“Black Monday” and inevitable coaching change

Posted by Darren Urban on December 30, 2014 – 10:20 am

Bruce Arians was asked about his thoughts of “Black Monday,” the day after the NFL regular season when a handful of coaches and GMs inevitably lose their jobs.

“You feel bad for them, but there’s only two kinds of coaches — those that are fired and those who are going to get fired,” Arians said.

The Cardinals went through it recently when Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves were let go, and that opened the door for the arrivals of Arians and Steve Keim. But even for the teams that don’t make changes, “Black Monday” represents the possibility of staff upheaval. Especially for the good teams who have assistants who are attractive head coaching candidates. For the Cardinals, that means defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Don’t forget, when Arians walked in the door and announced the hiring of both Bowles and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, he said at the time his whole goal was to get both of them head coaching jobs. So losing one (or both) at some point was at least portrayed as inevitable. Will Bowles go anywhere? We’ll see. He’s made it clear he won’t just take any job. Then again, there are only 32 NFL head coaching jobs and you only remain a “hot” candidate for so long. (Ask Russ Grimm.) He must also sort through the part of the equation where teams need to interview at least one minority candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule; Bowles has to figure out what may be a legitimate chance at a job and what might not be.

Reports have the 49ers, Jets and Falcons all wanting to interview Bowles. He cannot be interviewed until next week. Those teams asking permission to do so, by the way? That’s just a formality. The Cardinals cannot refuse permission for an assistant to be interviewed/take a head coaching job. And given that Arians has long talked about Bowles as a head coach, it only makes sense the Cardinals have a plan in place if Bowles leaves.

(No, I don’t know what it would be at this point.)

In the meantime, the Cardinals have a playoff game against Carolina. Arians, Bowles and crew are prepping for that, so there is no black cloud hovering around the Cards’ complex this week.

“Thank God it ain’t me this time,” Arians said, grinning. “It will be someday.”


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Posted in Blog | 35 Comments »

35 Responses to ““Black Monday” and inevitable coaching change”

  1. By Jim Schu on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, do you see the Cardinals offering something similar to Cromartie in the offseason as they did to Dansby at the end of last year? Im guessing he signed the one years deal with us to follow in Karlos’ footsteps contract wise?

  2. By Darren Urban on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Jim Schu —

    RE: Cromartie

    That makes sense to me. We’ll see what other offers he’ll get. I would not be surprised to see him money-whipped elsewhere.

  3. By kauaicardsfan on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Coach Arians, when the time comes,you will retire the Cardinals all time
    winning est coach !!! We are so lucky to have you and the rest of the staff !!!
    Now lets take out Carolina this weekend !!!
    CO CARDS!!

  4. By Steve on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: As I understand it football contracts are not guaranteed like baseball, so if say the Cards traded Fitzgerald to the Patriots for a 2 and a 4, Belichick and Kraft could rework Larrys contract to be more feasible, correct? I’m just saying if we cant keep Larry I’m hoping we can at least get something in return.

  5. By Darren Urban on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Fitz contract

    That is correct. But if traded, Fitz is under no obligation to do that, so he would have the leverage.

  6. By Richard L on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    It would be great to see BA hire Rod Marinelli, former Chicago and current Dallas DC, replace Bowles. They would make a great team.

  7. By jme on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Bowles and any coach talk is nonsense right now! Bowles need to worry about this Defense tacking a dive at the wrong time. Clean up this mess the D has gotten into and put in a awesome playoff run (2 Wins or “More”). After 1st Sunday in Feb then entertain this talk, but not now.

  8. By D on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Your CRO question would make myself, like Mr. Keim, extend and give a raise to J. Bethel, I think he is due to get a shot at starting at CB. Still use a 2 or 3rd round pick on a Corner, but I don’t see CRO staying here for less money.

    Some free agent names on my short list:
    J. Worilds OLB
    A. Brooks OLB (he’ll get cut due to high cap#)
    M. Spaeth TE
    R. Helu RB
    O. Franklin G
    C. Boling G

    Would be nice to add some of these players once contracts/cap #’s are
    adjusted for next year

  9. By ryan on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply


  10. By clssylssy on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    I think Coach Bowles has a pretty sweet deal here in Arizona and you have to know that when the team game him that extension this spring, it was with the knowledge that he could once again be at the top of the list for HC positions. I’m speculating that the organization is thinking backup plan for when Coach BA retires, allowing for that “once in a lifetime opportunity” should it come along, hopefully not being anytime soon. For most people family trumps moving especially if there is only a small upside although SF would still be close…even for a commute and would qualify as that lifetime opportunity. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking but maybe not!
    Even if assistants are still under contract, this organization has not historically denied anyone from accepting a position elsewhere going with a coach headed for bigger things (that I can recall).
    We may not want to think about it right now with the playoffs on the horizon but the reality is that like every year next season will have an entirely new look and once again there will be that learning curve and period of adjustment to face. Best thing we can do now is just focus on what we can control which is the game on Saturday:)

  11. By Dale Martin on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    The Cards should never let Arians go, he has made wonders with a team that it does not have a real QB…

  12. By Mark on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Sorry but I don’t see Todd being a head coach. He never gets emotional. You have to have a fire in you to motivate these guys and right now his defense is not motivated. Maybe go after Suh in the off season! Dockett will be cheap too.

  13. By rod on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    The only place I see Bowles going to is Atlanta.

    If not there then he’ll be back.

    But ya never know.

  14. By WA52LZ on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Hi Darren,
    is the game going to be on a local station as well as ESPN, like MNF?

  15. By Darren Urban on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    WA5 —

    RE: Stations

    It will also be on KASW, Ch. 61 over the air.

  16. By Scott H on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Darren –

    Is there ANY feel for where we stand with Stanton? When does it seem likely we WILL have a feel for this situation? Did he practice at all today?

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Stanton

    I do not think he practiced today (no injury report before Wednesday) and personally, I do not expect him to play. But we’ll see.

  18. By Scott H on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Mark –

    Bowles won’t be a good HC because he never gets emotional and you have to have a fire in you to motivate players?


    Then how do you explain the guy wearing the hoodie in New England??? Has there EVER been a coach more lacking in emotion than him??? Perhaps there is something to be said for coaches who are LESS emotional.

  19. By Dr. G. on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    Well, going back to early 2013, Arians said he will call plays until he finds someone who can do it better. ((repetition)) Regarding this article, we could interpret this as meaning he does not think Goodwin is good enough to call plays. That does not bode well for wanting to get your OC a promotion, does it.?

    But recently, I have concluded that BA wants to call plays even if Vince Lombardi was his OC. ((the real truth)) So, Harold, do not take this personally… Maybe BA has run his course getting his jollies and will give you a shot next year in games after pre-season.

    I detest this Rooney rule. It’s like teams are made to use a man as a token to fulfill a requirement though they have no intentions to really consider him. That’s “crap.”
    Darren, you cover this subject with tactful sensitivity…

    Bowles can take good “D” to Atlanta to add to the decent “O” they already have. He would be a good fit there. He has good managerial and public demeanor, though he admits he can get after it in the privacy of the locker room…later

  20. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    I can’t imagine why the 49ers wouldn’t go with their DC, Nick Fangio, or OC Greg Roman as their next HC. Perhaps it’s just a given that they’ve been interviewed, but I haven’t seen their names linked to the 49ers HC gig in any of the national media stories.

  21. By georgiebird on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    No one knows where these head coaches will come from. Some teams need fannies in the seats, some teams need their PSL’s sold, and some teams don’t want to pay. There are so many variables in a hire that no one knows where the tipping point is.
    I even read where a few guys said that Bowles would end up in Atlanta. Anything can happen due to the reasons mentioned above- But was Atlanta impressed with the Cards’ defense that gave up 5.5 y/c to Steven Jackson and over 300 yds to two WRs.
    Somebody is going to guess correctly but it’s more a matter of the “blind squirrel” or “broken clock” approach.

  22. By Dynosoar on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    In another article Arians stated Lindley is not a 3rd string QB.

    He’s a starting QB in the NFL.

    “Treat a man as he is and he will remain that man. Treat a man as he can become and he will become that man.” – Goetthe

    BA is proving he is an elite head coach for any sport. One of the reasons is he understands what Goetthe understood and that’s why Next Man Up works on this team and not on others. Every “NMU” is treated as a starter as soon as they step into the starting position.

  23. By Dynosoar on Dec 30, 2014 | Reply

    As to Bowles, he’ll be a great head coach wherever he wants to go and as to not wanting him in SF, can you imagine the chess match between him and BA if he did go there? Not sure I want that, then again, those would be some games to watch.

    I like our defensive line coach Brentson Buckner to become (now or later) our DC. Whenever someone on offense or defense makes a great play, Brentson is right there congratulating him with a HUGE grin. He’s also done wonders with all the injuries we’ve faced.

  24. By Mark on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren will the Cardinal’s-Panther’s Wildcard Game be televised on local tv or do you need to have ESPN? Thanks

  25. By Darren Urban on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: TV

    It will be on KASW Ch. 61.

  26. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    Agreed. There are only 5 vacancies by my count. And there are a lot more than 5 strong candidates. I don’t know if Bowles will get any offers (and there may be some offers that he might not even want to accept). Like you, I keep reading about the Falcons being a possible landing place for Bowles, but I hear they also asked to interview Dan Quinn. If you decide to go for a defensive guy, wouldn’t you go with the guy who’s been the coordinator for the league’s top defense for several years?

  27. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosoar —

    I like that Arians says that about Lindley. I mean, you don’t want your head coach saying, “Well, we’re playing our backup to our backup, so we’re in a heap of trouble.”

    But let’s not kid ourselves. He’s the guy who said he was perfectly comfortable with Stanton as our starter when we signed him last year, and then we went out and got Palmer. Of course you say you’re comfortable with Stanton because if you can’t get someone better, you’re going to have to play him, and you want to project confidence. But was Arians really comfortable going into his first season as a permanent head coach with a long-time backup as his starting QB? Well, the fact that we went out and got Palmer says no, unless you believe the Palmer acquisition was all Keim without input from Arians.

  28. By Corgon on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Hello Darren,

    are the teams able to prohibit their assistant coaches, who are under contract to go to a division rival? Or all the 31 teams has the same chances?

    Aaaaaaaand happy new year for you, for the team and every Cards fan as well!

  29. By Darren Urban on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Corgon —

    RE: Assistants

    If an assistant is under contract, he can be blocked from moving — unless that team wants to hire him as a head coach.

  30. By Richard L on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply


    Happy New Year! Thank you for the great articles and a forum for Cards fans throughout the year. Listed below are my New Year resolutions. Anything to add?

    1. Stay Fit-z
    2. Put best Foote forward
    3. A Frostee and a Ker-wich on gameday
    4. Time to get GINNed up for the playoffs
    5. Play angry Birds

  31. By rod on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Here are a few more resolutions for the team.

    1) start Smokey’ing again
    2) win a few hands Campbell’ing
    3) give the Panthers fans a BA!!

  32. By Darren Urban on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Louis —

    RE: “bad sportsmanship”

    Actually, Louis, it’s what I call trolling.

  33. By superbowlcards on Dec 31, 2014 | Reply

    Bucknewer is well on his way to move up the ladder, but he still needs 3-4 years of seasoning before he is ready to be a DC.

  34. By clssylssy on Jan 2, 2015 | Reply

    I suspect that the organization has a plan for advancement of people within the organization if possible. Also, after last season and our defensive success this season (in most people’s eye’s), it comes as no surprise that Coach Bowles would be among those at the top of many lists for a HC job. Personally, I hate the way the excitement of playoffs gets trumped by the early arrival of the gloom and doom
    brigade with all their speculations for dismantlement of teams still going forward. What will be, will be, but, can we just focus on the task at hand? The reality is that this is a great opportunity for this team to see “lighting in a bottle” and we have played some of our best games when we were the underdog. While the majority of analysts don’t think we have a chance, I was surprised that there are still those who believe in what this team is capable of (including PFT’s Mike Florio) which has got to be a first, so we are making small inroads!
    Not that many years ago Cam New and Patrick Peterson shared the national stage as they met for their first rookie game in the desert. The Cards were victorious that day, but, we saw that Cam was everything and more that he had been hyped to be. The Panthers are a lot like the Cards in that they are capable of being winners despite some of their performances. Now that the stakes are much higher, I’m hoping that PP will be able to tap into his inner self and be “that guy” again …perhaps even having another game winning TD! Nonetheless, let’s focus on the formula that has proved to bring us success all year, believing that we could win against anybody, one game at a time.
    Good luck all, let’s go out to finish strong!

  35. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2015 | Reply

    As stated by DR G above, I am not a fan of the Rooney Rule, either. Because I think we all know it ends up being nothing more than a charade in at least some cases every year. And when something is a charade and everyone KNOWS it is a charade, then….how good are we supposed to feel about it??? Are charades what we need to truly solve a problem?

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