Darkhorse candidate could be next coach of the Arizona Cardinals
By Jim Koch
Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen could come out of nowhere to be the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
Anyone who follows the Arizona Cardinals has heard all of the names associated with the team’s vacant head-coaching position. The highly-coveted Sean Payton is certainly the number-one choice of the fans. Others such as Vance Joseph, DeMeco Ryans and Brian Flores have also been mentioned as possibilities.
One individual who hasn’t been connected to the opening in Arizona thus far is Shane Bowen, the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. That could now change, however, due to something the Cardinals did this past Monday.
The fact that the Cards hired Monti Ossenfort to be the club’s new general manager is an acquisition that could ultimately work in Bowen’s favor. For the past three seasons, the 44-year-old Ossenfort has served as Tennessee’s Director of player personnel. Needless to say, there’s an obvious familiarity between the up and coming Bowen and the new GM of the Redbirds.
Arizona Cardinals would shock the world by hiring little-known Shane Bowen
With Ossenfort now in place, Arizona’s search for a new head coach will surely intensify. As of this writing, no interviews have been officially scheduled. Could the Cardinals have a plan in place that would include the hiring of an unheralded individual like Bowen?
Over the past two seasons, Bowen has done an impressive job with the Titans defensive unit. This past year, the 36-year-old assistant’s group gave up just 21.1 points per game, and ranked number-one in the NFL against the run. In 2021, Bowen’s defense ranked 5th-overall in points allowed (20.8) and were 2nd-best in the league at stopping the run.
There’s been speculation that Ossenfort could have a soft spot for Flores, being that the pair worked together with the New England Patriots for 13 years. Cards owner Michael Bidwill asked the Pittsburgh Steelers for permission to interview the linebackers coach, but who knows if Ossenfort’s supposed admiration for Flores even exists. Just because the two worked together in New England doesn’t necessarily mean that they are fond of each other.
Could it be that all of the talk about the other candidates has been nothing but a ruse? Bowen is certainly an intriguing option for the Cardinals. We’ll know soon enough if Ossenfort feels the same.
(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)
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