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Coach Search Turns To Second Interviews

Armstrong, Wilks visiting Tempe while Munchak bows out


Cardinals president Michael Bidwill appears before the team's Christmas Eve game against the Giants.

On the anniversary of the Cardinals making Bruce Arians their head coach five years ago, the current search to find Arians' replacement remains ongoing.

Last week, team president Michael Bidwill said there would be second interviews for some candidates. Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong will arrive for a second sit-down, it was reported Wednesday, as will Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. Meanwhile Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak took himself out of consideration.

"I made the decision to withdraw my name from the Arizona Cardinals head coaching search as they continue through their interview process," the 57-year-old Munchak said in a statement released by the Steelers. "The timing for my

family was not appropriate for me to pursue this potential opportunity, but I am very excited with the decision to remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Armstrong, 54, has been an NFL assistant for 24 years and played for Arians in college at Temple. In addition to special teams, Armstrong has been a cornerbacks and secondary coach during his career. He was among those considered for the Chiefs coaching job in 2012 that eventually went to interim coach Romeo Crennel.

The 48-year-old Wilks spent a season as Carolina's defensive coordinator after spending most of his career as a secondary coach. Wilks was also the Panthers' assistant head coach the past two seasons.

Of the other candidates widely reported as having initial interviews with the Cardinals, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is expected to take the Lions' open job and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is expected to take the vacant Giants' job. The Colts (who are expected to bring in Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) and the Titans also need head coaches.

The other potential candidates that remain in the playoffs – and who cannot have a second interview before next week – include Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores.

Bidwill had said a second interview in Arizona was important, not only for prospective coaches to see the area in which he will work but also to meet some of the people with whom he will be working.

Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher is also possible. Bettcher, of course, has spent plenty of time at the team's facility. Wilks, because his team's season had already ended, had his initial interview in Tempe. He is also expected to interview for the Titans' job. 

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