NFL Notes: Sean Payton, Steve Wilks, Dan Quinn

Sean Payton

  • While making an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Ian Rapoport mentions that it sounds like Sean Payton‘s interview with the Cardinals went well and it’s still a possibility that he signs with Arizona. 
  • Rapoport describes that the Cardinals were interested in Cowboys DC Dan Quinn and Panthers’ new HC Frank Reich, and may now consider Payton as their best option after missing out on both coaches. 
  • Rapoport doesn’t think that Payton has been eliminated from the Broncos’ head coach job either. 
  • Rapoport also points out that Payton doesn’t have a second interview scheduled with the Texans, so it appears that Houston isn’t in play for him. 

Steve Wilks

Former Panthers interim HC Steve Wilks issued a statement following Carolina’s decision to hire Frank Reich as its next head coach. 

“The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I. I’m disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren’t built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see it through. It was an honor for me to coach those men in the Carolina Panthers locker room as the interim head coach. Players, coaches, and staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication. I took pride in representing Charlotte, a great city that I love so much. Thank you to my family, friends, and the community for your overwhelming support. I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team.”

Dan Quinn

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said that retaining DC Dan Quinn after he drew interest as a head coach is important for their organization. 

“This is big for us,” McCarthy said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. “It gives us continuity, definitely with what we accomplished the last two years, to build off of that. And frankly, on a personal note, I can’t tell you how thankful I am. He’s been a head coach. He understands at this point in his life how hard it is to win a Super Bowl. All those things play into that. Clearly, Dan is in a position to be selective. And I’m extremely excited about the decision.”

Dallas notably parted ways with assistant HC Rob Davis, senior defensive assistant George Edwards, assistant DL coach Leon Lett, RBs coach Skip Peete, OL coach Joe Philbin, and quality control coach Kyle Valero this offseason. McCarthy said it’s very difficult to fire coaches given his close relationship to them. 

“The longer I do this, it clearly gets harder,” McCarthy said. “There’s a personal component. Obviously, you’re talking about some relationships I’ve been involved with for a long time. That part is probably the toughest clearly for me. Frankly, a lot of different variables went into these decisions. Obviously the number of coaches. Variables that you usually don’t talk about in this space. But this was something that was really, really being discussed as early as last year and it has more to do with definition and design of your staff, philosophical beliefs, economic structure, all of those things that go into it. You’re just taking a step back. A lot of different variables went into this one and it’s something you’ll see, I don’t know if you’ll really recognize, but we’ll operate a little differently on staff.”

As for the team’s offensive struggles, McCarthy said they will evaluate all of their coaches including OC Kellen Moore. 

“I really don’t want to play this game today,” McCarthy said. “It’s been a long couple of days. Kellen Moore, just like the rest of the coaches, will be evaluated. Every coach will be evaluated. The evaluation, it takes more than one day.”

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