Cardinals interview James Bettcher, will take time in search

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The Cardinals interviewed defensive coordinator James Bettcher on Wednesday, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, as they began the process of replacing Bruce Arians.

Bettcher, 39, arrived in Arizona with Arians from the Colts in 2013. He spent the past three seasons as the team’s defensive coordinator, replacing Todd Bowles after Bowles became the Jets’ head coach.

Bettcher’s defenses have finished each season ranked in the top six in yards allowed.

Team president Michael Bidwill and General Manager Steve Keim will travel to Minnesota on Thursday to meet with Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Arizona also has interviews scheduled with Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong and Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak. Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores also reportedly are on their list.

Every candidate on their list, aside from Bettcher, is in the postseason, which Bidwill said will dictate the pace of the search. Bidwill wants the candidates to visit the team’s facilities.

“That’s an important part,” Bidwill said, via Darren Urban of the team website, “especially for those who don’t know the organization well, haven’t seen our training facility, haven’t seen our stadium except maybe for a game, haven’t gotten a chance to get to know the staff here. . . . Get a feel for the vibe.”

Carson Palmer retired, so the Cardinals don’t have a quarterback to sell to coaching candidates. But Bidwill noted the team didn’t have a starting quarterback when Arians arrived either.

“We’ve got options,” Bidwill said. “To me, if you are a coach, do you want to have a quarterback in place, or have the option of being a part in deciding who that quarterback is?”

4 responses to “Cardinals interview James Bettcher, will take time in search

  1. Under Bettcher, Cardinals defense played well the last month of season. Before that, very inconsistent. Fell apart during 4th quarter against Detroit, couldn’t stop Tampa Bay during the second half and nearly blew a huge lead, and made Tom Savage look like Tom Brady. But it seemed like Bettcher did a pretty good job of running the defense. He lost key players from the previous year (Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson), had to incorporate a bunch of new guys (Bethea, Baker, Reddick, Williams, Bynes), and had several guys miss time because of injuries (Golden, Branch, Bucannon, Nkemdiche). If Bettcher isn’t chosen for the head coaching job, I’d hope that whoever is selected will keep Bettcher as the defensive coordinator.

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