Cardinals Head Coaching Candidates: Top 10 Replacements For Bruce Arians

UPDATED: 11:05 p.m. ET on 1/15/2018

The Arizona Cardinals are in the market for a new head coach, because Bruce Arians has retired. Arians has done an impressive job in Arizona, despite a rash of injuries in recent years. But at age 65 and with a few recent health scares, Arians is reportedly stepping away from the game. With Arians possibly stepping away, this means more Cardinals coaching rumors.

The Cardinals are taking a slower pace when it comes to their hire and that's already eliminated former Chiefs OC Matt Nagy (and likely both Patriots coordinators). With that in mind, here are the top 10 candidates to replace Bruce Arians as Cardinals head coach. 

10. Frank Reich, Eagles offensive coordinator 
Reich is one of the hottest names in the NFL right now given the success of the Eagles this season. Carson Wentz, in his second year, emerged as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league before going down. Reich would likely help Jameis Winston develop. The Eagles' creative offense is a major reason why they have had success this season and the Cardinals will be looking for a fresh start. Reich will be connected to multiple jobs this offseason, although he didn't interview for the Cardinals job. 

9. Todd Haley, Steelers offensive coordinator
I'm not a huge fan of Todd Haley, but he could be a top option for the Cardinals. Haley had a rough go of things in Kansas City, but he had success with the Cardinals as the OC before taking the Chiefs' job. He's rehabbed his stock in Pittsburgh, although there are reports he and QB Ben Roethlisberger are having some issues. However, Haley has not interviewed for the position and it doesn't seem like he'll be hired.  

8. Keith Armstrong, Falcons ST coach
A long-time special teams coach, Armstrong interviewed for the Cardinals' job. He's been in Atlanta since 2008, with previous stops in Chicago and Miami. He's a long-shot to actually get the job, but made the list because of his interview. 

7. James Bettcher, Cardinals defensive coordinator
Bettcher is the in-house candidate for the Cardinals and Bruce Arians is high on Bettcher. Just 39 years old, Bettcher got his first NFL job in 2012 and was a positional coach for only three years before becoming a DC. It seems early for Bettcher to become a head coach, but he's a name to watch for the Cardinals job only this year and someone to monitor for the future. 

6. Mike Munchak, Steelers OL coach
The 57-year-old Munchak is one of the best OL coaches in the NFL, having served in that role for the Titans (including their Oiler days) and the Steelers. He's been a head coach before, going 22-26 with the Titans and failing to make the playoffs in all three seasons. Munchak interview for the Cardinals job, making him a candidate. Still, he would be a rather curious hire. 

5. Brian Flores, Patriots LBs coach
The Cardinals appear likely to miss out on on the Patriots coordinators, but they might poach a positional coach to be the new head coach. Flores has already interviewed and is reportedly very much in play for the position. Just 36 years old, Flores is a riser in the coaching ranks. He's been the Patriots LBs coach for only two years. 

4. Jim Schwartz, Eagles defensive coordinator
Schwartz is 51 years old with a head coaching career record of 29-51. He spent his five head coaching seasons with the Detroit Lions and even though his record isn't great, he took a 0-16 Lions team and turned them into a 10-6 playoff team in just three seasons. While Schwartz's time didn't end that well, he has rehabbed his stock with the Eagles. The Philadelphia defense has been very impressive and it's been enough for Schwartz to garner interest, including an interview with the Cardinals. 

3. John DeFilippo, Eagles QBs coach
We'll get to another Eagles coach later, but John DeFilippo will generate some head coaching buzz this offseason. It might be one year too early for DeFilippo to get a head coach gig, but I said the same thing about Sean McVay last year. DeFilippo has OC experience, although it came with the Browns. But he gets some credit for the play of Carson Wentz and the Cardinals are very high on DeFilippo. 

2. Steve Wilks, Panthers defensive coordinator
Wilks is 48 years old and in his first year as a defensive coordinator. The Panthers defense didn't miss a beat with Sean McDermott in Buffalo this year, a credit to Wilks. He's well-regarded in the coaching world, with a background in the secondary. Wilks is a strong candidate for the Giants job, in part because of his relationship with GM Dave Gettleman. He has a very good shot to land this job. 

1. Pat Shurmur, Vikings offensive coordinator
The Vikings have been one of the surprise teams this season with a 12-3 record and in position to secure a playoff bye. The offense lost Teddy Bridgewater last season due to a horrific leg injury and Sam Bradford this season, but the coaching of Shurmur has reignited Case Keenum's career. Not many offensive coordinators would be able to lose two quarterbacks and still be successful, but Shurmur has found a way. Shurmur was the head coach of the Browns from 2011 to 2012 where things did not go well, but he has rehabbed his image in stints with Philadelphia and Minnesota. Shurmur could get the Cardinals' job or even the Giants'.  

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Related Topics: Cardinals Coaching Rumors, Pat Shurmur, Todd Haley, Josh McDaniels, Harold Goodwin, frank reich, Matt Patricia, NFL Coaching Rumors, Jim Bob Cooter, Dave Toub, Matt Nagy, Bruce Arians