James Bettcher could return for a second stint with the Arizona Cardinals if Lou Anarumo becomes the team’s next head coach.
Over the past month or so, the list of head-coaching candidates for the Arizona Cardinals has steadily dwindled. According to reports, that pool has been reduced to two. It now appears that either Lou Anarumo or Mike Kafka will be taking over for the departed Kliff Kingsbury in 2023.
Something interesting could be in store for the Cardinals if Anarumo is the choice. The defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals will have to fill that exact same position in the desert if he’s hired. What better way to do that than with an individual who is already extremely familiar with the organization?
James Bettcher, the former boss of the Cards’ defense, worked as a linebackers coach with the Bengals this past season. The 44-year-old spent five years in Arizona, and was the squad’s defensive coordinator for three campaigns (2015-17). Could Bettcher reclaim his old job with the Redbirds if Anarumo lands the gig?
James Bettcher could make his way back to the Arizona Cardinals in 2023
Back in 2012, Bettcher broke into the NFL coaching ranks with the Indianapolis Colts. After spending one season as that team’s outside linebackers coach, the Indiana native followed Bruce Arians to the Cardinals. Bettcher also served as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants for two campaigns (2018-19), and was a senior defensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers in 2021.
One of the most-important tasks for either Anarumo or Kafka will be to get Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray back on track. Kafka, who has an expertise in signal-callers, would likely handle that assignment himself. Anarumo, on the other hand, will have to find an offensive guru who’ll be up to that task.
It would not be surprising in the least if Anarumo plucks yet another assistant off of the Cincinnati staff to work with Murray. Dan Pitcher, the current quarterbacks coach of the Bengals, would make a fine offensive coordinator for the Cards. Would the 36-year-old be able to handle a polarizing player like Murray?
On Wednesday, Pitcher had a second interview with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their vacant offensive coordinator position. The Bucs need a replacement for Byron Leftwich, and are heavily pursuing the New York native. If the Cardinals continue to drag this hiring process along, they run the risk of missing out on an attractive assistant like Pitcher.
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