Just one day away from the start of a new year, Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves are looking for new jobs. Both men were relieved of their duties by Cardinals President Michael Bidwill on Monday morning.
In his six seasons in Arizona, Whisenhunt compiled a 45-51 record during the regular season and a 4-2 mark in postseason play, which included the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. Graves spent the past 15 years in the Cardinals front office.
Following his firing, the former Arizona head coach released a statement about his six seasons with the Cardinals. Like usual, Whisenhunt was his classy self.
Coaching the Cardinals has been an incredible and rewarding experience and I will always be grateful to Mr. Bidwill, Michael and Rod for giving me that opportunity back in 2007.
I’m very proud of what we as a team and as an organization achieved during that time. Collectively we accomplished some very special and unprecedented things. That’s a testament to the dedication, hard work and talent of so many coaches, players and people throughout the organization.
But we all understand this business and when you don’t win enough games changes are made. That doesn’t mean it’s easy but you definitely don’t have to look far to find people that have it much worse.
I want to especially thank Cardinals fans who treated my family and me so well and made our time in Arizona so special.
While this chapter ends for us, we are hopeful that the ones ahead of us will be as enriching as this one has been.
Graves also released a brief statement to the media about his years in Arizona.
I am very grateful to Michael Bidwill, to his family, to the players and to the staff of the Arizona Cardinals for the opportunity to serve the organization. Working with talented others to build and enhance our brand over the past 16 years has been an awesome and totally enriching experience. It has been the opportunity that others only dream of. Every day I came to work I viewed it as the ultimate privilege and never once lost sight of that. My time with the Cardinals has ended but the organization and the people in it will always have a special place within me.
The Cardinals will now begin the process of looking to replace both men. A number of names have already come up for Whisenhunt’s former position, with former Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton being the two big names attached to the job.
Steve Keim, currently in the Cardinals front office, remains the favorite to grab Graves former job. A dark horse could be former Colts general manager Bill Polian.