Arizona Cardinals coach Arians knows DC Todd Bowles is in demand

Dec 31, 2014, 4:50 AM | Updated: 4:55 am
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Tempe, Ariz. — You would not have to look very hard to see that Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is a candidate for a head coaching job.

With the season just a few days old, Bowles has already been linked to San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets, and there have been whispers about him being a strong candidate for the Atlanta Falcons, too.

Bowles’ current team, the Cardinals, is busy preparing for its Wild Card round matchup with the Carolina Panthers, but they’re fully aware that their DC may not be long for Arizona.

But while trying to balance the search for a promotion with preparing a game plan could be a potential distraction, the Cardinals are not worried about Bowles’ focus, especially since teams are not allowed to interview him this very moment.

“We’ve talked about it,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday. “This week is hands off anyways. Next week, when you’re preparing for the game, set aside a time that you want to pick a team or which teams you want to talk to, and I’m all for it. He deserves it and he’s earned the right, but it’s not going to affect his focus on next week’s game.”

This is Bowles’ second season in Arizona. He arrived with Arians, and helped guide the Cardinals’ defense to rankings of sixth overall and first against the run in 2013. The 51-year-old interviewed for a couple of jobs last offseason but ultimately remained in the desert.

However, after a 2014 season in which Arizona’s defense allowed the fifth fewest points per game while finishing 13th against the run — even though the team lost a considerable amount of talent from the previous year’s squad — it seems likely he’ll finally get a chance to be a head coach again.

Bowles was the interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2011 after the team fired Tony Sparano, and he guided the team to a 2-1 record to close out the season.

Should Bowles decide to leave, Arians said he’s not too concerned about finding a replacement. The coach looked back to when he arrived in January 2013 with a list of assistants he was hoping to bring in. He had to get a couple of coaches out of contracts, but was mostly successful in landing all of the guys he wanted. He seems to have a similar list of candidates in mind now should Bowles choose to depart.

“We have guys who are more than capable of filling it,” he said.

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