The Arizona Cardinals are in need of a defensive coordinator now that Todd Bowles has taken the head coaching job for the New York Jets. Head coach Bruce Arians said after the season there was a plan in place. We don't know what that plan is, but we get to see it unfold.
So who will be the next defensive coordinator?
Here are some names that have been brought up:
Dick LeBeau: He recently resigned from his DC job in Pittsburgh. Arians has spoken with him about joining the staff. He is 77 and some are saying he would not be the DC if he joined the Cardinals staff, He would likely have more of an advisory role. However, he does have ties with Arians from Pittsburgh and the timing of his resignation is interesting. He is certainly qualified, though.
Nick Rapone: Currently the defensive backs coach for the Cardinals, he has defensive coordinator experience. He was DC at the collegiate level with Delaware.
Mike Caldwell: Although he is reportedly leaving to join Bowles on his staff, perhaps to be his DC, Caldwell is the linebackers coach for Arizona. He is well respected has been a position coach for a while. He is, though, an unknown commodity as a coordinator.
James Bettcher: Currently the outside linebackers coach, he has worked with Arians both in Arizona and Indianapolis. He has experience coaching in the pros and in college, but has not yet had a coordinator position.
Vic Fangio: His name has come up because of the coaching situation in San Francisco. Fangio has coached a 3-4 49ers defense to great success. He does not have any ties to Arians, as far as I can tell. The two have not been on a staff together in the NFL.
The Cardinals could also structure their defensive coaching situation a lot like they do the offense. On offense, it is Bruce Arians who makes play calls. Jonathan Goodwin is the coordinator, but he also works under Tom Moore, the team's assistant head coach, but with an offensive focus. They could do something like that with LeBeau and a current staff member. Lebeau would be the senior defensive assistant and someone like Bettcher or Rapone would carry the title of defensive coordinator.
Who do you believe will be the next DC?