With all the NFL festivities taking place in Arizona as the two conference championship teams prepare to play each other at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Sunday, Cardinals’ owner Michael Bidwill has decided to pause the search for their next head coach until Monday.
“The entire NFL is focused on the Super Bowl so we’re going to pause throughout the rest of the weekend and get restarted Monday morning,” said Michael Bidwill in an interview with Cardinals’ reporter Dani Sureck. “We’re excited about the great progress we’ve made.”
Head Coach search update from Michael Bidwill. pic.twitter.com/w622mNxKrE— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) February 11, 2023
The Cardinals owner has been patient throughout the process as Arizona is one of two NFL teams (Colts) remaining without a head coach. As of now, the Cardinals have narrowed their list down to two candidates in Bengals’ defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and Giants’ offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.
“For this week, we moved three coaches to a final round of interviews and their second round,” said Bidwill. “We had two of those three interviews.”
“Brian Flores decided to accept the position as defensive coordinator at the Minnesota Vikings.”
It has already been over a month since they relieved Kliff Kingsbury of his duties as their head coach.
For this week, Bidwill interviewed Anarumo and Kafka. On Monday, a day after the Super Bowl, he will have the opportunity to request interviews for three other potential head coach candidates in Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
If Bidwill truly “wants to make the right decision” as he acknowledged fan frustrations of the lengthy search in the interview, he should put in requests to interview these three Super Bowl coaches.
As the Cardinals continue this methodical and diligent search, some of their current staff is not waiting to see if they will be retained.
Outside linebackers coach Charlie Bullen was hired by the University of Illinois, Tight ends coach Steve Heiden joins the Detroit Lions staff in a lateral move. Secondary coaches in Greg Williams and Marcus Robertson reportedly were hired by the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints respectively but the moves have yet to be confirmed.
And it looks like a fifth Cardinals assistant coach is on the move as well as the Houston Texans are expected to hire defensive line coach Matt Burke as their defensive coordinator.
Sources: The #Texans are expected to hire #AZCardinals DL coach Matt Burke as their new defensive coordinator on DeMeco Ryans’ staff. The former #Dolphins DC, Burke is the first big hire for Ryans in Houston. pic.twitter.com/tMBZvIInmm— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2023
Burke was hired by the Cardinals last year as the replacement for Brentson Buckner, who departed for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Per NFL reporter Albert Breer, the Cardinals blocked the Cleveland Browns’ request to interview for their vacant defensive line coach position which shows Bidwill’s interest in retaining him. J.J. Watt and Zach Allen had their best season as a Cardinal this year with a combined 18 sacks.
And Burke could have a familiar face joining him on the Texans’ staff. According to The Scores’ NFL Insider Jordan Schultz, former Cardinals’ head coach and Texas native Kliff Kingsbury is back from his trip from Thailand and has interviewed for the Texans’ offensive coordinator position.
Sources: Kliff Kingsbury is in Houston today meeting with the #Texans for their open OC position. Kingsbury has a good relationship with DeMeco Ryans, as well as Nick Caserio, whom he knows dating back to their time together with the #Patriots. @thescore— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) February 10, 2023
The Cardinals play the Texans next season in what could be a revenge game for Kingsbury.