CARDINALS FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGE PENDERGAST FIRING, LOOKING FOR NEW DEFENSIVE BOSS

The Arizona Cardinals broke their public silence about the recent firing of defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast following the Super Bowl, issuing a statement from coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Meanwhile, the team is trying to find his replacement and still wants to get permission to interview highly-regarded Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, the Arizona Republic reports.  Butler remains under contract, so the Steelers could deny permission again.
Linebackers coach Bill Davis is a strong internal candidate having run the San Francisco 49ers’ defense as their coordinator in 2005 and 2006.  He has a background in the 3-4 defense.
Secondary coach Teryl Austin’s name has been thrown into the mix, too.
Pendergast’s departure ends a five-year tenure as defensive coordinator in the Valley of the Sun.  He was one of the few coaches Whisenhunt kept when he took over two years ago.
Despite a strong postseason marked by several turnovers, the defense was simply too inconsistent overall to satisfy Whisenhunt.  Plus, Whisenhunt obviously wants his own guy to run the defense.
“He was one of the guys retained from the previous staff and has done a good job,” Whisenhunt said in a statement.  “But as part of the evaluation process that’s done after every season, I took a look at the last two years as a whole and felt this move was necessary to help us continue the progress we’ve made.”