After Jonathan Gannon informed Vance Joseph he was free to explore other opportunities, the Cardinals are moving on their defensive coordinator search. Two interview requests went out Friday morning.
The NFC West team requested DC meetings with Bears linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi and Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter links). Borgonzi is scheduled to interview for the job Saturday.
Borgonzi followed Matt Eberflus to Chicago, having spent four seasons as Indianapolis’ linebackers coach. Gannon was on that Frank Reich-led Indy staff from 2018-20. Covington, who is just 33, has been the Patriots’ D-line coach since 2020 and has worked in New England since 2017. That tenure overlapped with new Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort, and Rapoport adds the two have been friends for a bit. These are the first two interview requests the Cards have sent out regarding their DC position.
Covington has steadily climbed the ladder in New England, moving from an assistant position to outside linebackers coach to D-line coach since 2017. The Pats hired the young assistant out of the college ranks; he spent the 2016 season as Eastern Illinois’ co-defensive coordinator. This is Covington’s first DC interview opportunity, and Ossenfort’s presence stands to give the six-year Pats staffer a decent chance of receiving another title bump.
Borgonzi oversaw the first four seasons of Shaquille Leonard‘s career. Three of those produced first-team All-Pro honors for the star linebacker, and Bobby Okereke‘s production also reflects well on Borgonzi. The Bears traded Roquan Smith midway through Borgonzi’s first Chicago season, continuing a teardown that gave its defensive staffers less talent to manage. The Bears ranked last in scoring defense in 2022, but Borgonzi will receive an opportunity to state his case for an elevation. Borgonzi has been in the NFL since joining the Cowboys’ staff in 2011.