Of the final two coaches on the Arizona Cardinals current shortlist, Lou Anarumo has several advantages over Mike Kafka. Let’s explore them.
I’ll be honest: I really like the idea of Mike Kafka leading the Arizona Cardinals. So much, that I’m going to make a case for him landing the job too. But first, let’s talk about Lou Anarumo.
Anarumo epitomizes a man that just doesn’t give up, no matter how high the odds stack against him. He’s been coaching football since 1989, landing a coordinator job just once between then and 2019, when the Cincinnati Bengals finally took a flier on him. Oh, and when he finally got a chance to run the unit, the Bengals turned around and finished 2-14.
In 2020, they weren’t much better, finishing 4-11-1. When a coaching staff wins only six games in two seasons, ownership often cleans house. Or, at the very least, head coaches make staffing changes. But Taylor kept Anarumo, and it paid off.
Lou Anarumo would be great for the Arizona Cardinals thanks to experience
Having overseen a rebuilding effort in Cincinnati, Ohio, Anarumo’s defense was part of one of the more remarkable turnarounds in NFL history. In 2021, the 10-7 Bengals won their first playoff game since 1990 and earned a trip to their first Super Bowl in over 30 years.
This season, Anarumo’s defense ranked seventh, their 322 points allowed (20.1 per game) was just fifth in the league. And since the Cardinals have a solid young group on the defensive side of the ball, Anarumo can build them in the image he built Cincinnati’s defense since 2019.
And since he’s seen success in a full rebuild, owner Michael Bidwill and general manager Monti Ossenfort may give him a few more seasons than Kafka to see this thing through. Anarumo succeeded with Taylor in Cincinnati in overseeing the process that led to the Bengals transforming into one of the NFL’s elite.
These rebuilds take time, and Anarumo knows it. It’s something he will sell to ownership in the desert, and it could buy him time to transform our Arizona Cardinals into a winner.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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