Ken Whisenhunt Works Into the Mix

Gus Bradley left for Jacksonville this morning without a deal.

That does not guarantee that he will not be the next head coach of the Eagles, but it does open the door to other scenarios.

One name to keep an eye on is Ken Whisenhunt, who  interviewed on Monday. One league source believes it is a two-man race between Whisenhunt and Bradley right now, but really only Jeffrey Lurie knows for sure.

The 50-year old Whisenhunt is coming off six up and down years as head coach of the Cardinals, going 45-51 and 4-2 in the postseason. Arizona made the playoffs in two of his first three seasons at the helm and defeated the Eagles in the NFC Championship during the 2008 season, putting the Cardinals into the Super Bowl for the first time in their history.

The Cardinals have had three winning seasons over the past 28 years, and two came under Whisenhunt. His quarterback situation deteriorated when Kurt Warner hung it up after the 2009 season. Replaced by the likes of Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley, the Cardinals went 5-11, 8-8 and 5-11 over the last three seasons and Whisenhunt was shown the door.

Prior to his stint with the Cardinals, Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator of the Steelers from 2004-06 and helped Pittsburgh capture a Lombardi trophy.

Just how interested are the Eagles? According to a league source, Whisenhunt vaulted ahead of Brian Billick in the Eagles’ pecking order after Monday’s  sit-down.

Billick and Lovie Smith are two names still rattling around as well.

If it is indeed Bradley versus Whisenhunt, then it pits defense against offense, freshness against experience, promise against a known commodity.

Lurie allowed Bradley to leave town. That puts other options back on the table, and Whisenhunt seems to be one of them.