losing culture of the past few seasons.
Reid was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 seasons before being fired on Monday.
If Arizona hires Reid he would have the opportunity to coach quarterback Kevin Kolb who played well for the Eagles before being traded to the Cardinals at the start of the 2011 season.
Reid might also be interested in the Arizona job because his wife, Tammy, is from the Valley.
Reportedly, Arizona has also interviewed Horton who is a rising star in professional coaching circles partly because of the marvelous job he did last season coaching the Cardinals’ defense.
Although the team finished 5-11, the defense was among the league leaders in several statistical categories and for most of the dismal season, the “D” kept the Cardinals in contention.
But other teams with head coaching openings, including the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, might be interested in pursuing Horton.
Due to NFL rules, the Cardinals can only interview McCoy, Denver’s offensive coordinator, this weekend because the Broncos are in the playoffs.
Reportedly, the Browns and Eagles are also interviewing McCoy.
If anything stands out about McCoy, it’s that he’s worked with a number of different quarterbacks of all ages and skill levels including Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow.
He’s also taken QBs with average talent, including Jake Delhomee and Kyle Orton, and gotten Pro Bowl seasons out of them.
With Arizona struggling to find a capable quarterback, he might be just the coach to mold the Cardinals’ next signal caller into a winner.
WON-BASS Arizona’s next tournament is set for Jan. 19 at Apache Lake. For more information visitwww. wonbass. com/team/results/south/arizona/index.html.