On NFL Total Access Monday evening, Michael Lombardi reported that the Arizona Cardinals are one of the teams interested in former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora, Jr. to fill their defensive coordinator vacancy. He would replace the recently fired Bill Davis. The Cardinals are not the only team interested, as it was also reported that the Philadelphia Eagles were interested in him as well.
Mora knows the NFC West well, having coached the Seahawks both as a head coach and as an assistant under Mike Holmgren. He also was the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator under Steve Mariucci. He is the son of former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Mora.
Mora's defenses are known for taking risks and thus netting defensive rewards and at times giving up plays. What is interesting about his name coming up is that fact that his background is in a 4-3 defensive scheme. Ken Whisenhunt seems to prefer the 3-4. However, Mora's Seahawks ran a more hybrid 4-3/3-4 scheme, much as the Cardinals defense did under Clancy Pendergast. One could think that the same setup would work here under Mora, although it could be a way to provide flexibility in schemes, depending on what happens in personnel.
Many times people have said that the players that Arizona has on defense would be better suited in a 4-3 because of the players they have on the defensive line, but that could change quickly this offseason. Alan Branch and Gabe Watson are not under contract for next year, nor is Bryan Robinson, who is contemplating retirement right now.
Again, this is only a rumor that came up on NFL Total Access. Cardinals writer Darren Urban tweeted that he had not heard anything about Mora yet. However, when almost everyone else is speculating that Whisenhunt is waiting until the Pittsburgh Steelers are done with their season to talk to Keith Butler or other members of their defensive staff, this is certainly something intriguing and unexpected.