The Cardinals’ HC search is becoming a bit clearer, though it remains the shortest list on this year’s carousel. Frank Reich is now part of Arizona’s search, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, who tweets the team interviewed the ex-Colts HC on Tuesday.
Reich, 61, also met with the Panthers recently, and would prefer to land a second chance as a head coach rather than return to the offensive coordinator level. The Cardinals have some degree of familiarity with Reich, who worked as an assistant with the team for a season (2012).
Arizona employed Reich as its wide receivers coach during Ken Whisenhunt‘s final season. Once the team fired Whisenhunt after the 2012 campaign, Reich began his climb in earnest. He followed Whisenhunt to San Diego, starting his Chargers career as quarterbacks coach, and took over as the Bolts’ OC when Whisenhunt was hired as the Titans’ head coach in 2014.
Reich’s journey took him from Super Bowl-winning OC in Philadelphia to second-choice HC — after the Josh McDaniels debacle — in Indianapolis soon after. Reich (40-33-1 as Colts HC) guided Indy to two playoff berths, the second of which coming after Andrew Luck‘s sudden retirement, but could not sufficiently fix the team’s quarterback situation following the retirement of a star-level talent. Jim Irsay pulled the plug on Reich midway through this season and later said he only reluctantly extended Reich during the 2021 offseason. That was only a chapter in what devolved into a chaotic Colts year.
The Cardinals are coming off a rather turbulent year themselves, having fired Kliff Kingsbury months after giving him an extension that ran through 2027. The Cards have also been linked to Sean Payton, as every team searching for a coach this year has been, and are set to interview defensive coordinator Vance Joseph on Wednesday. Joseph gained early steam to be promoted, but this search still does not involve too many names. Here are the coaches connected to the Cardinals’ vacancy thus far:
- Brian Flores, linebackers coach (Steelers): Interview requested
- Vance Joseph, defensive coordinator (Cardinals): To interview 1/18
- Sean Payton, former head coach (Saints): Granted permission to interview
- Frank Reich, former head coach (Colts): Interviewed 1/17
- DeMeco Ryans, defensive coordinator (49ers): To interview