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John Clayton: ‘Hard to tell’ who will be Cardinals OC right now

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Cardinals have filled out the majority of their staff under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, but a vacancy still remains in one high-profile spot.

Names have been thrown around, but the team has still yet to hire a new offensive coordinator after interim OC Byron Leftwich was not retained at the end of the season. According to NFL insider John Clayton, it doesn’t look like there is a favorite right now, either.

“I think it’s a matter of who is fitting for the job right now,” Clayton told Doug and Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “It looked like it was going to be Steve Sarkisian, but he did a turnaround and ended up going over to Alabama. There’s still enough candidates out there that are scrambling around, but it’s hard to tell right now because I think it’s a matter of who fits up.”

Clayton did offer up his analysis on some of the candidates that have been rumored, though, including former Packers assistant head coach Tom Clements, who interviewed with the team on Tuesday.

“He’s a very good coach,” Clayton said about Clements. “He’s very quarterback-oriented from the standpoint that he was a good quarterback coming through Pittsburgh [in high school] and in college.  I think he’d be a great hire because I think the one thing that he’s very good at doing is working with young quarterbacks.

“The big thing is that he’s very consistent, he’s very patient and he’s very quiet. You don’t have too many stories because he’s behind the scenes and there’s never been a problem with anything that he’s done.”

Clayton also gave his thoughts on former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who also interviewed with the Cardinals on Tuesday.

“What he brings is a good passing mind,” Clayton said regarding Cooter. “I think the one thing that slipped and cost him his job there is getting away from the run. He did that last year and the year before that.

“You can see when he went to the three-receiver offense, he was able to consistently get Matthew Stafford’s passing numbers up and his completion numbers up. He’s very good at the play-calling part of it, but the concentration has to be, and what he’ll probably do in his next job, is run the ball more.”

One thing that Clayton did mention is that the new offensive coordinator probably won’t be calling plays, as those duties will more than likely fall to Kingsbury.

“Whoever is going to be the offensive coordinator, I assume it’s going to be Kliff Kingsbury calling the plays because that’s what the mandate was, so the offensive coordinator is more of a title than it is a position of authority.”


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