Pat Shurmur said he felt a good connection with the Giants’ brass when they interviewed him. Typically coaches being interviewed during the playoffs whose teams are still in the running will downplay their interest in other teams to the media. Typically coaches will say they chief focus right now is on the next game. In all likelihood, Shurmur was sending a wink to the Giants.
Shurmur would prefer the Giants—not only because the Giants currently have a stronger roster than the Cardinals and they have the #2 pick in the draft—but Shurmur has strong Philly ties (coached there for years) and the Giants are really a New Jersey team. Secondly, his son Kyle is the starting QB at Vanderbilt, which would make living on the East coast more desirable. In fact, maybe with Mike Mularkey’s firing, the Titans are planning to make a move for Shurmur. What a unique opportunity it would be for hi and his family to be close to his son at Vanderbilt.
All this said, odds are—the Cardinals may not even get the chance for a second interview with Pat Shurmur.So, if true, where does this leave the Cardinals with their search?
This week they will have the chance to host Steve Wilks and Mike Munchak for 2nd interviews. Perhaps MB&SK will consider hosting Keith Armstrong, per BA’s recommendation. Armstrong’s STs were very good in LA and at Philly.
Wilks’ candidacy has a bit of a cloud over it right now—despite his long-time association with the Giants’ new GM Dave Gettleman, Wilks fumbled his interview with the Giants, otherwise he would have at least been considered one of the finalists. Then there was the mysterious cancellation of his visit with the Colts.Fact is—Wilks and Munchak have only garnered genuine interest from the Cardinals. Same for in-house candidate James Bettcher.
Wilks has a strong presence…he’s passionate and highly aggressive. He takes no sh– from anyone and makes no excuses. He holds all players accountable. The players respect him for that.Munchak is also an alpha type coach. Very much his own man and coaches with confidence and conviction.Wills could help turn the Cardinals’ defense into a juggernaut.
Munchak could help turn one of the Cardinals long-standing weaknesses, the offensive line, into a much needed strength.But, what is less clear in both Wilks’ and Munchak’s cases is how well their hires would aid and abet the Cardinals’ QBOF selection process and development.
Reports are that Wilks has John DeFilippo lined up to be his OC. But chances are—the Cardinals are going to have some competition in signing JDF. What if Pat Shurmur wants him in New Jersey? What if Matt Patricia wants him in Detroit? What if other teams come calling?
Thus this leads to the question of the day—would the Cardinals be best off, especially in terms of the QBOF situation to hire John DeFilippo as head coach and with Steve Keim’s help, work on surrounding him with the right coaching staff?
DeFilippo will be an NFL head coach sooner rather than later. If he’s hired as OC, how long will it be before he gets a HC gig?
Wouldn’t the Cardinals be better off ensuring that the QBOF is in the best hands and playing in the same system for at least the next four years, and possibly for over a decade?There are plenty of good defensive coaches out there to pair with JDF. How about Chuck Pagano? How about Steve Spagnuolo? How about JDF bringing the Eagles’ highly regarded CB coach, Cory Undlin (14 years NFL experience) with him as DC? How about Adam Zimmer (Mike’s son—-LB coach—12 years NFL experience)?
If Brian Flores isn’t promoted to DC by the Patriots, how about signing him to be the DC?Whether Steve Keim wants to admit it or not, the Cardinals are in a rebuilding phase, particularly on offense. Why not hire the most qualified QB coach they can? DeFilippo’s track record with QBs is very impressive. His work with Carson Wentz and now Nick Folk has been outstanding.Steve Keim—are the Cardinals finally going to draft a QBOF? If the answer is yes, why not hire the best QB coach you can find? Until the Cardinals have a QB who can lock horns with Wilson, Goff and Garoppolo, it is going to be tough to outscore their rivals, no matter how good the defense may be.
Michael Bidwill—if you can’t sign Pat Shurmur, how about signing John DeFilippo as HC and build a highly competent staff around him and get to work on deciding who the QBOF will be. Some people might think that’s copycatting. Who cares, if you put your QBOF in the best hands?