The offseason has officially begun for the Arizona Cardinals and the wheels of change are reportedly happening soon. To begin, we can tell you that there definitely is something going to happen. Normally the team would announce a press conference with head coach Ken Whisenhunt and also locker room availability. The team announced after the game only the schedule for the players in the locker room.
Then, later on Sunday night, XTRA Sports 910 reporter and broadcaster Mike Jurecki was on FOX 10 Sports Night with Jude LaCava and they discussed the changes within the organization.
According to Jurecki, current general manager Rod Graves will be reassigned within the organization and Steve Keim is expected to be promoted to general manager. Reportedly, the team is concerned with losing two of their personnel guys (Keim and Jason Licht, who returned to the team after being with the New England Patriots). Keim was already a possible GM candidate last offseason when the St. Louis Rams were hiring. Now, Licht is apparently being considered for the Cleveland Browns vacancy.
The Cardinals do not want to lose both Keim and Licht, so they will have Keim take over and move Graves back in the organization, as he has been with the team for many, many years.
That will be the first move. Then, according to Jurecki, the Bidwills will expect that offensive coordinator Mike Miller and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm be dismissed or resign. Then Ken Whisenhunt will be asked to relinquish control of the coaching staff and roster decisions.
Jurecki noted that they may have to go to Whisenunt's contract, and if the language is such that he has the final say, and he will not budge from that, Keim and Michael Bidwill will then have to make a decision as what to do with him. It sounds like that if Whisenhunt will give up full control, he will stay on board.
The team is also concerned about losing Ray Horton. Jurecki tweeted that three teams have conducted background checks on Horton and that his first interview will be as soon as Tuesday on the East Coast. Jurecki says that if the team is afraid of losing him, they may jump to let Whisenhunt go, depending on his decision on player and coaching staff decisions, and promote Horton.
One thing that Jurecki said on the show is that the team is set on trying to hire a high profile offensive coordinator, and that Norv Turner's name has been mentioned.
Again, Jurecki noted "there are a lot of moving parts,"
LaCava said that he fully expects Todd Haley to come up again. He believes that Haley will try to get out of his deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Basically, it sounds like Keim will be the decision maker and Whisenhunt will stay as coach if he is willing to let go of the final say. If not, then it will be quite likely that Horton will take over with a big name offensive coordinator like Turner or Haley.
Should Turner come, it would open the door to Alex Smith coming to Arizona, as Smith had success when Turner was the OC in San Francisco. However, reports are that Turner is interested in joining a team that already has a quarterback.
It sounds like things will move quickly, and they should, as they will not want to fall behind and lose out on the candidates they want.