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Arizona Cardinals Fire Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt, GM Rod Graves

December 31st, 2012 at 6:27 PM
By Steve Smith

'Arizona Cardinals Football Training 2010' photo (c) 2010, Nick Bastian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Arizona Cardinals have fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt after six seasons today. The team also announced that General Manager Rod Graves was fired as well. Graves, who had been with the franchise for 16 years, was named general manager in 2007.

After getting off to a 4-0 start this season, the Red Birds dropped their next nine games and finished a dismal 5-11. The housecleaning was done by Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, son of team owner Bill Bidwill.

The 50-year-old Whisenhunt had more wins than any other head coach in Cardinals history with 45 victories (and 51 losses). He owned a 4-2 mark in the playoffs. Whisenhunt had a year remaining on his contract. Ironically, the Cardinals had just two winning seasons in the past 28 years and two of them came with Whisenhunt as head coach.

The highlight of his coaching career with Arizona came when he led the Red Birds to the Super Bowl in his second season, the team's lone Super Bowl appearance. They dropped a 27-23 decision to Pittsburgh in Tampa, Fl.

''It came down to wins and losses and the direction I felt like the team was going,'' Bidwill told the Associated Press. ''…It was a decision that I made over the last several weeks and came to a final decision last night."

Also dismissed today were assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, offensive coordinator Mike Miller, offensive quality control coach Chad Grimm, quarterbacks coach John McNulty, wide receivers coach Frank Reich and running backs coach Tommie Robinson. Tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens was the only coach on the offensive staff that was not let go.

None of the Cardinals' defensive coaches were fired.

Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, former Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy  are considered to be the leading candidates to replace Whisenhunt at this time.

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Tags: Andy Reid, Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Bill Bidwill, Football, Ken Whisenhunt, Michael Bidwill, Mike Miller, NFL, Ray Horton, Rod Graves, Russ Grimm

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