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Arizona Cardinals need to nail the hire like they did in 2013 with Bruce Arians

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No one expects their team to do a bad job in hiring a new head coach, but the Cardinals need to hit another home run.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Back in 2013, the Arizona Cardinals seemed late to the party when searching for Ken Whisenhunt’s successor. Their first choice going in was Andy Reid, who was quickly wooed by the Chiefs (and never had an interview with MB & SK).

The Cardinals wound up being the last of the 8 teams to hire the new HC. Bruce Arians fell into their laps when the Bears decided to go with Marc Trestman over Arians. And with the exception of Andy Reid, the Cardinals wound up making the best hire of the batch:

Just a quick glance of this list tells you that Reid and Arians were the only ones on it to still be the HC of their team in 2017.

While Reid has led the Chiefs to the playoffs 4 of the 5 years---like Arians---he’s only won 1 playoff game, a 30-0 Wild Card win over the Texans in 2015.

His losses were a 45-44 loss to the Colts in 2013, having surrendered a 28-point 2nd half lead. A 27-20 loss to the Patriots in the divisional round in 2015. And am 18-16 loss at home to the Steelers last year in the divisional round.

Reid’s playoff record from 2013-2016: 1-3.

Arians, on the other hand, took the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game in 2015.

Reid’s 5-year regular season record: 53-27 (.663)

Arians’ 5-year regular season record: 49-30-1 (.614)

Mike McCoy lasted 4 years in SD. His record: 27-37 and 1-1 in playoffs.

The Cardinals couldn’t woo Andy Reid, but they did nearly as well hiring BA.

This year, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim have interviews lined up with James Bettcher (AZ), Pat Shurmur (MIN), John DeFilippo (PHI), Jim Schwartz (PHI), Matt Patricia (NE), Brian Flores (NE), Mike Munchak (PIT), Steve Wilks (CAR) and Keith Armstrong (ATL).

They met at length with James Bettcher yesterday and reports are that Bettcher has a staff lined up that includes OC Mike McCoy and DC Chuck Pagano. There are also reports that the Ravens want Chuck Pagano to return as their DC.

The Cardinals were in a somewhat similar position in 2013 when DC Ray Horton made a fevered pitch to be promoted to HC. His plan supposedly included having Norv Turner as OC.

Without question, MB and SK made the right choice to move on from Horton. Bettcher is a more attractive candidate in certain respects, but often times, wiping the slate clean and bringing in a new voice and direction is the best and wisest choice.

Yesterday they met with Pat Shurmur in Minnesota and today with DeFilippo and Schwartz in Philadelphia.

They probably will interview Mike Munchak and Matt Patricia and Brian Flores over the weekend, and then meet with Steve Wilks and Keith Armstrong when the Panthers and Falcons are knocked out of the playoffs.

Michael Bidwill is preaching patience once again and feels that it is imperative that the candidates visit the Cardinals at their facilities in Arizona.

The question is---will the top candidates be amenable to Bidwill’s time frame?

If one of the top candidates hits a grand slam in his interview, would Bidwill and Keim be willing to make an offer, knowing the competition is going to be fierce?

Bidwill has turned what could be considered a negative about the Cardinals’ job---a lack of a QBOF---into a positive as he has posed the question of whether the new coach would rather have a QB already in place or have a hand in selecting his own.

Bidwill and Keim are an attractive combo. They are diligent, passionate, goal driven and highly supportive.

This could be a key turning point for GM Steve Keim. He has vowed to make major changes, following a season where he found some aspects of the Cardinals’ play “totally unacceptable.”

One has wonder just how much control over the roster and the coaching staff Bidwill and Keim will give the new head coach. Clearly, they were not able to get BA to budge on obvious coaching upgrades and it must have been taxing for MB and SK to hear BA’s public disparagement of top draft picks Humphries and Nkemdiche (whom Bidwill personally vetted and gave his approval of).

The new hire should give Cardinals’ fans a closer idea of just how effective Steve Keim is as a GM. It’s time for him, as he puts it, to wear his “big boy pants.”