PHOENIX — The Arizona Cardinals officially began their coaching search with an interview of defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
However, league sources were already saying that former Eagles coach Andy Reid was the front-runner and could be hired by the end of the week.
Reid’s status as the favorite for the Cardinals’ job was first reported by KTVK-TV in Phoenix.
Horton’s interview, conducted Tuesday by team president Michael Bidwill, was the first in the team’s search for a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired Monday after six seasons on the job.
Reid interviews on Wednesday, and Bidwill plans to fly to Denver to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
Horton reportedly had other interviews scheduled. Buffalo Bills front-office personnel were flying to Arizona to meet with Horton and Whisenhunt.
Reid is an intriguing prospect for the Cardinals. He could be reunited with quarterback Kevin Kolb, who had some big games with the Eagles before being traded to Arizona just before the start of the 2011 season. Kolb remains under contract with Arizona but the team is expected to want to restructure his contract. He is set to make $9 million plus a $2 million roster bonus for the coming season.
Holmgren willing to listen
Former Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Holmgren is willing to discuss returning to the sideline if some of the seven teams that fired their coaches have interest, ESPN.com reported.
“If anyone is interested, I’ll listen,” said Holmgren, who indicated he will not aggressively pursue job openings.
Holmgren, 64, won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers and led the Seahawks to the NFL title game.
After leaving the Cleveland front office after the team’s ownership change, he has relocated to Arizona.
The San Francisco 49ers signed kicker Billy Cundiff to compete with struggling veteran David Akers. Cundiff was released by the Washington Redskins on Oct. 9.
Charles Woodson was cleared to play and the Green Bay Packers are counting on the defensive back to provide a lift in Saturday night’s playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. Woodson missed nine consecutive games after breaking his collarbone.
• The Chicago Bears had too many playoff misses and too many problems on offense. That’s why general manager Phil Emery said he fired coach Lovie Smith despite three division titles, two NFC Championship Game appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl.
• The Buffalo Bills promoted Russ Brandon to the position of president and CEO with full authority over the team’s operations. Owner Ralph Wilson, 94, relinquished his title as team president to Brandon.