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Competition for Brian Flores: Giants Mike Kafka, Bengals Anarumo Join Cardinals Coaching Search

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Steelers SDA Brian Flores

The Arizona Cardinals head coaching search will continue as the team will soon interview New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. They’ve also requested to talk to Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo for the same position. How the Cardinals choose to fill their head coaching vacancy will have an impact on whether Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores stays in the Steel City or not.

With his connections to new Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort, Flores was listed as DraftKings Sportsbook’s favorite to land Arizona’s job just about two weeks ago. He was previously linked to empty defensive coordinator positions in Cleveland and Atlanta — both of which decided to go with someone else. Flores has also interviewed to be Minnesota’s defensive coordinator.

Kafka designed the NFL’s fourth-best rushing offense this past regular-season — his first as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. Having helped New York back to the postseason for the first time since 2016, he’s gained some attention this hiring cycle. He’s also interviewed with Denver and Indianapolis and twice with Houston. The Panthers opted to go with former Colts head coach Frank Reich after also talking to Kafka.

Anarumo’s season came to a close Sunday night in a conference championship loss to Kansas City. His unit ranked seventh in the league in rushing defense, allowing 106.6 yards per game in the regular season. The group only let up 16.7 points per game over three playoff contests. Factoring in their last two opponents, that’s an impressive number.

Anarumo has been coaching in the NFL since 2012 and with the Bengals since 2019.

Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton were also in the mix of the Cardinals head coaching search, but the former decided to remain with the Cowboys and the latter in his role as a television broadcaster.

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