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Sherman meets with Arizona Cardinals; openings in Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland

Where a laundry list of coaches have failed, Mike Sherman thinks he can succeed.

The former Green Bay Packers coach interviewed on Thursday to replace Dennis Green as coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

"I would only come to a position like this if I felt like we had a chance to win, because I know what I have to put into it," said Sherman, who went 53-27 in his first five seasons in Green Bay before getting fired following a 4-12 campaign in 2005. "I enjoy winning, and I do believe there's a chance to win here."

The Cardinals have the longest championship drought in the league. They haven't won the NFL championship since 1947 and haven't played for the title since 1948. That's 58 years and a couple moves (from Chicago to St. Louis to Arizona) ago.

Worse, the Cards have won only two division championships since 1947, and none in 31 seasons. Their only playoff berth during those 31 years came in 1998. They haven't won more than seven games since.

Still, the Cardinals have some things in their favor, including a fantastic new stadium. Sherman, an offensive-minded coach, must be intrigued by having a possible star in the making at quarterback with Matt Leinart, a couple of prolific wide receivers and running back Edgerrin James. The addition of James last offseason signaled the Bidwill family may finally be willing to spend money to win games.

"I think it's well-documented the talent that's been acquired here on offense," Sherman said. "There are some things that need to be fixed. It's not an instant deal. The offensive line has to play better. There's some positions that need to be upgraded, but on the defensive side of the ball, I'm very impressed with how hard the guys played. They seemed to get worn down a little in the fourth quarter, but there's some tremendous talent in certain positions on the defense, as well."

Sherman, who doubled as the Packers' general manager from 2001 until he was replaced by Ted Thompson after the 2004 season, says he would like some input in personnel changes. Rod Graves, Arizona's director of football operations, just got a three-year contract extension.

"I certainly would want to have a voice in personnel," he said. "I think the coach knows the style of offense, defense and special teams that he wants to use better than anybody else. That is important to me. Who makes the final call — as long as we're in agreement that we're trying to do what's best for this organization — I'm not hung up on that part of it."

Sherman, who was Houston's assistant head coach for the offense this past season, says he expects to interview for at least one more job, though he wouldn't say which one. He reportedly interviewed for the University of Alabama head coaching job, which was filled by Nick Saban on Thursday.

Sherman's name also has been linked to the openings in Miami and Atlanta. The Pittsburgh job is expected to open up on Friday, when Bill Cowher is expected to announce his resignation after 15 years as the Steelers' coach. The head coaching position in Oakland opened up Thursday when the Raiders fired Art Shell.

Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera interviewed for the Arizona post on Wednesday. Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will interview on Friday, though he could be the front-runner in Pittsburgh.

Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will be interviewed Saturday, Colts quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell will interview on Sunday, followed by Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow on Monday and Steelers offensive line coach Russ Grimm on Tuesday. Grimm, too, is a front-runner for the Pittsburgh job.


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