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Playoffs Delay Some Coaching Candidates

Second interviews for championship game participants can't happen before Jan. 22


Cardinals president Michael Bidwill talks with then-coach Bruce Arians before a game this season.

Cardinals' coaching candidates remain off-limits until their teams are eliminated from the playoffs, and this weekend's results means the Cards are still waiting for some.

One unexpected unavailability is Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who saw his unit complete an unbelievable 61-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Case Keenum to wide receiver Stefon Diggs to beat the Saints on the last play of the game Sunday.

Two candidates did become available: The Falcons lost to the Eagles, meaning Atlanta special teams coordinator Keith

Armstrong is free, and the Steelers lost to the Jaguars, opening up a chance for offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

Already available were Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and current Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher.

Wins by the Vikings, Patriots and Eagles mean Shurmur, Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores are still unavailable. (Multiple reports have the Lions job going to Patricia. The Colts and Giants are also looking for head coaches.)

Last week on the Big Red Rage, team president Michael Bidwill said he planned to bring in multiple candidates to Arizona for second interviews. He did not say which candidates he wants to bring in. If any are still on teams still alive, that can't happen until Jan. 22 at the earliest – after the championship games have been played – and any second interviews with a coach on a Super Bowl staff has to be completed by Jan. 28.

"This is going to take longer because these coaches are all on good football teams," Bidwill said.

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