In NFL, looking for a mutual attraction

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,Craig Stouffer

The job market is tougher for college graduates than it is for aspiring NFL head coaches thanks to openings for nearly a quarter of the league's teams. Just like for a smart applicant in any industry, it's important to weigh the positives and negatives to figure out which position is most attractive.

Cleveland » Attractive: The key task won't be drafting but maximizing the potential of Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon. Not so attractive: A general sports malaise lingers, and the AFC North is the most fiercely contested division in the NFL.

Philadelphia » Attractive: There's always a spotlight on the NFC East and one of the country's most passionate markets. Not so attractive: The Eagles have spent the last few seasons looking for quick answers. It's almost impossible to duplicate Andy Reid's immediate success.

Chicago » Attractive: The Bears aren't a bad team, going 10-6 in 2012. Not so attractive:

Chicago has a franchise quarterback in Jay Cutler who is as frustrating as he is talented.

Kansas City » Attractive: There's going to be an ambitious soul enticed by the clean slate of a team coming off its worst season in franchise history. Not so attractive:

Peyton Manning has made himself right at home in the AFC West, and the Chiefs won't be stable as long as Scott Pioli remains general manager.

Buffalo » Attractive: Aside from New England, the AFC East remains eminently open for an up-and-coming contender. Not so attractive: The Bills spent big on Ryan Fitzpatrick, anticipating that he would turn into one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. It hasn't worked out. Oh, and it's cold in upstate New York.

San Diego » Attractive: Who wouldn't be lured by Southern California's laid-back lifestyle and sunny weather? Aside from that, success is avoiding catastrophe in prime time, and Philip Rivers remains a solid quarterback. Not so attractive: After Rivers, the Chargers are sorely lacking in star power. Wins will be the only way to bring back a fan base that has gone from apathetic to angry in recent seasons.

Arizona » Attractive:

Ken Whisenhunt proved it was possible to make the Cardinals good enough nearly to win a Super Bowl. Not so attractive: There's San Francisco and Seattle -- and then the rest of the NFC West. The Cardinals have steadily lost ground since Kurt Warner retired three years ago.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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