Bruce Arians has left the Arizona Cardinals after five interesting seasons and 49 wins. The organization is now tasked with finding his successor, and the coaching search is underway. Last week we took a look at possible candidates in the event of Arians’ departure. Today is a look at candidates that the Cardinals have reportedly requested permission to speak with as well as a few more to keep an eye on. We will be updating the list as more information comes out.
James Bettcher – Cardinals Defensive Coordinator; Interviewed 1/3/18
Bettcher, 39, has been in charge of the Cardinals defense since 2015. During that time the unit has not finished worse than sixth in total yards allowed. The young coach is thought to be a major contender based on his recommendation from Arians. Keeping Bettcher would provide continuity moving forward.
Pat Shurmur – Vikings Offensive Coordinator; Interviewed 1/4/18
Shurmur, 52, has previous head coaching experience with the Browns from 2011-2012 and an interim job with the Eagles in 2015. Currently with the Vikings, Shurmur’s unit finished 10th in points scored and 11th in total yards. This was a unit playing their third string quarterback and losing their leading running back roughly midway through the season.
Jim Schwartz – Eagles Defensive Coordinator; Interviewed 1/5/18
Schwartz, 51, has spent the last two season as defensive coordinator for the Eagles. He served as the head coach of the Lions from 2009-2013. The Eagles ranked fourth in the NFL in both total defense and points allowed.
John DeFilippo – Philadelphia Eagles Quarterbacks Coach; Interviewed 1/5/18
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. He has no other coordinator or head coaching experience. However, his work with Wentz the last two years has seen tremendous growth from the young quarterback.
Matt Patricia – Patriots Defensive Coordinator; Interviewed 1/6/18
Patricia has served as the New England defensive coordinator since 2012. The 43 year old has been part of the Patriots coaching staff since 2004. The Patriots defense finished fifth in the NFL for points allowed while finishing 29th in yards allowed.
Brian Flores – Patriots Linebacker Coach; Interviewed 1/6/18
Flores is a relative newcomer in the coaching ranks, getting his start as a special teams assistant in 2008 with the Patriots. The 36 year old was named linebacker coach prior to the 2016 season. Prior to joining the coaching staff in 2008, Flores spent 2004-2007 in the scouting department.
Mike Munchak – Steelers Offensive Line Coach; Interviewed 1/7/18
Munchak, 57, has been with the Steelers since 2014 following two and a half seasons as head coach of the Titans. Munchak was part of the Oilers/Titans coaching staff from 1994-2013, coaching the offensive line for 14 seasons.
Steve Wilks – Panthers Defensive Coordinator; Interviewed 1/10/18
Wilks, 48, just completed his first season as Panthers’ defensive coordinator. The unit finished in the top 10 in yards allowed and 11th in points allowed. This was also with star linebacker Luke Keuchly battling injuries.
Keith Armstrong – Falcons Special Teams Coach; Interviewed 1/8/18
Armstrong, 54, is in his 10th season as specials teams coach with the Falcons. He has been a popular candidate for the last few seasons when openings have occurred. Armstrong has been a coach in the NFL since 1994.
Out of the Running
Matt Nagy – Bears Head Coach
Nagy was announced as the new Bears head coach on Monday. Nagy had previously interviewed with the Colts.
Harold Goodwin – Arizona Cardinals Offensive Coordinator; not retained by Cardinals
Goodwin, 44, 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.
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.
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George Edwards – Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator
Edwards, 50, 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.