Once the Cardinals hire a GM well-schooled in the Patriot Way, the next step may be to hire a coach with a similar pedigree.
Current rumors circulating around the league are that Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill is endorsing former Dolphins coach Monty Osenfort (and current Steelers assistant) Brian Flores as Kliff Kingbury’s successor.
From a football perspective, Flores would fit the “exact opposite” formula that teams often use when hiring a new head coach. Flores will bring discipline and accountability. He also gives quarterback Kyler Murray a wake-up call about the work ethic and dedication that the defensive position requires at the professional level. (Spoiler: It takes a lot more than four hours of study per week.)
From a non-football perspective, hiring Flores would help both the Cardinals and the league in the context of a racial discrimination lawsuit Flores filed last year against the NFL, Dolphins, Broncos, Giants and ultimately the Texans. Former Cardinals coach Steve Wilks later joined the effort, claiming he was primarily hired to lead a dismal 2018 season and then fired.
Bidwill, a lawyer and former prosecutor, no doubt recognizes the potential consequences of discrediting Flores and the potential benefits of giving him the job. Throw in the fact that Flores has proven to be a damn good coach (better than Kingsbury, to be honest) and it’s a win-win for the Cardinals, Flores and the NFL.
Of course, the NFL’s final finding on Flores’ lawsuit depends heavily on whether the trial goes to open court or is settled by the league’s internal, secretive, rigged, kangaroo court. If it’s the former, the NFL and the teams named as defendants should be concerned. If it is the latter, then the legal issues necessarily become less important.
The NFL’s efforts to arbitrate the case are still pending, nearly a year after the lawsuit was first filed. Proving once again that the wheels of justice often crawl like a dollop of molasses on a frozen flagpole.
If there’s any chance the case will end up in court, hiring Flores wouldn’t hurt the Cardinals from a legal standpoint. It could help them a lot from a football point of view.