clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What happens if Todd Bowles leaves for a head coaching job?

Who would replace him as defensive coordinator?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the recent buzz about Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles being a head coaching candidate, fans have had to begin thinking about the possibility that the team will have to replace him as defensive coordinator.

Some big names have come up as potential replacements for Bowles.

One is the team's last defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, who left for the Cleveland Browns and again is looking for work.

Josh Weinfuss of ESPN suggested a pair of high profile coaches. One is Wade Phillips, recently let go by the Houston Texans. Other names include Jim Haslett (Washington's DC last season), Winston Moss (Green Bay's assistant head coach and linebackers coach) and Jim Sheridan (previously Tampa's DC).

However, Mike Jurecki is hearing a name that is already on staff -- Cardinals linebackers coach Mike Caldwell. Caldwell was hand picked by Bowles to join him on the Cardinals staff with Bruce Arians.

Caldwell's coaching bio looks like this:

After serving as a training camp coaching intern with the Eagles in 2007, Caldwell began his coaching career as a defensive quality control coach with Philadelphia in 2008. He was promoted to assistant linebackers coach in 2010 and elevated to linebackers coach in 2011. During his first season overseeing the linebackers, Caldwell helped developed several young players into key roles, including Jamar Chaney who intercepted three passes to go along with a team-leading 104 tackles. He also integrated two rookies into the rotation - sixth round pick Brian Rolle, who started 13 games and contributed 63 tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery for a TD, and fourth rounder Casey Matthews. In 2012, Caldwell oversaw standout linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who led the team with 113 tackles and 15 tackles for loss.

Jurecki cites Caldwell's work with Bowles on two staffs, his familiarity of the team's current defensive schemes and the fact that players in the locker room think he would be "the guy" as a reason why he would be a name to watch out for.

Caldwell would mean the least change for the defense. Any of the other names on that list would come in and change things. That's not to say that Caldwell wouldn't add his own wrinkles, but it would likely be much more similar to the successful schemes they ran in 2013.

Again, these are names that are possibilities only if Bowles ends up leaving as a head coach elsewhere. Do any of these names sound good for Arizona?