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Sources: Herm Edwards a strong candidate at Arizona State

Arizona State AD Ray Anderson made it clear after firing Todd Graham that the Sun Devils are playing to win the Pac-12 South, and that he liked where the program was heading -- without Graham steering the ship. Sources told FootballScoop Herm Edwards is a strong candidate to be the next head coach at Arizona State.

Edwards, 63, has not coached since 2008 and has not coached in the college game since working as San Jose State's defensive backs coach in 1987-89. He went 39-41 as the head coach of the New York Jets from 2001-05, and 15-33 with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006-08.

He has since worked as an NFL analyst for ESPN. Anderson worked as the NFL's executive vice president of football operations for more than seven years before arriving in Tempe.

“We deserve more. We have the capacity and the university and the community deserves more and very frankly should demand more,” Anderson said following Graham's firing. “I don’t think there is any coach on staff who would tell you honestly that ‘I’m satisfied with being 7-5,’ second place in a weak Pac-12 South, very frankly, and going to a low-level bowl game as opposed to being 9-2 and going to a major bowl game where we can really make some noise and really compete at the highest level.”

Edwards went viral across before the phrase was coined for his "you play to win the game" rant with the Jets, and has since built a brand as a motivational speaker, both at ESPN and elsewhere.

It's Anderson's belief that the Sun Devils' assistant coaches and Edwards's ability as a motivator that Arizona State could return to contending for Pac-12 championships.

Will update as the search progresses.

Arizona Sports 98.7 Paul Calvisi has reported something similar.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.