The Arizona Cardinals completed an extensive interview that spread over two days with defensive coordinator Ray Horton in the search for a replacement for fired coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Next up is Andy Reid, the longtime Philadelphia Eagles coach who was among seven NFL head coaches who got the axe on Monday. Reid’s interview, while not formally scheduled, could come today.
Cardinals President Michael Bidwill has identified Horton, Reid and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy as candidates to replace Whisenhunt, who was dismissed after six seasons. The Cardinals plan to interview McCoy in Denver this weekend.
Horton also has interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and had a session scheduled later Wednesday with the Buffalo Bills.
Speaking to Azcentralsports and Fox Sports Arizona afterward, Horton said the Cardinals job would easily be his top choice.
“For a number of reasons,” Horton said. “I like the organizational structure and then I love the fan base. For me, it’s been an amazing fan acceptance of me, whether at the game or on the street. That plays a lot, where the community appreciates what you do.”
The Kansas City Chiefs were courting Reid as they searched for a replacement for Romeo Crennel, who was fired this week after the worst season in franchise history.
Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt was meeting with Reid in Philadelphia, a source familiar with Reid’s plans told the Associated Press. ESPN.com first reported the interview would take place.
The Chiefs have a connection with Reid through team president Mark Donovan, who spent his previous six years as the Eagles’ senior vice president of business operations.
Hunt began his search for Crennel’s replacement in Atlanta, where he interviewed offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter on Tuesday. But one day later, Falcons coach Mike Smith said Koetter had signed a new contract and will not seek a head coaching position.
Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements says he’s “flattered” to be drawing interest from other teams. He says his focus remains on the Minnesota Vikings.
Ravens’ Lewis to retire
Ray Lewis, who spent 17 seasons instilling fear in his opponents while serving as an inspirational leader for the Baltimore Ravens, announced he will end his brilliant NFL career after the Ravens complete their 2013 playoff run. Lewis has been sidelined since Oct. 14 with a torn right triceps. The 13-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker intends to return Sunday to face the Indianapolis Colts in what will almost certainly be his final home game.
Around the league
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is dealing with a sore right elbow that has been limiting him in practice this week as they prepare for a playoff game at Green Bay. Coach Leslie Frazier says he isn’t concerned with Ponder’s ability to play. …Washington left guard Kory Lichtensteiger missed practice with a sprained left ankle as the Redskins held their first practice for the playoffs. … The Philadelphia Eagles signed defensive end Everette Brown and cornerback Trevard Lindley to two-year contracts.