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Cardinals Can Hit the Jackpot with this Quartet

NFL: AUG 10 Patriots Training Camp Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Did you know that all 12 head coaches with NFL teams in this year’s playoffs can be linked back to the coaching trees of either Bill Walsh or Bill Parcells? Check this out:

This Saturday the Cardinals are scheduled to interview the Saints’ assistant HC Dan Campbell. While a student at Texas A&M, Campbell wrote a thesis paper about Bill Parcells’ coaching philosophy. As fate would have it, he wound up playing for Parcells and later on was hired to coach on Parcells’ staff. As a result, Campbell knows about as well as anyone how important it is for a head coach to get to know and then push his players—-and like Parcells, Campbell knows how important it is to treat each player differently—-because it is all about pushing the right buttons.

If you read this article, you are apt to see why Campbell is such compelling head coaching candidate. It is a great read:

Of all the candidates the Cardinals are scheduled to interview, it is extremely likely that Campbell will be the most impressive. I think he is going to knock the Cardinals’ socks off.

While Campbell has served very admirably as an interim head coach with the Dolphins, he has never been an offensive coordinator. He did interview for the OC position in Minnesota last year. However, the best case scenario for Campbell would be to hire quality offensive and defensive coordinators, so that Campbell can focus on the two things that he excels at: (1) knowing and motivating the players; (2) seeing the big picture of what it takes for a team to climb the ladder of success.

On Saturday the Cardinals are also interviewing former Texas Tech head coach and “Air Raid” aficionado Kliff Kingsbury. While Kingsbury had a sub .500 record as a head coach at Texas Tech, his offenses were breathtaking to watch, especially when Patrick Mahomes was the QB. Mahomes’ college stats were gaudy:

857/1344/63.5%/11,252yds/8.3ypa/93tds/29ints/152.0 QBR.

Imagine what a coup it would be if the Cardinals could hire Dan Campbell as head coach and Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator. While NFL teams recognize Kingsbury’s prowess as an offensive coordinator, it may be risky to take a chance on him just yet as a head coach, that is, until he proves that his offense can thrive in the NFL. Thus, there is a decent chance that Kingsbury would accept an NFL OC offer, particularly if his ultimate goal is to be an NFL head coach.

In terms of what the Cardinals need, Campbell could be the charismatic leader that they have been coveting and Kingsbury could be the pinball wizard who lights up the scoreboards. Imagine then if the Cardinals could persuade Todd Bowles to return as the defensive coordinator.

It could bring great excitement and renewed confidence to the defense to welcome the return of Bowles with his aggressive 34 base defense in tow.

Imagine too if Campbell would be happy to keep current special teams’ coordinator Jeff Rodgers on the staff. Rodgers’ attacking style in all aspects of special teams was particularly effective down the stretch this year, especially in the season finale at Seattle.

BA popularized the go-for-it full bore mentality during his hay days with the Cardinals. Well, with Dan Campbell as head coach, Kilff Kingsbury as OC, Todd Bowles as DC and Jeff Rodgers as STC—-the Cardinals would be super aggressive in all three phases of the game.

In my opinion, this would be a staff to get super excited about, and as my coaching mentor Miles Hubbard always says, “there’s nothing wrong with getting a little excited.”