TEMPE, Ariz. -- Two more candidates for the Arizona Cardinals’ vacant head-coaching job emerged Tuesday, with one getting his shot to interview right away.
Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher is scheduled to interview Wednesday morning, and Atlanta Falcons special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong is expected to be interviewed after the Falcons’ wild-card game, according to a source.
They join six other candidates the Cardinals are considering.
On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced that offensive-line coach Mike Munchak was granted permission to interview with Arizona. The Cardinals also have requested permission to interview Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Bettcher, who came with former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians from the Indianapolis Colts in 2013, has been the defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. He replaced Todd Bowles, who was Arizona’s defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014 before leaving to become the New York Jets' head coach in 2015.
Bettcher’s defenses have finished each season ranked in the top six in yards allowed. This season, the Cardinals were ranked 24th in Week 9 and steadily improved throughout the second half.
The Falcons were ranked first in the league in opponent’s yards per kickoff return and 14th in opponent’s yards per punt return. However, Atlanta struggled in punt coverage, finishing ranked 26th in opponent’s net yards per punt. The Falcons also ranked 24th in average starting field position and opponent’s average starting field position.
Armstrong and Flores would make the Cardinals compliant with the Rooney Rule.