ARIZONA CARDINALS

Report: New Cardinals HC Steve Wilks expected to hire Al Holcomb as DC

Jan 22, 2018, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jan 23, 2018, 9:52 am

Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb, right, talks with middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (5...

Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb, right, talks with middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Panthers won 17-3. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Steve Wilks and the Arizona Cardinals are moving fast on hiring a defensive coordinator.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Cardinals are expected to hire Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb as the team’s new defensive coordinator.

The news comes on the same day the team hired Wilks as Arizona’s new head coach.

Holcomb would replace James Bettcher, who has been with the Cardinals the past three seasons and was interviewed for the previously open head coaching position. Arizona has been in the top-seven for yards allowed in all three of Bettcher’s years running the defense.

Holcomb has been in Carolina working with the linebackers since 2013, coaching one of the strongest linebacker groups in the league, led by Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. Both have made the Pro Bowl multiple times under Holcomb. In 2015, Pro Football Focus voted Holcomb as the runner-up for linebacker coach of the year.

He has been coaching since the mid 1990s when he started with Temple as a graduate assistant and linebackers coach from 1995-1996. Holcomb got his start in the NFL in 2009 with the New York Giants as a defensive quality control coach from 2009-2011 before becoming a defensive assistant from 2011-2013.

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