Cardinals don’t plan on hiring new head coach until after Super Bowl LVII
The Arizona Cardinals do not plan on hiring a new head coach until after Super Bowl LVII, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro first reported the expectation on Tuesday.
The Cardinals have narrowed their head-coaching search down to two candidates: Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.
MMQB’s Albert Breer reported that Kafka’s second interview with Arizona was held on Tuesday via Zoom.
Breer also reported Monday that Arizona told its DC Vance Joseph and Bengals OC Brian Callahan they had all been eliminated from consideration. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Detroit Lions DC Aaron Glenn also was out of the running.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers senior assistant Brian Flores was scheduled to interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
However, the Vikings announced on Monday that Flores would become Minnesota’s new defensive coordinator.
Kafka received high praise from his former employer in the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl opening night from quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne, as well as head coach Andy Reid.
“Coach Kafka is a special person and a special coach,” Mahomes said. “When he first got here he was quality control — that was my first year as a rookie so I spent a lot of time with Coach Kafka where he was teaching me the playbook and teaching me how to be a quarterback in the NFL.
“That continued for a long time and when he left, I knew he was going to be a head coach soon. I know he’s down (here) in Arizona, so if he gets hired there he’ll get that place turned around. He’s a great coach and a great person as well, so I’m excited for him.”
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes would write a letter of rec for Mike Kafka, the former KC quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator who is a finalist for the Cardinals' head-coaching job after a season as OC for the Giants. pic.twitter.com/HRjN2Nx6Hv
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) February 7, 2023
In fact, with the Chiefs making their third big game appearance in four seasons, Super Bowl LVII will mark the first in which Reid, Mahomes and Henne will be competing for the Lombardi Trophy without Kafka on the coaching staff.
“Mike was awesome. Not only did I have him when I was playing in Jacksonville … but I had him as a coach,” Henne said. “He’s a bright young coach who understands what a quarterback goes through daily and I think he’d be a hell of a head coach.
“I think it’d be awesome (if he became a head coach). He can relate to players, he’s obviously been in those situations before. I can’t say enough about him. I love my time with him. I still talk to him every now and then. It’s a great relationship.”
Chiefs backup QB Chad Henne also discussed his time with #AZCardinals head-coaching candidate Mike Kafka, who was Henne’s teammate in Jacksonville in 2013 before becoming his coach in Kansas City. #SuperBowlLVII pic.twitter.com/g4RcbPPkJG
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) February 7, 2023