By the numbers: New Cardinals’ LB coach Bill Davis returns to the desert
The Cardinals are starting to fill out their coaching staff under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and one of the new faces that they’ve brought in has some history in the desert.
Bill Davis has been tabbed as the linebackers coach for new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s unit, and he returns to the Cardinals more than 10 years after his first stint with the team began.
He was originally brought in to be the linebackers coach in 2007, and was promoted to defensive coordinator following the team’s loss in Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. Davis spent two years in that position before being fired in early 2011.
Here is a look at some of the numbers behind Davis’s first stint with the Cardinals:
During his first season as defensive coordinator in 2009, Davis’ defense allowed 20.3 points per game, which ranked 14th in the league that season. The Jets led the league in this category with 14.8 points allowed per game.
Davis coached four different Pro Bowlers during his time with the Cardinals: Antrel Rolle, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson, who was also a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2009. Davis also coached Calais Campbell and Daryl Washington, who would both go on to become Pro Bowlers later in their Cardinals tenures.
The Cardinals’ defense ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in takeaways both years that Davis was at the helm. The group finished tenth in the league in 2009 with 29 and tied for eighth in 2010 with 30. Leading this effort was Rodgers-Cromartie, who recorded nine interceptions and three forced fumbles during his two years under Davis.
The Cardinals defense gave up 45 points in both of their postseason games in 2009. They managed to overcome this in the Wild Card Round when they beat the Packers 51-45, but they were dispatched by the Saints in the Divisional Round by a score of 45-14.
Their showing in the playoffs may have been a sign of things to come for Davis’ defense the following season, as they took a huge step back in 2010, finishing 30th in the league in points allowed per game with 27.1.
The performance of the defense was one of the main reasons why the Cardinals finished with five wins in 2010, which led to Davis being fired by then head coach Ken Whisenhunt in early 2011.
It has now been eight years since Davis last coached for the Cardinals. Since his departure, he has spent time with the Browns and Ohio State as their linebackers coach and the Eagles as their defensive coordinator.