Arizona Cardinals should avoid retread head coaching choices

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions walks the sideline while playing the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field on October 27, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions walks the sideline while playing the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field on October 27, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Rather than hiring a head coach who has already experienced failure, the Arizona Cardinals would do better with a fresh face

It’s that time again for the Arizona Cardinals. Five years have passed since their last search for a head coach took place. That choice, Bruce Arians, has just called it quits, and it’s now time for the team to find his successor.

The recent trend, one that’s taken place in the NFC West at least, is to hire youngsters to lead your squad. 31-year old Sean McVay led the annually-mediocre Los Angeles Rams to an 11-5 record and a division title this year. 38-year old Kyle Shanahan seems to have the recently-downtrodden San Francisco 49ers spiralling upward, having finished 2017 with five straight wins.

The early list of candidates being talked about for Arizona’s head job is a mix of new blood and retreads. Some of the names are interesting, some not so much. The hiring of a new head coach is maybe the most important decision that a franchise can make, and this one is obviously no different.

One of the more intriguing names on the list is the New England Patriots’ Matt Patricia. The defensive coordinator has already been linked to the Cards, and also to some other clubs as well. Getting to coach defenders such as Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones, Deone Bucannon and Budda Baker could possibly be appealing to the defensive-minded 43-year old.

Another up-and-comer is the Philadelphia Eagles’ John DeFilippo. Carson Wentz’s position coach has earned a reputation as a quarterback guru. The 39-year old could be a perfect fit in the desert, considering the fact that their quarterback room will most likely be starting from scratch in 2018.

Another who would fit the bill is actually an in-house candidate. Coordinator James Bettcher’s defenses have ranked no lower than sixth in the NFL since he succeeded Todd Bowles in 2015. Being a part of the Arians tree is a plus for the 39-year old, and he’d almost certainly have the endorsement of the departed coach.

The New England Patriots’ Josh McDaniels could technically be considered a retread. The offensive-minded assistant failed in a two-year stint as the Denver Broncos’ head coach (2009-10), but was in his early 30’s at the time. His success as Tom Brady’s playcaller since then has possibly earned him another shot.

Related Story: Arizona Cardinals: Matt Patricia makes sense

As mentioned, retreads do appear on the Cardinals’ short-list as well. Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz once coached the Detroit Lions (2009-13). Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was the Cleveland Browns’ head man for two campaigns (2011-12).

Schwartz led the Lions to a playoff appearance following the 2011 season, but accumulated an unimpressive 29-51 mark overall. The 51-year old’s tenure was highlighted by his infamous skirmish with then-49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh following a 2011 contest. Shurmur was blown out of Cleveland after posting an ugly 9-23 record.

The retread coach route has failed Arizona miserably in the past (Buddy Ryan and Dennis Green come to mind). A fresh, new face to replace Arians could be exactly what the organization needs right now. The McVays and Shanahans of the world are out there, it’s up to the Cards’ front office to get out there and find them.