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Blog Entry

Cardinals making change at defensive coordinator

Posted on: January 7, 2011 2:34 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 2:37 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit

On Thursday, Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken WhisenhunB. Davis (US Presswire) announced that he had fired defensive coordinator Bill Davis.

"I have great respect for Billy as a coach and a friend, but when you go 5-11 you're forced to make some tough decisions, and this is one of them," Whisenhunt said.

Whisenhunt has always had the stomach for changing defensive coordinators. He fired Clancy Prendergast shortly after the Cardinals’ Super Bowl appearance.

The Cardinals defense ranked 31st in yards allowed this past season. But in Davis’ first year, when the team had inside linebacker Karlos Dansby and free safety Antrel Rolle, the Cardinals were 14th in yards.

But, as safety Kerry Rhodes told Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, "Whenever you're the head guy you're going to catch flak. You could see (the firing) coming."

Whisenhunt will likely go outside the organization to find Davis’ replacement. Many believe that his former colleague and current Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler is the front runner. Upon taking the Cardinals job in ’07, Whisenhunt requested to interview Butler but was denied by the Steeler brass. In ’09 Butler was unable to interview because of hip surgery. (If Whisenhunt surprises by promoting someone from within the organization, expect him to tap secondary coach Teryl Austin.)

Butler is obviously erudite in the 3-4 scheme, which the Cardinals ostensibly prefer (they spent a first-round pick on a true nose tackle, Dan Williams). Whoever gets the job will need more firepower at the outside linebacker position. Joey Porter underachieved as the team’s headlining free agent pickup. His counterpart, Clark Haggans, is only good for about five sacks a year. There is little to no depth behind both guys.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Cardinals making change at defensive coordinator

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