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Life after Arians: 9 coaches the Cardinals are reportedly interested in

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jan 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 15:46:33-05

Last week, Bruce Arians announced his retirement after five years as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, during which he became the winningest coach in franchise history.

Filling Arians' shoes won't be easy, but the Cardinals have reportedly hit the ground running in an effort to find his replacement. According to ESPN and NFL Network, the Cards have already conducted several interviews with coaching candidates.

Here are nine coaches whom the Cardinals have either already interviewed or plan to interview for the job.

1. James Bettcher

Current job: Defensive coordinator, Arizona Cardinals

Head coaching record: None

The Cardinals might promote from within to replace Arians, as Ian Rapoport of reported the team will interview the 39-year-old Bettcher as soon as Wednesday. Bettcher served under Arians as outside linebackers coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, and he took on the same role in Arizona in 2013 when Arians became the head coach in Arizona. Bettcher was promoted to defensive coordinator when previous DC Todd Bowles took the head coaching job with the New York Jets in 2015. Under Bettcher, the Cardinals were sixth in the NFL in yards allowed per game in 2017.

2. Mike Munchak

Current job: Offensive line coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Head coaching record: 22-26 (three seasons)

Munchak was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection as an offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers, and he began coaching as soon as his playing career ended. He became an offensive assistant and later the offensive line coach for the Oilers, who eventually became the Tennessee Titans. He was named the Titans' head coach in 2011, but Tennessee failed to make the playoffs in each of Munchak's three seasons at the helm. He has been the Steelers' offensive line coach since 2014.

3. Pat Shurmur

Current job: Offensive coordinator, Minnesota Vikings

Head coaching record: 10-23 (two-plus seasons)

Coaching is in Shurmur's blood, as his uncle Fritz was an NFL coach for nearly a quarter century and helped lead the Packers to a Super Bowl XXXI victory. Shurmur has coached in the NFL since 1999 and has served as offensive coordinator for the Vikings, Eagles and Rams. He spent two seasons as the head coach of the Browns but failed to win more than five games in either season. He was the Eagles' interim head coach for one game in 2015 after Chip Kelly was fired. (The Eagles won that game.)

4. Jim Schwartz

Current job: Defensive coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles

Head coaching record: 29-51 (five seasons)

Schwartz has over 20 years of NFL coaching experience. Along with the Eagles, he has served as the defensive coordinator for the Bills and Titans. He spent five seasons as the Detroit Lions' head coach and led the Lions to 10 wins and a playoff appearance in 2011, but he never won a playoff game in Detroit. He helped guide the Eagles to a 13-3 regular-season record in 2017, as Philadelphia boasted the best rushing defense in the NFL.

5. John DeFilippo

Current job: Quarterbacks coach, Eagles

Head coaching record: None

The 39-year-old DeFilippo has coached in the NFL for a decade but has never had a head coaching job. Along with his current stint in Philadelphia, he has served as quarterbacks coach for the Raiders and Jets, and he was the Browns' offensive coordinator in 2015. Under DeFilippo's guidance, second-year NFL quarterback Carson Wentz emerged as an MVP candidate in 2017.

6. Matt Patricia

Current job: Defensive coordinator, Patriots

Head coaching record: None

Patricia has coached under Bill Belichick since 2004 and is a three-time Super Bowl champion as a member of the Patriots' staff. He has climbed the ladder with New England, starting as an offensive assistant and advancing to roles as an assistant offensive line coach, linebackers coach, safeties coach, and eventually defensive coordinator in 2012.

7. Brian Flores

Current job: Linebackers coach, New England Patriots

Head coaching record: None

Like Patricia, Flores has been with the Patriots' staff since 2004. He began as a scouting assistant and eventually became a pro scout, special-teams assistant, assistant offense and special-teams coach, defensive assistant and safeties coach. He began his current role as linebackers coach in 2016. At just 36 years old, Flores is the youngest coach on this list.

8. Steve Wilks

Current job: Defensive coordinator, Carolina Panthers

Head coaching record: None

The 48-year-old Wilks has one year of collegiate head coaching experience, at Savannah State in 1999 (he went 5-6). He has 11 years of coaching experience at the college level before he began his time in the NFL as defensive backs coach for the Bears in 2006. He took on the same role with the Chargers and eventually the Panthers, where he has coached since 2012. He was promoted to Carolina's assistant head coach in 2015 and defensive coordinator last year.

9. Keith Armstrong

Current job: Special teams coordinator, Atlanta Falcons

Head coaching record: None

Armstrong, who helped guide the Falcons to a Super Bowl LI appearance, has interviewed for head coaching jobs before -- notably with the Bears and Eagles. The 54-year-old has coaching experience at Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Miami. He began his NFL coaching career as safeties coach for the Falcons in 1994. He previously served as the special-teams coordinator for the Bears and Dolphins, and he's had that same role with the Falcons since 2008.