By the time Bruce Arians was officially hired in 2013 – Jan. 17 – seven other head coaching vacancies had been filled.
There were questions at the time about what kind of coach Arians would be for the Cardinals, but team president Michael Bidwill and General Manager Steve Keim were convinced he was the right choice. They were proven correct, not only with Arians’ successes over five seasons but also in the fact he outlasted six of the other coaching hires before retiring this week.
So when Bidwill said he didn’t want to turn the team’s current coaching search into a race, it is with that most recent search in mind.
The Cardinals have gotten the interview process underway. Current defensive coordinator James Bettcher was the first to interview. Anticipated interviews with Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong and Steelers offensive
line coach Mike Munchak have been announced by each of those teams’ head coaches.
Other names reportedly on the Cardinals’ list of consideration: Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores.
Wednesday, Bidwill declined to get into the specifics of the team’s candidate list.
All of those coaches are in the postseason and all are governed by NFL rules when they can – and cannot – talk. Those rules will help dictate the Cardinals’ pace.
But so will Bidwill, who feels it is important for candidates who aren’t in Arizona for their initial interview to visit the team’s facilities.
“That’s an important part,” Bidwill said. “Especially for those who don’t know the organization well, haven’t seen our training facility, haven’t seen our stadium except maybe for a game, haven’t gotten a chance to get to know the staff here. … Get a feel for the vibe.”
Bidwill reiterated what both he and Keim said Monday, that the roster, facilities and organization makes the Cardinals a desirable coaching job. He understands the question of the quarterback vacancy now that Carson Palmer has retired, but noted the Cards didn’t have a quarterback when Arians was first hired either – and that turned out OK.
There is cap space gained with Palmer gone, Bidwill noted, and a trade/free agency along with the draft will solve the QB issue – with the new coach’s help.
“We’ve got options,” Bidwill said. “To me, if you are a coach, do you want to have a quarterback in place, or have the option of being a part in deciding who that quarterback is?”