List Of Coaching Candidates Dwindles

With the Senior Bowl set to begin on Monday, no definitive answer has been given on the status of Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards. However, with the Super Bowl teams set, and the 2009 class of head coaching candidates dwindling by the day, it appears his fate could be decided soon.

Edwards has already lost two assistant coaches - Mike Priefer to Denver and David Gibbs to Houston - and likely a third with reports that defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham will end up in Detroit or Tennessee. The remainder of KC's coaching staff might use Senior Bowl week to look for new jobs rather than scout the top seniors from the college ranks.

Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli is nearing a critical stage in the decision process because if he intends to fire Edwards, some of the top assistant coaches throughout the league are starting to disappear.

The hottest name left on the board was Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who was reportedly ready to become the next head coach of the New York Jets Sunday night.

That leaves several veteran head-coaching candidates at Pioli's disposal but do any of them want to return to coaching in 2009?

Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher and Marty Schottenheimer all are still available but none of them, outside of the former Broncos coach, appear even remotely interested in a head coaching job at the moment.

Reports of Shanahan's interest in the Kansas City job surfaced within days of his departure from Denver. It remains to be seen if Pioli can lure a big time talent like Shanahan and according to NFL.com's Adam Schefter, barring the unforeseen, he won't be coaching this season.

The longer this drags on, the longer Edwards' status will continue to be a hot topic. But it's doubtful that Pioli will make a head coaching change without having a successor in place or at least on his way to Kansas City for a press conference. At the moment, no such event is scheduled.

Other candidates are emerging. One is Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley. With his team in the Super Bowl, he can be interviewed this week, but not offered the job until the day after the championship.

Another candidate could be Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who lost out on the head coaching job in St. Louis to former New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

This is an uneasy period for Edwards, because if he's to be retained, he must start thinking about hiring a new staff. It's highly unlikely he'd be able to hire any assistant coaches without a vote of confidence from Pioli and at minimum, a one-year contract extension.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories