Cardinals reportedly request to interview Bengals DC Lou Anarumo for head coach job

Lou Anarumo coached the Bengals’ defense for the past four years. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Another name reportedly entered the head coaching candidate pool Monday: Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.

The Arizona Cardinals requested to interview Anarumo for their vacant head coach position hours after the Bengals lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game, according to NFL Network’s Peter Schrager. Anarumo joined the Bengals’ staff in 2019 alongside head coach Zac Taylor after stints with the New York Giants and Maimi Dolphins.

Anarumo’s defenses have been solid for the past two years during Cincinnati’s back-to-back AFC championship appearances. This year, the Bengals allowed the sixth-fewest points and allowed the fourth-fewest passing touchdown and the seventh-fewest rushing yards. Anarumo is most famously known for his adaptable defensive gameplan and for stifling Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the second half of the 2022 AFC title game.

As for the Cardinals, they’re one of four teams still searching for a new head coach after firing Kliff Kingsbury in early January. Though, the Houston Texans are reportedly the front-runners to hire San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. That would leave the Cardinals, the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos as the only teams currently without a head coach.

Arizona also interviewed Ryan, as well as current defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, and Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores. The big fish is, of course, former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, whom the Cardinals spoke with on Jan. 23.

The most complicated part of the Cardinals job is the health of quarterback Kyler Murray, who reportedly wouldn’t return until the middle of 2023 after he tore his ACL in Week 14. Arizona lost its final seven games of the season, five of which were without Murray on the roster. There is a rumor that the Cardinals also want to try and trade wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who has two years and $34.36 million left on his contract.

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