At the Super Bowl, DC subject comes up

Posted by Darren Urban on February 1, 2011 – 12:44 pm

I am not at the Super Bowl. But thanks to Twitter, it’s easy to monitor some people who are there and are talking to some of the assistant coaches who have been floated as potential defensive coordinator targets for the Cardinals. Since coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t talked to any of these people yet — he can’t even ask for permission to do so until after the season — these potentials are just guesswork. But it’s educated guesswork.

The name of Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton has been mentioned, and ESPN’s Matt Mosley noted that Horton isn’t all that thrilled that assistants from losing teams have a better chance at getting promotions, because assistants can’t interview until their season is over. It’s been a long-time conundrum for the league, but ultimately, I don’t know if there is a better way. You don’t want assistants still working in the playoffs to have such a distraction as to plan for another job interview.

Since Dick LeBeau already had made it pretty clear he didn’t want to go anywhere, Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler — who is close with Whisenhunt — remains a popular subject. He told reporters today — including Kent Somers — he doesn’t have a clause in his contract saying he will succeed LeBeau as Steelers’ DC when LeBeau is done. He also said the Steelers have been generous monetarily while keeping him around and that he doesn’t know if the Steelers would give permission for him to interview for the job. That has longĀ  been the $64,000 question with Butler — can he even get out of his contract?

UPDATE: And here is a good story by Mike Sando on Butler and Whisenhunt.

On the Green Bay side of things, the best guesstimates are assistant head coach/inside LBs coach Winston Moss, who acknowledged to Somers he doesn’t know Whisenhunt well. The same can’t be said for Packers safeties coach Darren Perry, who not only coached with Whisenhunt in Pittsburgh but has played and coached in LeBeau’s system. That, in my mind, makes him that much more attractive (although various reports have the Eagles and Raiders also possibly waiting to interview Perry for the same job).

Nothing will happen until Monday or Tuesday of next week, when Whisenhunt will ask for permission to whomever he is looking at (and I would guess that would include LeBeau, since a) his contract is expiring and b) since he has waited this long, there’s no reason not to inquire). Miami assistant head coach Todd Bowles remains a candidate too. And I’d think the entire process — depending on how many interviews Whiz lines up — would come to a conclusion fairly soon after.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “At the Super Bowl, DC subject comes up”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Nice update! Thanks!

  2. By jason on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    How about a offensive coordinator? Whiz is a great head coach bit is horrible at calling plays!

  3. By Mark on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Sounds like there’s some really good options out there still. Now, we, the fans must sit tight and TRY to be patient.

  4. By Hammer on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, can you tell us the rules as far as interviewing and or promoting coaches from another team. There seems to be a debate about it on one of the threads and I would like to know as well. Can you not interview one if they deny permission even for a promotion?

  5. By Darren Urban on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Hammer —

    RE: Interviews of assistants

    Unless the opening the assistant is interviewing for is head coach, his current team can deny permission, even if it is a promotion — say, from secondary coach to defensive coordinator. It happens more often than you think.

    If the assistant’s contract is expiring, you still have to ask for permission right after the season. I think the rule is something like the second Tuesday after a team’s season is over, that contract for the coach officially expires. But at first, the coach’s current team has first crack and you can’t talk to him without permission.

  6. By mike hadzinski on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply


    I Think Whiz obviously will start with the pitt coachews if Butler & Dick stay in PITT then the attention turns TO RAY HORTON the DBS COACH I LOVE IT B/C HE COCAHES THE BEST SAFTEY IN THE LEAGUE WT TROY I would like to see what happeneds if he HOOKS UP with wilson

  7. By Jesse Robles on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply


  8. By Jeff Gollin on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    This has the taste and smell of the outside media speculating without much more than common sense to go by. (i.e. they’re simply listing as possible candidates every Steeler assistant coach whose name they can remember).

    In Pro Football (as in Egypt as in life) – we’d be well advised not to get too far out in front of emerging stories and, instead, “let them come to us.”

    We’ll know when we know.

  9. By John on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply


    That would make too much sense. You should know by now how this team operates. Everyone but the man himself knows he is a terrible OC. Its some taboo question apparently. All attention is on this DC choice and waiting and speculating leading up to some big climax as the decision is finally made. As if this is going to change the Cardinals season lol.

  10. By K-DUB on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply


    Who do you feel will be our best choice? Say if all were available after the SB?

  11. By Darren Urban on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    K-Dub —

    RE: DC

    Honestly, I have no idea what kind of coaches they are. I mean, if you want pie in the sky, it would have to be LeBeau, right? But I don’t think he’s going to leave Pittsburgh.

  12. By jocards on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    In 2009 the offense was very good. Whisenhunt called the plays, Warner was under center. In 2010 the offense was very bad. Whisenhunt called the plays, Anderson/Hall/Skelton were under center. To me this does not indicate that Whisenhunt is “a terrible OC”. It does indicate that the Cardinals got mostly subpar play from the most vital position on the field last season, QB. Was that the whole story? Certainly not but it was a good chunk of it. I’m not saying coach did a great job calling plays last season nor am I saying he made great personnel decisions all the way down the line. I think all the coaches and all of the players could’ve been better but I don’t think it’s fair to say that Whisenhunt is a terrible OC either. My opinion.

  13. By latch on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply


    I think your opinion is right on. Whiz can’t suit up and play. I have not heard one mention of the dropped passes by the Great Fitz.

    A lot of pissing and moaning about getting rid of boldin,dansby and rolle.

    Boldin cost the ravens a trip to the big game and cost the cards a ring.I don’t think dansby or rolle were in any playoff games.

    Rhodes is the only player who had a pro-bowl year and he is overlooked by everyone.

    Everyone blames Whiz for his third down calls but I would like to know what he should have done; give it to Beanie ?

    Hopefully the new DC will put everyones job up for grabs-DRC on down.

  14. By Alberto Sordi on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    What is the status of Chris Miller, quarterback coach and that head coaching position in Oregon? If it is a done deal, how about Jeremy Bates as his replacement. Right now we are getting blasted by snow and high winds in Chicago.

  15. By Darren Urban on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Alberto —

    RE: Chris Miller

    The school at which he applied wasn’t supposed to make a decision until Feb. 8.

  16. By tyman on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Ask bill who you should hire whiz. Just some advice from a loyal cards fan.

  17. By brad oneill on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    jocards- a good oc plays to the strengths of his team. whiz failed to do that on multiple occasions. He called pass plays on 3rd down because he felt the qbs should be able to complete them even though they showed time and time again that they couldn’t. he went away from the run too often this season. he called plays that went to fitzgerald when fitz was not playing well and was not on the same page as the qb. Fitz is a great wr but it was obvious he wasn’t quite ready for game day in the first game of the season. Very few coaches pull a player for fumbling.

  18. By ClubLevel Seating on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    No quarterback equals no offense. its that simply. Draft a QB and cross your fingers you get it right.

  19. By Scott H on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    OK, can we all just agree that both Haley ( in 2008 ) AND Whiz ( in 2009 ) benefitted TREMENDOUSLY from having an elite QB as good as Warner was during those seasons? Warner was so good at reading defenses, it was like having a coach in uniform on the field. And his accuracy was positively deadly. The fact that there was a different OC for each of those seasons leads us to the simple conclusion that Warner was truly THE guy who was making this offense go. Without Warner, Whiz appeared to be a lousy OC because the offense was so bad. I blame Whiz for the whole Derek Anderson situation and for sticking with him entirely too long. I also blame him for play-calling that was too pass-heavy when the QB play was so poor. But I don’t know that Whiz is really a bad OC. Just as I don’t know how Todd Haley would have fared last year if HE were still the OC with Warner gone. All of that being said, I do absolutely agree that this team would be better off with Whiz just being the head coach and another person serving as the OC. Enough with this run-game coordinator, passing-game coordinator crap. Give the job to ONE GUY, Whiz, and just go back to being the head coach. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple.

  20. By MikeFlorio on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Urb!! Thought you might wanna know, the weather sucks here you wouldn’t like it anyways. Also I am working on trying to break the DC position with the cards as dilligently as possible. Truth of the matter is, most coaches here don’t think that they can let whis ride their coats tails like he has with the denny green system. And I can see why the Steelers hired tomlin over whiterhunt, i mean whisenhunt. He managed to make it back to a second superbowl, and the cards didn’t even make a playoff run. Not like days of old with 100% Cotton or Buddy ball, looks like Mcginnis might have another head coaching job as well.

  21. By andy on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    I think we should get an offensive coordinator with some success — maybe someone who has won a Super Bowl as an O.C. Someone like, like, like Ken Whisenhunt. By the way, name an O.C. who doesn’t abandon the run when they get down early and often. Should we run the ball when we’re down two or three touchdowns? I am not one who thinks Whisenhunt is God, but I agree with Latch and Jocards.

  22. By John on Feb 1, 2011 | Reply

    i agree with you completely brad oneill. you must be watching the same games i am. when someone says regarding third and shorts “what is he supposed to do give it to beanie?” i can only wonder what games they are watching. beanie is made for a 3rd and 1 situation, his momentum is always forward and he gains 1 or 2 yards at least while being tackled. If all those idiotic 3rd and 1 calls as an incomplete 15 yard pass had been given to beanie, i think just on that alone they would have made the playoffs.

  23. By WNY CARD FAN on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    The waiting is painful, so I’ve got to weigh in even though I know hardly anything about he inner workings of football etc….

    DC – I think I get why the wait, I just hope the wait is worth it wether its his first choice or not. Get someone with brains, leandership, etc to mold these guys into something better than the 30th (or whatever) best DEF in the league. I’ll take mid pack PLEASE!!!!!

    OC – until you get some offense to brag about, I am beginning to believe its hard to rate Coach’s ability to call plays and HC sametime. Lets face it O-line stunk, QB really stunk, RB were so so. The one thing that did bug me was the 3rd down play calling was really out of whack with reality. I’ll wait and see

    New/FA players – I am not that up on the draft and who’s who etc…. As everyone else, we need a QB BAD. With the current Kolb stories going around, I’d say do whatever it takes to get him. Its worth a shot. He’s young, shown he can play, etc….DEF LB’s need some talent and as someone else said new DC should have everyone on DEF job on the line, up to them to make the team not grandfathered in because 2 years ago you were decent. I am still worried about the Offense development, I mean play calling not withstanding, doesn’t look like we have a lot of talent period (TE, LIne, even RB is spotty).

    Finally, read a few other stories, like Sando’s, and you hear the talk about (as example) how good, passionate, and strong the Rooney’s are in making sure their team is set up to win. I am pessimestic at best about Bidwell’s out look on how they run the team. yeah they want to win, but as cheap as possible. I work for a living so I know and advocate you don’t go out and just spend like crazy, but somethings you have to pay to get results. Just not so sure they will do that.

    Time will tell and we’ll have to wait to see what happens. I love to see cards come back from this horrible season, but right now, my opinion is they’ll probably still have a losing season next year regardless (like 7 – 9 at best). I am HOPEFUL that I’ll have to come back in a few months and say that I’ve chaqnged my opinion.

  24. By jocards on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    brad oneill – And the strengths of the team were exactly what?

  25. By latch on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    No one seems to mention what Whiz did as O/C with a rookie qb in Pittsburg.

    Cowher had finally got the Steelers cresting after the Noll years and Whiz was the O/C.

    If Whiz had got to job the Steelers would have probably won three Superbowls by now. I could have won a super bowl with the players and staff Tomlin was handed. Not so sure Tomlin could have taken the Cards there if he was coaching in AZ.

    Give Whiz time to get rid of all the whiners and underachievers with attitude problems here and let him build this team his way. How long would Boldin been kept under Cowher?

  26. By bluepitt on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    All I have to say on WHIZ’s Play calling is : Wake up all you jock sniffers the proof is in da puddn. I want to start by saying this: In no way shape or form does a 2 td deficit going in to the half mean we need to come out with a crappy (Anderson) or rook QB and pass non stop! I’m sorry but it doesn’t! Yes we got blown up in a couple of games but most others we were in it till the 3rd quarter. Then the non stop passing just killed us!
    The Pass to run ratio got us in the hole going in to the 3rd to begin with.
    For the record, Whiz was going to come here and bring smash mouth Steelers football mentality. ( run down your throat and then clean you up with the pass)
    well he failed and it is not due to Warner’s Passing ability like every one said in 08/09. Warner made his crappy play calling work in 09. The play calling was the same we just had Warner to compensate!!! The following is the truth like it or not!

    10th in yards per carry W 4.3 .5 yards out of 2nd
    (First doesn’t count with Vick) Yes I said 10th .5 yds from 2nd with 75% less carries than the top 10 teams.

    32nd in Attempts DEAD LAST W 320 30 less than washington at 31st and 236 less than league leader KC who went to the playoffs. (OC’s Fault)

    20 /DEAD LAST (OC’s Fault)

    1st 3 way tie but ours was a TD so we rank 1st

    Fumbles: Middle of the pack

    NFL Average in rushes in 2010 is 470 that would give us a conservative 2,021 yards at the end of the season

    Yards Per Game:
    29th With 204. KC is 31st with 199 they “ran” in to the post season why didn’t we? ( OC’s fault to many passes vs run’s)

    Attempts Season:
    11th with 560 what a joke (OC Called all those pass plays!! KC had over 500 run plays)

    Atempts Per Game:
    11th with 35.1 7 less than league leader Payton Manning/Indy.
    (OC must have thought we had Payton at the helm!)

    Yards Season:
    29th W 3,264


    TD Season:
    31st with 9 league avg is 20 freaking TD’s

    Comp %:
    50.8 yes I said 50.8 Not even Vegas Odds!!!!!
    We had a 50/50 shot every time we threw the ball!!! WTF WTF!!!!!!! Play to your Strengths RUN at least half the time!!!!

    With Warner, Manning Hell even Castle you can pass to set up the run, But in the NFL, the standard is RUN to Set UP THE pASS!!

    Well there you have it Darren my weekly rant!
    PS: ” We just played to what the game dictated” WTF does that mean? Passing non stop got you down by14, so that didn’t work lets RUN!! Mora even said it commentating the SF game!!!

  27. By TBru on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    I think Wiz is smart to wait for a winner than snatching up some one from a losing organization. The system is probably not the best, winning the Super Bowl should be more important that planning your next gig. The only real solution, if the league wants to change that is have a hiring freeze until after the season.

  28. By TBru on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    I thought assistants always had the option of getting out of their contracts if it meant a promotion

  29. By Darren Urban on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    TBru —

    RE: Contracts/coaching promotions

    No. Only if the promotion is to become head coach.

  30. By formerAZresident on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    Yes latch u r correct! If we had dick lebeau as our DC we would have a superbowl and tomlin would been fired by the steelers now. It is just the waiting that’s killing everyone on who would be our the new DC. For the quaterback situation I think free agency would be better, and use our draft on O-line and line backers secondary, also maybe a widereciever

  31. By joe67 on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    Well said, Latch!!

  32. By Chris B on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    Jason La confora just said it’s “very likely” butler will leave Pit if he tells them wants to and he has a history of having good sources on stuff. Just FYI.

  33. By Chuck ! on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    You are spot on with everything.
    It will take a few years to right the Cards’ ship. There are too many positions that don’t have top notch players. For all of you who say that there is lots of talent on the roster, PLEASE STOP. How many players did the Cards place on the 2010 NFL All-Pro team??? NADA, ZIP, ZERO!!!
    Re: Whiz as O\C;
    I would give him one more year. If offense doesn’t improve (with a better QB and an improved line), SIGN AN OC!!!..I don’t see a .500 season, let alone a winning one, until 2012 at the earliest, primarily because of the talent gap.

    To: Latch
    You are correct regarding Tomlin and Whiz and the success of the Steelers.
    With a HOF DC, HOF strong safety, HOF QB, almost impenetrable LBs and an organization that drafts well and is driven to WIN, you or I, as HC, could have won AFC Central Division Championships and gone to the Super Bowl.

    Off the subject, but I had to get it off my chest (again) since it appears that some fans want to draft LOCAL i.e. AZ or UT players, FUGGEDABOUTIT!!! How well did Max work out? I don’t care if players are from Alaska, Maine, Florida or the Dakotas, DRAFT THE BEST PLAYERS!!!

  34. By Patrick on Feb 2, 2011 | Reply

    bluepint please. Warner was a 5-11 QB without Whiz… I think Whiz’s playcalling was good the entire season, the only problem is that he had Derek Anderson throwing the ball.

  35. By bluepitt on Feb 3, 2011 | Reply

    @ Andy,
    I would tend to agree, but when you have a QB that cant hit a bull in the a$$ with a scoop full of rice YOU HAVE A PROBLEM… We didn’t start out running we started every game 3 and out passing! the definition of insanity!! Keep on doing the same thing over and over———-> Well you get it.
    Ok lets put your theory to the test! I assume you read my post on Whiz if not here is a brief: 560 pass att to 360 run att Nuf said!
    Lets look back:
    Sun 10/24 Seattle Seahawks at Seattle (3-2) L 10 – 22 lost by 12 points
    Pass Yds 114 rush Yds 113 And 5 turnovers We had that game running the BALL!!!!!!! We were down and Whiz Started passing when we were crushing them with the run. 1 turn over running and pass pass pass!!!!!!

    Sun 10/31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay (4-2) L 35 – 38
    lost by 3 where is the blow out? to warrant all the passing we did?
    We just came off a 113 yd running game and the caries were cut in this one but we still put up 100yds.

    Sun 11/7 Minnesota Vikings at Minnesota (2-5) L 24 – 27
    Flip flopping Qb’s Heavy pass game and low run attempts!!! Where is The blow out to warrant so much passing by sub par QB’s. We had just came off of a 100yd rush game we ran only 17 or so times if I remember correctly we only put up 50 odd yards due to lack of attempts. Pass att were in the 35-40’s WTF!!!

    there is 3 or 4 more winnable games lost by under 14 points, and 14 pts is hardly the time to hit the panic buton and jst pass!!

    Go over the game logs and take a long look. You will see that when we play the teams with great run D’s we do well and when we face teams with poor run D’s we do crappy. That is Coaching and play calling. Most of all scheeming for a good run D and not scheeming for the poor ones and it showed. Go over it, see for your self. When we actually ran the ball we were very completive and had a chance. When we passed more than 50% we got whooped!!! We were a Running team last year like it or not! But our OC likes his receptiveness. We had success with the Pass in the Past(08/09) why don’t we have it now? Ill tell you why We had no QB and he was to stubborn to fix it mid season, Ratty would have been better or even Garcia from the UFL!!
    Or Just RUN The BALL!!!!!

  36. By WNY CARD FAN on Feb 3, 2011 | Reply

    bluepitts stats are both incredible and depressing. He summed it up well….. WTF? I don’t have all the stats at my finger tips, but even the Bills up here who’ve had 12 losing seasons (or something like that) were able this year to have great games and show, at times, sparks of a great running game, great passing game, good def. Didn’t win much, but you felt good about them and had some hope every game. With stat’s like that, all I can think of is that guy in the stands a while back with the bag on his head.

  37. By bluepitt on Feb 3, 2011 | Reply

    Patric… Warner 5-11 QB? WTF? With out WHIZ? Are you kidding me? 5-11
    haha He did better than that with Denny and no O-Line…I really hope you are being sarcastic!
    Just read your post: Warner is a 5-11 QB with out Whiz’s play calling, But but we had a crappy QB this year (Anderson) With The Same Play calling????
    So to you a 5-11 Qb is not crappy?
    Dude go back to the World Of War craft Game and levee the Football to us MEN!
    Are we talking about the same Warner? You know the one who went to 3 SB’s and
    is the most prolific passer in the Post season? That Warner? Where was Whiz when he was not a Card?
    I know Sitting at home Watching him in the SB!!!!

    I am praying you are being sarcastic……..
    Just like Brady isnt crap with out Moss hahaha

  38. By bluepitt on Feb 3, 2011 | Reply

    Patrick, how about Warner when Haley was calling plays?
    was he a 3-13 QB…lol
    OK im done

  39. By bluepitt on Feb 3, 2011 | Reply

    Sorrrry One Last Thing.
    Warner Checked out of most plays called that was why he was so great “reading the D” what you got this year was Pure Whiz’s and his play calling! none to little checking to a different play by the rook’s or Anderson!!!!

    The fact being Warner Checked and changed the play over 45% of the time based on what the D gave him so you witnessed Warner Ball not Whiz Ball! Watch some of Warner’s interviews he talks about doing just that! you know

    OK done for real!!!!

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Feb 2, 2011: Around the NFC West: Bradford on changes | NowSportsLive

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: