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Cardinals’ Off-Season Menu

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Syndication: Arizona Republic Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

In the event that Michael Bidwill is going to make some changes to the front office, coaching staff and roster this off-season, here is one fan’s menu of apps, entrees and desserts:

Outside GM Candidates:

  • Ryan Clark (ESPN analyst, Super Bowl winner with Steelers, magnetic persona)
  • Louis Riddick (ESPN analyst, former NFL player and director of pro personnel)
  • Jon Carr (Director of College Scouting NYJ)
  • Mike Borgonzi (Assistant GM, KC)
  • Joe Hortiz (Director of Player Personnel, BAL)

On this video, Joe Hortiz breaks down the tapes of the Ravens’ two 1st round picks in 2022, S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame) and C Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa).

Kudos to Kyler Budd of AZSports Underground for this recent tweet:

Inside GM Candidates:

  • Adrian Wilson (VP of Pro Personnel)

Good short video regarding Adrian Wilson’s GM interview with the New York Giants last year.

  • Quentin Harris (VP of Player Personnel)

Good short video regarding Quentin Harris’s GM interview with the New York Giants last year.

I understand that this may be an unpopular prediction for Cardinals’ fans, but I think it is more likely than not, if the Cardinals’ new GM comes from the inside, Michael Bidwill will tab Quentin Harris because of the depth and value of his experience.

If you have not listened to Dave Pasch’s interview with Quentin Harris, you can get an excellent feel as to how qualified he is as a VP of Player Personnel. Plus, he offers great excitement about the young talented players on the Cardinals’ defense.

Head Coach:

  • Kliff Kingsbury (HC ARI)

If Kliff has the team playing well through the next 4 games, and cleans up the offensive issues over that stretch with Colt McCoy at QB, then he can prove his case as to why he should continue on as head coach. However, if over the last 4 games, the offense continues to be penalty prone and more out of sync than not, then it will be difficult to justify Kliff’s return as HC in 2023.

In fairness to Kliff, he deserves this 4 game chance to fight for his job. You just know that he and Kyler were super determined to end the season on a high note for the first time in 4 years. It is extremely sad and unfortunate that Kyler and Kliff will not be able to accomplish this together. But, Kliff needs to press on and accomplish this with Colt instead.

FYI —- fans in New England are chattering about Kliff as their OC in 2023 with DeAndre Hopkins as their WR1 via trade.

  • DeMeco Ryans (DC SF)

I believe the Cardinals, with regard to their current defensive personnel may be better suited to play the 4-3. Yes, DeMeco Ryan’s 4-3 is loaded with talent, but he understands 4-3 personnel photo-types and he schemes and adjusts as well as any young defensive coach in the league to the extend of staging a number of second half shutouts. And, man, do his players swarm to the football with cat-like quickness.

Now, before we get too enamored with DeMeco Ryans, he is going to be one of the top 2 or 3 most highly coveted HC candidates this off-season and it would be very difficult to imagine that he will accept a job within his current division. He is likely going to have more favorable options.

  • Dan Quinn (DC DAL)

As hot a head coaching candidate as DeMeco Ryans is, Dan Quinn, in light of the stellar defensive job he is doing with the Cowboys, and the fact that as a DC, he helped win a Super Bowl in SEA and as a HC, he led his Falcons to the Super Bowl, he likely will be the most coveted HC candidate in the pool.

  • Mike LaFleur (OC NYJ)

What I love about Mike LaFleur is how clever his running game and vertical passing game schemes are, from the blocking up front to the playmaking abilities of his RBs and WRs. In addition, he is excellent at preparing a host of QBs and catering his game plans to their strengths. 2nd round draft pick RB Breece Hall was having a ROY season until he was injured. RB Michael Carter has close to 1,000 yards rushing and receiving thus far. And now LaFleur is getting big-time production for undrafted rookie RB Zonovan “Bam” Knight. If the Cardinals hire LaFleur and take care of their top needs in free agency, imagine what he could do with Texas’ superstar RB Bijan Robinson. Todd McShay has Robinson going in the top 10 of the draft, because his talent and leadership are off the charts.

  • Brandon Staley (HC LAC —- if they hire Sean Payton)

Sean Payton is making it clear that he would prefer to land one of the LA jobs. If the Chargers falter down the stretch and they go ahead and hire Payton, I think Brandon Staley would be a tremendous hire. Did you see the scheme he employed for defending the Dolphins’ prolific passing game? It was Belichickean. And he was missing his top three defenders in that game (DE Joey Bosa, CB J.C. Jackson and S Derwin James).

Defensive Coordinators:

  • Larry Foote (LB Coach TB)

If the Cardinals are going to continue to play a base 3-4 defense, Larry Foote, who was like a coach on the field when he played ILB with the Cardinals, would be an excellent choice. Larry, like Ryan Clark, is disciple of Dick LeBeau’s contain and attack the ball version of the 3-4.

  • Jim Schwartz (Sr. Defensive Assistant, TEN)

Jim Schwartz is a well proven 4-3 style DC. But, he is now helping to coach the Titans’ Belichick-style 3-4 defense. He’s coached in the NFL for 29 years, yet he’s only 56 years old. He has 14 years experience as a DC (Titans, Eagles, Bills) and 4 years experience as a head coach (Lions).

  • George Edwards (Sr. Defensive Assistant, DAL)

Currently, George Edwards is helping Dan Quinn and the Cowboys’ defensive staff in fielding one of th most prolific 4-3 defenses in the NFL. Over the years, Edwards has worked with a number of top shelf defensive coaches like Nick Saban, Mike Zimmer and Mike Nolan. At 55, Edwards has 25 years of NFL coaching experience and 8 of which as a DC (Redskins, Bills and Vikings).

Free Agent QBs:

  • Mike White 27, (NYJ).
  • Gardner Minshew (26, PHI)
  • Cooper Rush (29, DAL)
  • Sam Darnold (25, CAR)

2023 NFL Draft: Day 1 QBs:

  • Bryce Young (Alabama)
  • C.J. Stroud (Ohio St.)
  • Will Levis (Kentucky)

I believe that if one of these three top QBs is available when the Cardinals pick, then they should strongly consider taking one of them. The talent of these 3 QBs is one of the arguments I made for the Cardinals to wait another year on extending Kyler. After Kyler’s struggles down the stretch last season which carried over into this season, and in light of the recurring questions about his durability, Kyler’s status as a dependable, franchise QB remains an uncertainty. Thus, it is better to strengthen the QB position as best as the Cardinals can, given the opportunity. Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Will Levis have skillset traits similar to Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Josh Allen respectively.

2023 NFL Draft: Day 2 QBs:

  • Anthony Richardson, Florida
  • Tanner McKee, Stanford
  • Hendon Hooker, Tennesse
  • Bo Nix, Oregon

2023 NFL Draft: Day 3 QBs:

  • Jayden Daniels, LSU
  • Jaren Hall, BYU
  • Jake Haener, Fresno St.
  • Stetson Bennett, Georgia
  • Max Duggan, TCU
  • Tyson Bagent, Shepherd

2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Talents (other than QBs):

  • Edge Will Anderson, Jr., Alabama
  • DT Jalen Carter, Georgia
  • RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
  • TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
  • T Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
  • Edge Myles Murphy, Clemson
  • DT Brian Bresee, Clemson
  • T Paris Johnson, Jr., Ohio St.
  • CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn St.
  • CB Brian Branch, Alabama

Top Inside Free Agent Priorities for Cardinals:

  • DT Zach Allen
  • DE JJ Watt
  • CB Byron Murphy
  • G Will Hernandez
  • CB Antonio Hamilton
  • LS Aaron Brewer

Potential Outside Free Agent Targets for Cardinals:

  • G Isaac Seumalo, 29, PHI (75.2)
  • G Evan Brown, 26, DET (70.0)
  • C Connor McGovern, 29, NYJ (73.8)
  • C Bradley Bozeman, 28, CAR (71,6)
  • C Garrett Bradbury, 27, MIN (70.2)
  • DT Da’Ron Payne, 25, WAS
  • DT Greg Gaines, 25, LAR
  • DT A’Shawn Robinson, 27, LAR
  • DT Poona Ford, 27, SEA
  • DT DreMont Jones, 25, DEN
  • DT Sheldon Rankins, 28, NYJ
  • WILB Anthony Walker, 27, CLE
  • CB Rock Ya-Sin, 26, LV
  • CB Sean Bunting, 25, TB
  • SCB Jonathan Jones, 29, NE
  • SCB Bryce Callahan, 31, LAC
  • FS Julian Love, 24, NYG
  • K Matt Gay, 28, LAR
  • P Bradley Pinion, 28, ATL

OK, ROTB member, using the menu above, place your order. Feel free to ask the chef if we can provide other options for you. Chance are, we can make you whatever you want.

  • GM:
  • HC:
  • DC:
  • UFA QB:
  • Draft QB:
  • #1 (R1) Draft Pick:
  • Inside UFAs:
  • Outside UFA’s:
  • Trade Proposals?

Bon appetit!

Here are my early choices:

  • GM: Ryan Clark
  • HC: Kliff Kingsbury (if last 4 games go well) or Mike LaFleur
  • DC: Larry Foote
  • UFA QB: Mike White
  • Draft QB: Jake Haener, Fresno St.
  • #1 (R1) Draft Pick: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
  • Inside UFAs: DT Zach Allen, DE JJ Watt, CB Byron Murphy, G Will Hernandez, CB Antonio Hamilton, LS Aaron Brewer
  • Outside UFA’s: G Isaac Seumalo, 29, PHI, C Connor McGovern, 29, NYJ, DT Greg Gaines, 25, LAR, DT Sheldon Rankins, 28, NYJ, WILB Anthony Walker, 27, CLE, K Matt Gay, 28, LAR, P Bradley Pinion, 28, ATL
  • Trade Proposal?

Rondale Moore to Colts for CB Isaiah Rodgers and the Colts’ 2023 R5 pick.