The Cardinals have officially hired former Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb as their new defensive coordinator, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). The addition was widely expected after Arizona hired former Panthers DC Steve Wilks as their head coach earlier this week.
Holcomb spent the past five seasons coaching under Wilks in Carolina, and led one of the best linebacking units in the league during that time. Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Shaq Thompson are among the NFL’s premier linebackers, and Holcomb also coached ex-Panthers backup A.J. Klein, who landed a significant deal with the Saints last offseason.
In Arizona, Holcomb will take over a defense that ranked fourth in DVOA under former coordinator James Bettcher (notably, three spots higher than the Panthers). The Cardinals ranked fourth against the pass, but were even better against the run, as they ranked first overall in run defense DVOA. Stars such as Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones, and Tyrann Mathieu will now work under Holcomb’s leadership.
The Cardinals are still searching for an offensive coordinator, and the search is expected to come down to former Vikings OC Darrell Bevell or former Broncos OC Mike McCoy.
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