The latest head-coaching search by the Arizona Cardinals is trending dangerously close to the Steve Wilks disaster of 2018.
With each passing year, it’s looking more and more like the Arizona Cardinals will never be a winning organization. At every conceivable turn, the team’s braintrust just can’t seem to get things right.
The latest example of the Cards’ ineptitude is the latest search for a head coach. We’re now four weeks into the hunt, and owner Michael Bidwill still hasn’t managed to fill the position. Will this floundering organization ever succeed in convincing their fans that they are competent enough to compete in the NFL?
What’s going on at the present time is strangely reminiscent of the coaching search that was conducted by the Arizona front office back in 2018. Bidwill and former general manager Steve Keim were making a transition from Bruce Arians, so there were big shoes to fill. The Red Sea was sad to see the highly-successful head man go, but at the same time there was excitement about who the replacement would be.
Unfortunately, the hiring of Steve Wilks that took place five years ago will go down as one of the worst moves in Cardinals history. The defensive guru was the choice, despite the fact that he had spent just one campaign as a coordinator. That lack of experience and leaguewide connections also led to Wilks assembling one of the least-qualified coaching staffs in recent memory.
While it’s terrifying to consider, the Cards’ recent quest for a head coach is beginning to resemble the disastrous charade that once led to Wilks. To say that the Charlotte, North Carolina native was far from the hierarchy’s first choice back then would be an understatement. In fact, Wilks may very well have been the last option on Arizona’s wish list.
The Cardinals made a strong play for former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak but ultimately struck out. Some of the other targets included Pat Shurmur, Matt Patricia, Jim Schwartz, Brian Flores, John DeFilippo, Keith Armstrong and James Bettcher. It could be argued that any one of those candidates would’ve been a better hire than Wilks.
Arizona Cardinals could be on the verge of another awful mistake in 2023
History seems to be repeating itself for the Redbirds here in 2023. This time around, it’s Bidwill and new GM Monti Ossenfort doing the evaluations. Despite the change, it’s feeling more and more like the Cards may be on the verge of hiring someone who could be as ill-equipped as Wilks was back in ’18.
According to reports, Arizona had major interest in four particular coaches who ultimately spurned their advances. Sean Payton, Dan Quinn, DeMeco Ryans and Frank Reich all said no to the Cardinals, so to speak. There’s still time for Bidwill to avoid a repeat of the disaster with Wilks, but he better act fast.
It’s been announced that Lou Anarumo and Mike Kafka will receive second interviews with Arizona this coming week. Going with the notion that the finalists had been set, just one of those individuals would appear to be viable.
At this point, only Anarumo should be on the Cards radar. A four-year coordinator from the Cincinnati Bengals, a squad that has competed in two-consecutive AFC Championships. Acquiring him would at least give the Cardinals a fighting chance over the next several campaigns.
Arizona enthusiasts would likely revolt if Kafka is handed the gig. Kafka has been an offensive coordinator with the New York Giants for just one season, and many believe that head coach Brian Daboll is the real reason behind that group’s success.
Those who devote a few hours each week to watching the Cards play football deserve a whole lot better. The best solutions to the problem are no longer available, but hope still exists. Bidwill needs to hand the job to Anarumo, or face the prospect of reliving the catastrophe of 2018 all over again.
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