The Cardinals, vice president Michael Bidwill said Thursday, are still Rod Graves’ show, at least when it comes to football decisions.
That it would remain with Graves — the team’s vice president of football operations — came under question when the team hired Dennis Green as its new coach this week.
Speculation nationally was rampant that Green would come to Arizona in part because of the power. Bidwill said that is untrue.
"They made that clear to us when his agent made first contact with us, that that is what he was looking for, that he wanted to be coach only," Bidwill said. "He and Rod had a couple discussions how they could work together."
Green and Graves were unavailable Thursday. They will be talking at today’s introductory press conference for Green.
But the power question is a valid one, after Green’s tenure in Minnesota fizzled in part because of such issues.
"I think he was an awfully good football coach," Mike Morris, the Vikings’ long snapper from 1991-99 and current Minneapolis radio talk show host, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "But the rest of it, he needs to clean up. I hope he learned from what happened here. I hope he flies right down there. He needs to decide that he should coach football and football only."
Even before he arrived in Arizona for his initial interview last week, Green told the Washington Post, "I don’t believe in that ‘You just go coach the team’ stuff.’ "
"It doesn’t make a lot of sense for someone else to tell me this guy should be on my team," Green added. "Suggestions are fine, and you always talk, but the coach has to have the final say."
The next day, speaking to Arizona reporters, he insisted he’d have no problem working with Graves.
"I think, first off, Rod Graves knows what he is doing," Green said. "I work well with people and that’s what it is all about. It’s not really about who makes a final decision or who gets the credit for it. It’s about how you get together and reach a consensus on a decision."
Bidwill said the viewpoints can co-exist, because Graves’ goal is to find the best players for Green’s program.
"So in a way, it is supporting the plan of the head coach," Bidwill said.
EXTRA POINTS: The Cardinals have reportedly asked for and received permission from the Baltimore Ravens to talk to offensive line coach Jim Colletto about the offensive coordinator position. Colletto has been head coach at Purdue and Cal State-Fullerton and had stints as offensive coordinator at Ohio State, Arizona State and Purdue.
Green has also contacted ESPN commentator Sean Salisbury to be quarterbacks coach. Salisbury, a former quarterback who played for Green in Minnesota, is expected to come Monday to Arizona to talk about the job. . . .
Former coach Dave McGinnis is high on the list of new Giants coach Tom Coughlin for the defensive coordinator job, although Coughlin’s first choice is former Bears coach Dick Jauron. Jauron remains in the running for the Buffalo head coaching job. . . .
Former Cardinals offensive coordinator Jerry Sullivan is expected to talk with New Orleans, Miami and Baltimore about being a receivers coach.