The Arizona Cardinals are one of six teams looking for a new head coach.
Last week, before it was “known”, let’s be honest the reports had been out since October that this was it for Coach Arians, we asked the question, where would you rank the Cardinals in terms of appealing jobs for prospective coaches?
Well, ESPN answered, at least to the NFL executives they polled, and ranked the six jobs. While Oakland seems to be the landing spot for Jon Gruden, they are still on the list, which pushed the Cardinals down one spot, here is what they had to say:
4. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have averaged 9.9 wins per season while ranking seventh in win percentage and never firing a coach since Steve Keim moved into the GM role before the 2013 season. Pass-rusher Chandler Jones, cornerback Patrick Peterson and running back David Johnson give the Cardinals' next coach three blue-chip difference-makers in their primes.
That is all positive, as is a defense that ranked fifth in ESPN's efficiency metric this past season, eight spots higher than any other defense from a team without a head coach.
On the downside, the Cardinals' efforts to maximize their five-year run under retiring coach Bruce Arians have created challenges for the immediate future. Arizona's next coach will join a team with the NFL's oldest roster, no long-term quarterback solution and a first-round pick that is only 15th overall -- not early enough in the round to feel great about finding Carson Palmer's successor.
"The QB situation is in flux, and an overhaul could be in the works," an insider said.
The Cardinals are behind:
I can understand the Lions in the sense that they have their quarterback, of course the Raiders the same way. However, with the still unknown of Andrew Luck’s shoulder, can you really rank them ahead of the Cardinals? Is it Jacoby Brissett or is it the third pick which gives them a chance to draft a quarterback?
The Cardinals, at least to me, have the best defense of the group.
Is the lack of offense, they really have David Johnson and maybe D.J. Humphries as building blocks, but they need a big overhaul on offense.
Maybe that scares off defensive minded coaches who don’t want to bet on an OC they choose to fix the offense.