On Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals end their 2017 season in Seattle, facing the Seahawks. Earlier this week there were conflicting reports as to the future of Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. With that in mind here is a look at the list of possible candidates should the Cardinals need to replace Arians. The coaching carousel has begun.
Below are eight potential candidates for the Cardinals head coaching job as well as their current or most recent position held.
Todd Bowles – New York Jets Head Coach
Bowles is currently the head coach of the New York Jets and was defensive coordinator for the Cardinals from 2013-2014. The two-year stint in Arizona was preceded with a dozen season coach the secondary in Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, and Philadelphia. In three seasons with the Jets, Bowles has a record of 20-25, including two consecutive losing seasons. There are no indications that the Jets will get rid of their coach, but at this point in the season anything is possible.
Bill O’Brien – Houston Texans Head Coach
O’Brien is in his fourth season as head coach of the Texans. His first three seasons were 9-7 affairs where the team searched for a functional starting quarterback. O’Brien seems to have found his quarterback this season in rookie Deshaun Watson, but the rookie was lost midway through the season to a knee injury. Throw in defensive star J.J. Watt out for the season and there is little reason to believe that O’Brien will be available.
John DeFilippo – Philadelphia Eagles Quarterbacks Coach
For DeFilippo is receiving a lot of affection from around the NFL for his work with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. The only coordinator experience for DeFilippo in the NFL was a 2015 stint with the Cleveland Browns. That team started Austin Davis, Josh McCown, and Johnny Manziel at quarterback that season. He has no other coordinator or head coaching experience. DeFilippo was also the quarterbacks coach for Carson Palmer in Oakland during the 2012 season. However, his work with Wentz the last two years has seen tremendous growth from the young quarterback. Prior to his injury a couple of weeks ago, it looked as though Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. Perhaps DeFilippo could be paired with a rookie or young quarterback in Arizona next season?
Harold Goodwin – Arizona Cardinals Offensive Coordinator
Goodwin is currently the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals. He has held the position since arriving with Arians in 2013. Goodwin has been there for high-flying seasons for the Cardinals offense but his role has been brought into question. Goodwin is not the traditional coordinator. He works with the offense to set up a game plan each week as well as serving as a main point of contact for the offensive coaches. However, Goodwin has not always been the primary play-caller, something which has been seen as a negative by many.
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Matt Nagy – Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
Nagy is in his first season as the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs. His early season work put him on the radar for many teams as the Chiefs were nearly unstoppable through the first half of the season. Prior to taking over, Nagy served as the quarterbacks coach in Kansas City since 2013. Nagy is credited with assisting in the further development of veteran Alex Smith into strong quarterback who has won games for the Chiefs. Like Goodwin, Nagy has been seen in a slightly negative light as he has not always called plays as the coordinator. Nagy did take over play calling duties midway through the season from head coach Andy Reid, which coincided with a rise in offensive production.
Mike Vrabel – Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator
The former Patriots linebacker, Vrabel is in his first year in charge of the Texans defense. The past three seasons were spent coaching the linebackers. Vrabel runs a 3-4 scheme on defense and it is believed he would continue with that in Arizona. The Cardinals roster is made for the scheme although there is a good chance Vrabel could use a scheme with less blitzing than what is currently used by Arizona. Vrabel was believed to be a popular candidate last offseason before signing on to become the defensive coordinator.
George Edwards – Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator
Edwards has led a talented Vikings defense for the last four season. Each year the unit has ranked better in yards and points allowed. Edwards has spent seven total seasons as a defensive coordinator and twice as long as a linebackers coach with the Cowboys, Browns, and Dolphins. Edwards is seen as a popular pick for the next coordinator to become a head coach this offseason.
Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys Head Coach
Garrett has been the head man in Dallas since midway through the 2010 season. The previous three seasons he was the offensive coordinator. Garrett has been a lightning rod for criticism during his tenure as the Cowboys have lost games in the playoffs that many feel they should not have. There has been calls for his time in Dallas to end but owner Jerry Jones has given his vote of confidence. If Garrett is indeed on the table, many teams would come calling for the former backup quarterback.
In the end, Arians may return for another season and this discussion is a moot point. If Arians does leave it will be the end of an era in Arizona. Regardless, the end of the season means the coaching carousel