Source: Chiefs close to making Reid coach


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs should be quite familiar by now.

The two sides spent much of Thursday in negotiations for Reid to become the Chiefs’ coach, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation.

The discussions followed nine hours of talks Wednesday that went well enough that Reid canceled plans to interview for other openings, the person told the AP. It was unclear which details were preventing the two sides from reaching an agreement.

The Philadelphia Eagles fired Reid after 14 seasons on Monday, the same day the Chiefs parted ways with coach Romeo Crennel after the worst season in franchise history.

The search for Crennel’s replacement has been led by Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, who intends to take on more responsibility in the day-to-day operation of the franchise. Also on hand was team president Mark Donovan, who has a connection to Reid after spending six seasons as the Eagles’ senior vice president of business operations.

Reid had been linked to the opening in Arizona before the Chiefs put on the press.

The Cardinals now intend to interview former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, a person familiar with their plans told the AP. Haley led the Chiefs to the AFC West title in 2010 but was fired in December 2011 and spent this past season as the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.

Hunt told the AP in an interview Monday that he would have final say on the next Chiefs coach rather than embattled general manager Scott Pioli. Hunt has not said whether Pioli will be back next season but indicated that his future could be determined by the next coach.

Various reports have indicated that Reid would be open to working with Pioli, while other reports have said he would prefer to build his own front office. If Pioli is not retained, the top candidates to replace him include former Browns GM Tom Heckert and John Dorsey, who has been integral in building the Green Bay Packers into a perennial contender.

Colts give Bears permission to interview Arians

On Thursday, the Colts said Arians had been granted permission to speak with the Chicago Bears about their head coaching vacancy, though it’s unclear when the interview will take place because Indy (11-5) will face AFC North champion Baltimore (10-6) in a wild-card round game Sunday. The winner will go to either Denver or New England in the divisional round.

Chicago might not be the only team interested. There has been speculation that the San Diego Chargers want Arians, too, though the Colts haven’t confirmed whether they received an interview request from the Chargers. And with five other jobs also open, Arians could be mentioned in those cities, too.

The Colts’ coordinators usually speak with reporters on Thursday, but Arians was not available because he was ill, a team spokesman said.

Arians has been an NFL assistant for 20 years. His only head coaching experience came during a six-year stint at Temple where he was 27-39 in the 1980s.

But this year, he moved to the top of the head coaching carousel after leading the Colts to a 9-3 record as the interim coach while Pagano battled leukemia. Arians, a prostate cancer survivor, tied the NFL record for most wins after a midseason coaching change and clinched a playoff spot with a 20-13 win at Kansas City. Pagano returned to his job the next day and later said Arians had his vote as the 2012 NFL Coach of the Year.

For the 60-year-old Arians, this promises to be a different kind of offseason than last year, when he was forced out as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator and appeared headed into retirement.

Eagles set to speak with Broncos coordinator

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles will interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday in Denver.

The Eagles, who fired Andy Reid on Monday after a 4-12 season in which they finished in last place in the NFC East, have already interviewed Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, and also have interest in some college coaches, namely Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.

McCoy, 40, engineered an offense around quarterback Peyton Manning this season. Denver went 13-3 this year, securing the No. 1 seed in the AFC and earning a bye this weekend. The Broncos ranked fourth in the league in total offense and second in scoring offense.

The Eagles have missed the playoffs the past two seasons after winning the NFC East in 2010.

Manning wins sixth Offensive Player of the Month award

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning tied yet another NFL record Thursday when he won his sixth career Offensive Player of the Month award.

Manning joined Kurt Warner (2001) as the only players with 10 TDs, 1,300 yards, a 70 percent completion percentage and five wins in December as the Broncos (13-3) captured the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

He did it while wearing a glove on his throwing hand, testing it in home games against the Browns and Chiefs in preparation for cold weather games in January. Manning never bothered with a glove while playing indoors in Indianapolis.

“You know, for wearing it for the first time in my entire football career, I guess you could say it’s been OK the past two weeks,” Manning said.

He’s been more than OK: his completion percentage was 5.8 points higher and his QB rating was 19.2 points better that it was without the glove.

Winfield sits out practice again for Vikings

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield did not practice Thursday and plans to wear a bigger cast on his broken right hand in the playoff game against Green Bay this weekend.

Winfield wore a pad on his hand in the game on Sunday, but could not finish because it swelled up and was causing him too much pain. He sat out all three practices this week, but did some individual work on Thursday to test how the hand responded with a bigger soft cast.

Winfield says it was an improvement and he plans to play against the Packers.

So does quarterback Christian Ponder, who has been limited all week with a sore throwing elbow. Coach Leslie Frazier says Ponder will be fine for the game.