With Todd Bowles leaving to become the head coach of the New York Jets, the Arizona Cardinals are in need of a defensive coordinator.
And though there are some intriguing names on the market, it appears Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is looking within to find his next coordinator.
Arians plans to promote an asst to DC, hopes to hire LeBeau as a senior assistant, per source. Don't know which asst. #AZCardinals
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) January 14, 2015
LeBeau has been linked to the Cardinals ever since he stepped down as the defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, though at 77 it’s very possible he may be looking for a bit of a reduced role at his next job.
However, as Somers noted, it is unclear which assistant would be the “next man up” for the defensive coordinator job. Current defensive assistants include linebackers coach Mike Caldwell, outside linebackers coach James Bettcher, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, defensive backs coach Nick Rapone, cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross and pass rush specialist Tom Pratt.
Caldwell may be one of the most qualified to take over, though he has been linked to the Jets as Bowles’ defensive coordinator. Rapone has experience as a defensive coordinator, having done so at the collegiate level (most recently from 2006-12 for the University of Delaware), while Ross has been coaching since 1999.