About 24 hours after the Arizona Cardinals fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt, it was reported, and by some pretty reliable people, that there was a 95% chance Andy Reid would be the team’s next head coach.
Reid had just been fired by the Philadelphia Eagles after 14 mostly successful seasons, but was looking for another job and the Cardinals seemed like a good fit.
We know how it shook out, however. Reid never made it to Arizona for an interview — much less a job offer — and he was hired by the Kansas City Chiefs to run their on-field operation.
So what happened?
Jamie Dukes, a former Cardinal and now an analyst on NFL Network, has a theory on that and shared it Friday with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620.
“He’s already gone, but I would’ve grabbed Andy Reid in a second,” Dukes said in response to a query on whom he’d hire as head coach if he was the Cardinals’ general manager. “And the reason I would’ve grabbed Andy Reid because I knew one of two things — he’s going to bring Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick with him — because you’ve got to do something at quarterback. That’s what it all boils down to.”
Dukes making reference to the importance of the quarterback position is hardly earth-shattering stuff, but the names he threw out are. Vick lost his job in Philadelphia to rookie Nick Foles partly due to injury, and McNabb didn’t suit up for any team in 2012 after a less-than-promising one-season stint in Minnesota.
But the interview got more interesting from there.
“I found it telling also that Andy, while he flirted with the idea of coming to Arizona, he didn’t want any part of Kevin Kolb,” he said. “What that tells me is that until they solve that quarterback issue, it doesn’t matter who they bring in.”
Kolb, of course, started his career in Philadelphia under Reid, and eventually became the Eagles’ starter. In 2010, he lost the job due to a concussion, and Vick played MVP-caliber football in his absence, leading the Eagles to the playoffs. Following the season, Kolb was dealt to Arizona in a trade that sent Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia.