Cardinals defense needs a head coach
Jan 19, 2011, 2:50 AM | Updated: 6:37 am
I came across an interesting quote just as the calendar was turning a
few weeks ago.
“A small team of “A” players can run circles around a giant team of “B” and
“C” players.” — Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc.
A good friend of mine took it one step further and told me, “”A” players hire
“A” players, “B” players hire “C” players.”
When I first heard Bill Davis was let go as the defensive coordinator of the
Arizona Cardinals on January 6, my first thought was, ‘coach Ken
Whisenhunt needs to hire an “A” player (coach in this sense).’
Yes, you may think that’s obvious, but I’m talking about a specific “A” coach
— an experienced “A” coach.
The Cardinals defense needs their own head coach.
Whisenhunt is the head coach. He’s also the offensive coordinator and play
caller. No matter what is said or how it is spun, the defense doesn’t get the
attention it deserves from its head coach.
If that’s going to continue being the case going forward — I’m assuming
that it will — then Whisenhunt needs to bring in a defensive head coach
that can run the defensive side of the ball from a head coach’s perspective.
By no means am I saying someone needs to come in and step all over
Whisenhunt. Just bring in someone with a wealth of knowledge and
This way Whisenhunt can stay giving the offense the attention he has been
and the defense can have their own head coach in a sense.
I’m not going to say exactly who he should bring in (I don’t know all of
these guys’ schemes or relationships with Whisenhunt and the Cardinals
organization) but I want to call to attention how many former head coaches
or defensive coordinators are out there without a job — at least in the
National Football League at a coordinator level.
This list is lengthy and I’m 100% sure I even missed one — or a few.
Coaches that have either been head coaches or defensive coordinators that
are currently without a coordinator or head coaching job (as of Tuesday
• Ted Cottrell (most recently a UFL coach but has been a DC with
four NFL teams)
• Dick Jauron (Eagles DB coach)
• Eric Mangini (former Browns and Jets head coach)
• Jim Mora Jr. (was last the head coach of the Seahawks)
• Dean Pees (Ravens LB coach, was Patriots DC)
• Ray Rhodes (Texans asst., been a HC and DC)
• Bob Sanders (Bills LB coach, been a DC)
• Bill Sheridan (LB coach for Dolphins, was DC for Giants)
• Bob Slowik (Redskins DB coach, was DC with four teams)
• Brian Stewart (Houston Cougars DC, was Cowboys DC)
• Mike Trgovac (Packers DL coach, was Panthers DC)
• Dave Wannstedt (was Pittsburgh Panthers HC, been NFL HC and
Since the Cardinals let Davis go, the following coaches with the same
credentials as the above mentioned have been hired; Greg Manusky
(Chargers DC), Sean McDermott (Panthers DC), Ron Meeks (Panthers asst.),
Wade Phillips (Texans DC, announced that same week), Rob Ryan (Cowboys
DC), and Mike Singletary (Vikings asst.).
Even now in late January coaches are still being let go by teams, as we saw
the Seattle Seahawks fire their offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates on
The person I want to get the job may not even be on that list. None of them
specifically are who I’m suggesting.
Some of those names may not be sexy to you, may even downright disgust
you. That’s not my point.
The point is this isn’t a job for an up-and-comer or an
inexperienced coach. No learning on the job or grooming here.
This defensive coordinator hire needs to bring instant credibility. He needs
to let Whisenhunt focus on the disaster that is the quarterback position.
Ownership of the defense is a must with this job.
On paper this defense doesn’t look like a defense that should be 29th in
total yards, 23rd in pass defense, 30th in rush defense, and 30th in points
per game with an average of 27 points being put up by the opponents.
I don’t care how bad the offense was. Your job is to stop the other team
and this past season (one could argue the past two seasons) the job was
far from getting done.
We’ve seen the potential at times from Calais Campbell, Dominique
Rodgers-Cromartie, Daryl Washington (will only get better with time), Dan
Williams (early I know but he was improving down the stretch). Add in
veterans Darnell Dockett, Paris Lenon, Kerry Rhodes, and Adrian Wilson and
on paper your defense looks at least middle of the league quality.
Whisenhunt needs someone to mesh them together, get them on the same
page, hold them accountable, get them in the right coverage, and be better
with them during the work week.
A coach that has been there before will give them the best chance to
I like Whisenhunt, always have, and expect him to give his defense a “head
coach”, a specific “A” coach if you will.
I want the Cardinals to have two “head coaches” going into the 2011
season. In the end, it will be better for both sides of the ball.
What I learned this week…
FLOTUS = First Lady of the United States.
I was reading the President’s itinerary for when he was in Tucson last week
and had to re-read the sentence and then put it together when I read that
the POTUS and FLOTUS were planning to visit with family members that
were directly affected by the tragedy in Tucson.
Tweet of the week…
The New York Post
front page had a photo of a foot with “Go Jets” spelled on the toes in green
and white toe nail polish on Sunday. Creative? Yes. A little ridiculous? Yes.
Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t wonder to myself, “did they hire a foot model for
Suggestion of the week…
Watch “Modern Family” Wednesday night. I have no idea what this week’s
episode is about but I do know that I’ve watched it since September and
haven’t been disappointed once.
Here is a tease…