Top 3 darkhorse head coach candidates for the Arizona Cardinals
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals have requested to interview three coaches so far, along with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, but there will be more on the way.
The Arizona Cardinals need to get it right at head coach. Between 2019 and 2022, they whiffed with Kliff Kingsbury, and while we saw flashes, we also saw more downs than ups.
So far, Sean Payton has emerged as a fan favorite, even if he will cost some brutal compensation if the Cardinals plan on hiring him. There are other solid names, like Brian Flores and DeMeco Ryans, who Arizona has also requested to interview.
But this coaching search is far from over. And below, you will see three names that haven’t necessarily been on the Cardinals radar, but could wind up there, mainly thanks to their ability to run an offense and to work with quarterbacks with an skill set akin to Kyler Murray’s. Let’s check them out.
1 – Jim Harbaugh
Word has it that Harbaugh will most likely stay at Michigan, but if there is one constant in an NFL offseason, it is the famous smokescreen. While it’s hard to foresee Harbaugh leaving his brewing empire at Michigan, he would return to the NFL and coach the Arizona Cardinals if the price was right and the situation ideal.
What I’m getting at is, if owner Michael Bidwill were to request an interview with and give the long-tenured head coach a strong say in personnel decisions, Harbaugh might just come to the desert. It is a longshot, but the possibility is definitely there.
Update: Jim Harbaugh is reportedly returning to Michigan for the 2023 season, per ESPN.
2 – Shane Steichen
The Arizona Cardinals want Kyler Murray to be the guy moving forward. And why wouldn’t they? The Redbirds only spent the number one overall pick and have since paid him like a franchise quarterback.
Steichen, currently with the Philadelphia Eagles, would bring out the best in Murray. We know what he can do with dual threat quarterbacks thanks to the way he transformed Jalen Hurts into one of the league’s most reputable names. Steichen hasn’t been linked to the Cardinals yet, but his accolades should land him an interview.
3 – Ken Dorsey
While Steichen worked well with Jalen Hurts, Dorsey worked well with another dual threat quarterback with spotty accuracy. That quarterback is Josh Allen, who has consistently been one of the league’s best names.
Dorsey may only have one year of experience running an entire unit, but we did see how passionate he was about his job earlier this season. He would bring fire to the Arizona Cardinals and like Steichen, should be a great fit for Murray.
Overall, you need to expect the unexpected when it comes to any NFL offseason. While we have some popular names swirling around the organization, don’t be surprised if the Cardinals scoop up any of the above if the situation calls for it.
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