The Arizona Cardinals are reportedly open to promoting from within to replace outgoing head coach Bruce Arians.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Tuesday that the Cardinals plan to interview defensive coordinator James Bettcher for the vacant head coaching position. Rapoport said that interview could take place as soon as Wednesday.
The 39-year-old 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, and linebacker Chandler Jones became the first Cardinal in NFL history to lead the league in sacks in a season (17).
The Cardinals have also reportedly reached out to several teams to request permission to interview at least six other prospective head coaching candidates. But Arians told Sports Illustrated that Bettcher should be a candidate for a head coaching position in the NFL.
“I look at names that people are throwing out right now and I’m shocked that James isn’t amongst them. He is extremely bright, high energy, an excellent communicator. When I first met him at Indianapolis, I knew he was going to be a star," Arians told SI.