The Arizona Cardinals began making changes after a week of meetings. The first change to the team was in the coaching staff. Ken Whisenhunt decided to let go defensive coordinator and personal friend Bill Davis. Davis is the second defensive coordinator that Whisenhunt has fired since being named head coach in 2007. Clancy Pendergast was let go after the Cardinals' Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Davis' defense was disappointing in his second season on the job. Arizona's defense ranked 29th (there are 32 NFL teams) in total yards, was 30th in rushing defense and dead last in scoring defense.
Fans have been clamoring for Davis to be fired most of the season after the defense underachieved, considering that coming into the season the defense was expected to be a strength on the team.
Before fans worry about the team deciding to just promote from within, that is not going to happen. Whisenhunt said that candidates will come from outside the organization. Among possible front-runners are Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler and former Cardinals secondary coach Teryl Austin.
Whisenhunt tried to bring Butler over in 2007 but Pittsburgh denied permission. Butler had recently been through hip surgery after the 2008 season when Pendergast was fired, so that made interviewing him complicated. Butler has worked for years under defensive coaching legend Dick LeBeau.
Austin left the Cardinals to coach under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida after last season, but was not retained after Meyer resigned.
Whisenhunt said that he is considering other changes on the staff, but that did not necessarily mean that any would happen.
So, the first domino has fallen. Time will tell what other changes are forthcoming, but the speculation by fans and the media can now officially begin.