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One NFL Coaching Job Filled, Four To Go As Cardinals Continue Interviews

Reich, a Cardinals candidate, goes to Panthers as Payton reportedly meets

Former Saints coach Sean Payton is among seven men whom the Cardinals have interviewed for their head coaching vacancy.
Former Saints coach Sean Payton is among seven men whom the Cardinals have interviewed for their head coaching vacancy.

As the Cardinals' coaching search moves on, how it ends remains a mystery.

One team did solve their empty head coaching spot on Thursday, when the Carolina Panthers hired Frank Reich, one of the candidates whom the Cardinals had interviewed. But there were still four NFL vacancies, including the one in Arizona. Answers of what coach might land elsewhere was still more about speculation than fact, and with coaches currently in the postseason off-limits this week, it's hard to tell if any still could be on the Cardinals' list.

Dan Quinn, who was also one of the Cardinals candidates, told teams he is staying with the Cowboys as defensive coordinator, NFL Network reported on Thursday.

The Cardinals reportedly had their meeting with Sean Payton on Thursday, a day after meeting with Quinn. Brian Flores, another interviewee, was reportedly meeting with the Minnesota Vikings about their vacant defensive coordinator role.

There is also a waiting game to see if 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will reschedule the interview with the Cardinals that he cancelled last weekend after stuffing his time with as many interviews as he could while prepping for the playoff game against the Cowboys. If the 49ers were to lose to the Eagles Sunday, that will free Ryans up.

The other names whom the Cardinals have interviewed: Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and Vance Joseph, who remains the Cardinals defensive coordinator.

Thursday marked the 18th day since the Cardinals created their opening by moving on from Kliff Kingsbury, which isn't that long considering there were only five NFL vacancies and the Cardinals first hired a general manager in Monti Ossenfort.

In the timelines of previous coaching hires, Kingsbury had been named nine days after Steve Wilks was let go; Wilks 21 days after Bruce Arians retired; Arians 18 days after Ken Whisenhunt was fired; and Whisenhunt 13 days after Denny Green's tenure ended.