Wed, 22 Mar 2023

Reports: Cardinals request interviews with Bengals' coordinators

Field Level Media
31 Jan 2023, 02:05 GMT+10

Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort is making good on a promise to cast a wide net in Arizona's search for a new head coach.

Ossenfort requested interviews with Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan. Callahan is also in the mix with the Indianapolis Colts and interviewed twice with the team.

The visit would mark the second head-coaching interview for Anarumo, who joined the Bengals along with Callahan in 2019. Anarumo interviewed with the New York Giants last year before Brian Daboll was named coach.

Arizona is "resetting" its coaching search, NFL Network reported, as the Cardinals seek a replacement for fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

A departure of any top assistant coaches would be the first for the Bengals since Zac Taylor arrived four years ago. Cincinnati appeared in a second consecutive AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

"He'd be a great head coach," Taylor said of Anarumo. "He's extremely smart. He's got the players best interest in mind. Every week is a challenge. He never blinks; I know the players feel that from him, I feel that from him."

Bengals safety Vonn Bell said Anarumo, 56, commands respect through his organization, communication style and consistent results. Bell dubbed his defensive coordinator "The Mad Scientist."

"I think that he's super detailed in being able to have conversations face to face of what he's expecting on what he calls when he calls a certain call," safety Jessie Bates said of Anarumo. "He explains why he's calling it. That's what makes him really good he's just into the details."

Callahan, 38, is the son of former Raiders and Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan, who is currently offensive line coach of the Cleveland Browns.

He's not the playcaller for the Bengals -- Taylor handles that role -- but the head coach said he entrusts Brian Callahan to prepare the passing game plan before they meet and finalize their weekly game strategy.

"You do oversee the offensive staff, the entire offense," Callahan said. "The players. You interact with all of the different players. Having to build relationships with the receivers, tight ends, the linemen. Then the administrative part of being a coordinator. How you manage the roster spots, the draft process. There's a management part of being in the coordinator role that you don't get that experience as a position coach. So, I think it's benefited me tremendously to have those experiences for someday if I get a chance to become a head coach that I've got more manager-type experience than if you were just coaching a position."

The Cardinals are coming off of a 4-13 finish and have conducted interviews with former Saints coach Sean Payton, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Steelers assistant head coach Brian Flores and Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

Flores worked with Ossenfort when both were in the New England Patriots' organization.

Quinn plans to remain with the Cowboys as defensive coordinator. Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson turned down the opportunity to interview and will return to Detroit for 2023.

--Field Level Media

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