Coach Ken Whisenhunt has commenced his search for a new defensive coordinator.
The process to find a new defensive coordinator is underway for coach Ken Whisenhunt, although at this point, the coach still would not put a timetable on the hire.
A pair of coaches will be interviewed this week, Whisenhunt said. More interviews could take place next week.
"We have some good candidates," Whisenhunt said.
Whisenhunt declined to name the coaches to which he will talk, although it's possible the later interviews mean he is waiting on candidates who are still working in the playoffs. Coaches currently working for teams cannot be interviewed before their season is over.
(UPDATE II: Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter reported that former 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was one of the men scheduled to interview with Whisenhunt this week.)
Multiple reports have Whisenhunt wanting to talk to Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, whose team remains in the postseason. Butler was someone Whisenhunt previously investigated as a coordinator, and the Cards would need permission to talk to him. The longer Pittsburgh remains in the playoffs however – the Steelers host Baltimore this weekend in the AFC semifinals – the less likely the Cardinals can afford to wait, especially if their early interviewees want to seek other employment.
(UPDATE: The Cardinals might not be able to talk to Butler, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
Then again, Whisenhunt's decision not to talk about a timetable may mean he is willing to wait for someone, regardless.
The Cardinals are trying to right a defense that was 29th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed. They will need star players like cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, safety Adrian Wilson and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to dominate more often, and younger players like Calais Campbell and Greg Toler to be more consistent.
Whisenhunt has not said whether a coach's background on scheme impacts the hire, although the Steelers do run a 3-4 look like the Cardinals. It also seems unlikely to make a significant scheme change in an offseason that could be drastically shortened or even lost because of labor problems and a lockout.
Because of the proliferation of the 3-4 league-wide, however, there are several coaches available who have worked recently with the 3-4 as a base defense.
Once the coordinator is hired, there will likely be further evaluation of the remaining defensive staff between the new coach and Whisenhunt.
Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information
Kelvin Beachum Active For Cardinals On Offensive Line
Inactive list for Cardinals virtually same as opener
Finally In Front Of Full Home Stadium, Cardinals Seek Another Win
Vikings visit as crowds return to home games
How To Watch: Cardinals-Vikings
Check out all the ways to watch, listen and live stream Arizona Cardinals vs. the Minnesota Vikings on September 19, 2021
Rodney Hudson Quickly Becomes Anchor Of Offense
Notes: Beachum a game-day decision; Kennard out Sunday
Patrick Peterson Making Return To Arizona Against Cardinals
Vikings cornerback insisting he wants this to be like any other game
Whether Attention On J.J. Watt Or Chandler Jones, Cardinals Benefit
Notes: Joseph explains limited snaps for Zaven Collins
Players In The Spotlight: Minnesota Week
Kirk, Collins, Hopkins, Watt and Wilson are key for the Cardinals
Whether Sack Record Or Contract, Chandler Jones Leaves Talk To Others
After five-sack game, linebacker keeps focus on football not future
Kyler Murray More Comfortable Changing Plays At The Line
Notes: Running game has solid start with Edmonds-Conner tandem