98.7 FM roundtable: Which direction should Cards’ coaching search go?
After posting a 3-13 record, the Arizona Cardinals made the decision to part ways with first-year head coach Steve Wilks on Monday.
Now with the head-coaching search underway, what is the team looking for in their next leader?
Should they be offensive-minded to help shape rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, or someone who can get the defense back to its former glory?
What traits should — or shouldn’t — they have?
And how should the Cardinals attack the coaching search?
Ron Wolfley, co-host of Doug & Wolf
“There’s a lot of people who believe that Ryan Tannehill is not an NFL quarterback, and I thought that (former Dolphins head coach) Adam Gase did an excellent job with Ryan Tannehill. Not only that, but he is a guy who has experience, yet he’s still this young offensive mind. He’s down, he’s hip … with of course the RPOs and the zone reads and some of the college game that is being instituted into the National Football League. A blending of the old and the new.
“He’s also a guy who’s known to try and protect his quarterback … in terms of his horizontal passing attack. I think Adam Gase as well is a guy who doesn’t need control overall (of) personnel. If you’re going to keep (GM) Steve Keim … then he is a perfect match.”
Doug Franz, co-host of Doug & Wolf
“If you want a Saints coach, if you want a Patriots coach, if you want a Rams coach, then you’re going to have to make that conversation and get that thing done this week. You are in a huge hurry if you want one of those guys as head coach.
“The other question becomes: Are the Arizona Cardinals in a position of strength or position of weakness? You have the number one pick in the draft and you have almost 70 million dollars of cap going into 2019 for free agents. That’s a huge plus. You might have your franchise quarterback. If you don’t … then you don’t want to touch this with a 10-foot pole.
“There’s a lot of things that point to this as being a very attractive job, and then there are some things that point downward on the Arizona Cardinals’ job.”
Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta
The Cardinals made the difficult but correct decision in letting Steve Wilks go after one year.
It was pretty telling when Michael Bidwill alluded to Wilks’ plan for 2019 as one “he couldn’t get behind.”
Moving forward, I like the team’s early approach to finding a new head coach. They’re concentrating on offense and candidates with quarterback relationship-building because Josh Rosen (not all on his own accord) looked lost on plenty of occasions in his rookie season. Rosen has the smarts and mental approach to be successful in the NFL, but the organization didn’t do much to expedite that process in 2018, other than handing him the reins of the offense four weeks into his career.
I want the Cardinals to put a priority on head coaching experience in their hiring process. For that reason, Adam Gase intrigues me. He’s two years removed from coaching a team to a playoff berth and has three years of experience as a head man in the NFL. He undoubtedly learned a lot on what to do and what not to do in his next job. I also would be in favor of Mike McCarthy, but he has no apparent interest in the gig.
Jim Caldwell wouldn’t be a sexy hire, but he’s got a ton of experience and has led two different franchises to the playoffs in his time.
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo
I want the Arizona Cardinals to hire someone with a strong offensive background. Someone who can look at what Josh Rosen does well and turn it into something better. Something great.
Experience as a head coach is a plus.
Paul Calvisi, anchor of Doug & Wolf
Ideally, the Cardinals will hire a head coach who will be cited as a factor by division foes.
Whether it’s the offensive schemes and play-calling of Sean McVay/Kyle Shanahan or the defensive system employed by Pete Carroll, the Cards need their own head coach to provide a competitive edge (from game planning to in-game adjustments and beyond).
Dan Bickley, co-host of Bickley & Marotta
Here’s what Bidwill needs to know going forward:
There are eight head coaching vacancies in the NFL. Adam Gase is in high demand, fitting the prototype and representing the fast lane of professional football. He’s young, energetic, young, offensive-minded and quarterback-centric. He’d be a perfect fit for Josh Rosen.
Problem is, 25 percent of the NFL is looking for new head coaches and the Cardinals are a middle-of-the-pack job at the moment. To get Gase, they must move fast and act fiscally irresponsible.
They must dramatically overpay, the smartest play for a franchise falling woefully behind in the NFC West.
Build from the top down. With one voice and one leader.
Or they can build the best car from the best available spare parts. Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator; Dirk Koetter or Freddie Kitchens as offensive coordinator; Jim Caldwell or some other respected figurehead pulling strings from atop.
They can even appeal to Bruce Arians’ sense of loyalty. Let him put the band back together, with drinks on the house. With a wink and a nod from the organization that any dissatisfaction with Arians in 2017 was misguided and ungrateful.
Seriously: Why would Arians consider the Browns and Buccaneers and not the city that made him famous?
Here’s what the Cardinals can’t do: They can’t hire a rookie head coach. The job is too big, with too much bandwidth.
Read Bickley’s entire column here.