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Getting coaches in place

Posted by Darren Urban on January 10, 2011 – 3:31 pm

Ken Whisenhunt is beginning to interview candidates for the vacant defensive coordinator job. How quickly that results in a hire is up in the air. Over the weekend, XTRA’s Mike Jurecki said the job was Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler’s to lose, but there are still hoops to be jumped there, not the least of which will be the length of the Steelers’ jaunt through the playoffs. (UPDATE: And maybe it won’t matter because Butler might not be able to come according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette h/t Kent Somers.)

UPDATE II: SI’s Jim Trotter reported that former 49ers DC Greg Manusky is interviewing with the Cards this week.

Given the potentially shorter offseason — and the desire in the past to have the Cards lean toward a 3-4 scheme — I expect whoever is hired to have the 3-4 pedigree. There are plenty of those guys out there.

It will be interesting to see how quickly everything comes together. It sounds like Ron Rivera will be the new coach in Carolina. There are still other head coaching jobs open (Oakland, Cleveland, Denver) and other staffs just being put together (Dallas, Minnesota, San Francisco). Always a lot of moving parts coaching-wise this time of year.


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Posted in Blog | 54 Comments »


54 Responses to “Getting coaches in place”

  1. By Sean on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Is there any talk about possibly bringing Singletary in as DC? It would be nice to get a big name in here to at least interview, maybe Singletary/Wade Phillips/etc? Why can’t it be a desirable place to go?

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Sean —

    RE: Singletary/Phillips

    Phillips has already signed to be DC in Houston. Singletary has never been a DC, I don’t expect him to get his first shot here.

  3. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Fall back plan! I’m sure he’d love to help us beat the whiners!

  4. By Ellis on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    He has one of the dumbest clauses in his contract, he should have never signed that contract. I really don’t see why we are on this 3-4 defensive when we don’t have the linebackers for it. I understand its a good defensive scheme, but unless we develop these linebackers its not going to work. Its kinda crazy when we had Bill Davis as our Lb coach, the linebackers actually held up pretty good or maybe that was just Dansby making him look good. I really don’t care who we get as a DC as long as they can get this defensive in the top 15 atleast.

    What’s going on with Singeltary as the Vikings Lb coach?
    What’s going on with McDaniels as the Vikings OC coach?
    Also if Butler or whatever other DC comes, will they bring another Lb coach and a new d-line coach or does that all stay the same?

  5. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Ellis —

    RE: Defensive coaches

    I would guess that once the new DC is named, he and Whisenhunt will discuss the remaining staff and whether to make any more changes.

    As for the Vikings staff, I don’t know.

  6. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Is Nolan available or being looked at? Just curious…

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Phoenixraven —

    RE: Nolan

    Works for Dolphins.

  8. By Tom Bush on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Since there always seems to be a Pittsburgh connection and as long as it seems that Butler is the choice, is there anyway that we may actually shock people by perhaps going after a tier 1 FA in Woodley? I know it is way to early to talk about that since they are still in the playoffs but the Cardinals would go a long way in rebuilding credibility by landing someone like him. It’s also a huge need. Woodley, Schofield, Washington would be an AWESOME start to a LB corp….

  9. By Pat on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    I’m not sure if you can answer this, but what is the fascination with the 3-4 scheme? I have seen far more teams attempt the 3-4, and fail miserably, than any other defense. I know that Pittsburgh, the Jets, and New England are probably the only 3 teams that have been able to run the 3-4 year-in and year-out on a consistent basis. Why not just implement the traditional 4-3 and go with what has proven to work? As the old saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Watching this team try to find its identity in the 3-4 scheme has been pure agony for the last 2 years.

  10. By Kent on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I have heard rumors flying around about Bob Slowik the ex Denver Bronocos Co-Ordinator coming in for an interview.

    Interesting because he primarily runs a 43 defensive scheme

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Pat —

    RE: 3-4 scheme

    1) Whisenhunt’s main years as assistant were with the Steelers and Jets, with both using 3-4 alignments and having great success. Hard to go against something you have seen work well.

    2) Not sure the 4-3 looks the Cards have had in the past have necessarily done much better.

  12. By Kent on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Also an easy way around the “coordinator in waiting” clause is to hire him as a the DC/Assitant Head Coach – Defense. And then make Grimm the OL Coach and Assistant HC – Offense. Then Butler would be taking a “promotion” and would be able to interview without permission.

  13. By wayne on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Us Cardinal fans need to see the Cards start setting up some interviews with some of these coaches for DC, all these other teams are starting to make some signings, are we going to wait to see whats left?

  14. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Wayne —

    RE: Interviews

    Um …

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Process-Underway-For-New-Coordinator/2ba3fa29-b23f-4681-88b9-c5d085ecdbff

  15. By Landin on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Do u think Coach Whiz will try to bring in Eric Mangini? He would help our defense out alot because he knows how to run the 3-4 scheme.

  16. By tyman on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I think there shouldent be a big hurry on getting a guy. The most important thing is that we get a guy that can run a system that works. Our Defence scored most of our points this season so its not as bad as some fans think. It would be nice to see a little more rotation of players this upcoming year on defence. Especialy if we are loosing the time of possestion next year. Darren do you see the Cards going out to hire any other assistent coachesfor the offence and defence this off-season? and do you have any names.

  17. By 98CardsFan on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I dont even care any more at this point in time. This team is pourous on both sides of the ball, just going to have to wait and see what type of product they put on the field next year and even that may not matter. If its shortened by the labor agreements they wont have time to get better together.

  18. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Landin —

    RE: Mangini

    He would fit the profile of who they want.

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Tyman —

    RE: Assistants

    As I have said many times, I expect the offensive staff to stay intact. Other defensive changes are possible depending on what the new coordinator might want to do.

    As for names, I don’t have any right now. Whisenhunt isn’t saying.

  20. By brad oneill on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Vic Fangio? i know i have brought it up before but he seems like a perfect fit.

  21. By SteveDCO on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone – Darren asked Coach Whiz in a presser 3 or 4 weeks ago about the 4-3 and 3-4 and Whiz was very specific about wanting a 3-4.

    Darren then posted several reasons why including players better suited to a 3-4 alignment.

    I believe it was a blog so anyone can go back and read it.

    (ED note: http://blog.azcardinals.com/2010/12/27/the-flip-of-43-and-34/)

  22. By Javi on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, would coach Mike Singletary be a possibility for defensive coordinator??

  23. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    @ Kent- doesn’t the Redskins (Slowik’s current employer) run the 3-4 which Albert Haynesworth was so opposed to?
    @ Darren- Manusky is also rumored to go to Dallas where Jerruh really wants him on Jason Garrett’s staff or the Chargers, where he coached before, replacing Ron Rivera who’s likely for HC at Carolina.

  24. By Canadian Red Bird on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Hello Darren:

    Shape your defensive scheme around the personnel and at this moment it would appear that we have solid lineman with suspect linebackers. This would lend itself well to the 4 -3 vs the 3- 4. That is not to say that down the road that the dynamics will change. As for the hirings, I believe that Keith Butler is the man that Whiz wants and you will see it become official after the Steelers are finished for the year. Just as important is for Whiz to look in the mirror and come to the realization that he can’t be effective as an offensive coordinator and Head coach. These two hirings will restore confidence in the Cardinal faithful that we are committed to improving this team. As for Grimm, the extent of his duties should be offensive line coach if at all. Looking from the outside in, I haven’t seen enough evidence of any sort to see that things are going to change for next with his influence. Being a Hall of Famer doesn’t mean that you can get results as a coach – just ask Wayne Gretzky. What do you think Darren. Its cold up here 20 below Celcius, wish I was in Phoenix. GO CARDS11111

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: Singletary

    Since the Cards are looking at Manusky, wouldn’t think they’d also consider Singletary.

  26. By georgiebird on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    The DC hire is the most important thing Whiz will do this off-season- and that includes the draft. For the 50 years I’ve been a fan, the Cardinals have never had an outstanding defense. As I’ve told you before Eric Swann was the only front seven guy who was truly a great player (always required the double team) and that was for about a year and a half due to injuries. Other guys like Patulski and Gastineau were past their prime and others like Simeon Rice and Freddie Joe were undersized. DD ranks with the best. I may be wrong, but you can count on your hands the number of front seven Cardnals who have made the Pro Bowl in the past 50 years.
    It would be great to have an outstanding DC who can coach with the best and help draft the defensive players that will get the Cardinals back to the playoffs.

  27. By R Robles on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Rivera would be awesome alot of great young talent & vets on D wishful thinking

  28. By georgiebird on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Cards should not wait on Keith Butler. While he’s Whiz’ buddy, has he ever been a successful NFL DC ?
    And because of the cold relationship between Tomlin and Whiz- don’t expect Pitts to do the Cardinals any favors- if it is a favor.
    It’s time for Whiz to start hiring excellent coaches at the going price tag rather than buddies at a discount. It’s time for Whiz to realize that the honeymoon is over and Warner is not coming back.
    The right DC is the best DC – don’t wait and get caught holding the bag.

  29. By cheesebeef on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    get manusky signed. he’s exactly who i think this team needs.

  30. By drumm-1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    i think you should mandate everyone read the post before they post anything because i read the same thing,( hey Darren how about Singletary for dc) 3 post later someone else ( hey darren how about singletary he seem like a good fit).. please read before you post i’m pretty sure Darren is tired of the same question being asked day in and day out, i know i am and i don’t have to read this everyday..

  31. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Off topic, but really is anything Card related topical?
    Is anyone disappointed that Aeneas Williams, Don Coryell, Roy Green or Larry Centers didn’t make the top 17 cut of the NFL Hall of Fame vote?
    Wonder how this bodes for Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin?

  32. By wayne on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    What I should of said was “who’s coming for interviews” Greg Manusky? why even bring him in. Thats a name nobody was thinking of, but he is proven and that’s what I want, I dont want another LB coach being a first year DC, I think the Cards need an experienced DC.

  33. By Chuck 1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Is anyone paying attention to what Darren is writing?????????????

    FORGET SINGLETARY AS THE DC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And, I repeat, why would Butler want to come to the Cards (even if he could) when he will most likely get one of the most prestigious DC jobs in the NFL when LeBeau reetires???

  34. By Chuck 1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I saw, on ESPN, that Kolb has asked for a trade if Vick is to be the Eagles’ #1 QB next season.

    JUMP ON THAT!!!!!!

    OFFER THE EAGLES THE CARDS’ FIRST ROUND PICK (#5) !!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. By James on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren

    hey i dont mean to make your job tough but hey kolb said if vick returns he wanst a trade any way we could get him?

  36. By Kent on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStandsUp – Yes they do, but look at his resume as a coordinator;

    From 93-98 he was the Bears DC – He ran a 43 the entire time there.
    In 1999 he was the Browns DC – They ran a 43
    01-04 was the Assistant HC in GB – They ran a 43, but not sure if it was him.
    04 he was the DC in GB – Again they ran a 43.
    05-09 he was the Broncos DC, tan a 43 the entire time he was there.

    The familiarity with Shannahan got him the job in Washington

    Finally he coaches DB’s not a huge change in the 34 to the 43 with DB’s.

    Steve DCO – I know Whis wants to keep the 34, but a reliable inside source he communicated that Bob Slowik is “definitely” getting an interview. Now given Slowiks extensive experience in a 43 defense it seems a little odd.

  37. By Eazy E on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Singletary is the new LBs coach for the Minnesota Vikings. I like Manusky, Mangini, and Butler. Manusky and Butler are the early names for right now. If that clause in Butler’s contract is true, that is BS.

  38. By Eazy E on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    I want to see who else were looking at for DC.

  39. By Jeff Gollin on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    A lot goes into being a DC that may be invisible to most fans.

    I’m just guessing but a DC’s job description should logically include: (a) creativity with X’s and O’s, (b) able to make good in-game adjustments, (c) good teacher and motivator, (d) able to hire position coaches who are good teachers and motivators, (e) knows what he wants/jhas answers to just about anything he faces, (f) good talent-evaluator.

    That sort of stuff. Which means that, for example, a position-coach (like, for example, Mike Singletary) has most or all of those attributes, his lack of experience as a DC shouldn’t rule him out.

    Finally, an interesting Job Hunting “trick of the trade” suggests that you figure out and emphasize “what problem your prospective employer has that you can solve.”

    Applied to the DC job, it might behoove us to figure out what problems on the Cardinal defense caused Billy Davis to lose his job. If we can better identify those problems, it might help us better figure out the kind of individual Wiz will be looking for in a DC.

  40. By aaaaudio on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, alot of defensive talk going on here. How about the lack of offensive production? This is what killed the entertainment this year. No coaches responsible for the lack of production on this side of the ball?

  41. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Kent —

    RE: Interviews

    Curious to know the “reliable” inside source is. I haven’t heard Slowik’s name at all.

  42. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    aaaudio —

    RE: Offensive issues/coaches

    All valid and fair questions. But Whisenhunt has decided not to change anything on the staff.

  43. By cards11 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    What are the chances of picking up Champ Bailey in FA’S?

  44. By NJCardsFan on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I would love for the Cards to make a play for Kolb. I do think, however, that the price will be too steep. Probably 2 first round picks or so. Have you heard anything about McNabb’s future in Washington? I think if he dropped 15 or 20 lbs he could still get the job done, and it would probably go a long way to keeping Larry happy.

  45. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Cards11 —

    RE: Bailey

    I would doubt it.

  46. By Shooter on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Is Rob Ryan being considered? He is looking for a job now and could be a great addition.

    @Chuck… Kolb is not worth a #5 pick. He is still relatively unproven as well. His opportunity to show what he had was this year. Not to mention that Philly wants TWO 1st round picks.

  47. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Shooter —

    RE: Rob Ryan

    I don’t expect him to be in the mix.

  48. By jocards on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren

    Isn’t it true that talk about bringing in any new players is pretty much moot until there is a CBA in place? It certainly would seem that way to me.

  49. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    jocards —

    RE: New CBA/new players

    You are 100 percent correct.

  50. By Scott H on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: Trading for Kolb

    It ain’t that simple. Until the whole CBA situation is resolved, TEAMS CANNOT TRADE PLAYERS. They can trade draft picks, but NOT PLAYERS. That is a shame for Kolb AND the Cardinals right now because I would think this would be a team he would want to come to.

    Also, why are so many people just assuming that Singletary won’t be getting another head coaching job??? So many openings right now, and I could definitely see a team like the Raiders bringing him in.

  51. By cards62 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    To all Cards fans. If you could have anyone available to be our DC who would you select? I like John Fox, but I am not hearing his name mentioned. Any chance for us to land John Fox or is he looking for a head coaching position?

    I know it is too late now but none of the names I am hearing would have please me more than if we would have hired Wade Phillips as DC. How about you guys?

    Enjoyed bowl championship last night. Cam Newton not bad, but I think we alll have questions marks iabout him after this game. Selecting a QB is so difficult. I do not have a favorite right now and just hope the Cardinals bring in 2 to 3 veterans. I do not know much about Kevin Kolb, but from what I have seen I do not think he is worth a # 5, and now he is saying he wants traded so hopefully he will make a stink in Philly and his asking price will go way down.

    Really liked the DT from Auburn # 90 as he was a beast in the game with a great motor and I liked the Matthews kid from Oregon. I hope we can pick up Matthews somewhere in the draft. Matthews family really know how to play football

    Go Cards and nice article on the Seahawks Darren. Itt would be very funny if the Seahawks ended up hosting the NFC Championship Game..

  52. By Chuck 1 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Anyone, especially the Eagles, who think that Kolb is worth TWO FIRST ROUND PICKS is off in LaLa land!!!

    He was a second round pick and had an equal number of TDs and INTs in 2010.
    A second round pick would be high enough for him.

    Orton might be a better choice.

  53. By Lacy Wolfe on Jan 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, I would love for the Cards to make a play for Kolb. I do think, however, that the price will be too steep. Probably 2 first round picks or so. Have you heard anything about McNabb’s future in Washington? I think if he dropped 15 or 20 lbs he could still get the job done, and it would probably go a long way to keeping Larry happy.

  54. By Darren Urban on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Lacy —

    RE: McNabb

    He won’t be in Washington next season. Whether he is released soon or they hang on to him for a chunk of the offseason is TBD.

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