TEMPE, Ariz. -- That didn’t take long.
The Cleveland Browns have requested permission to interview Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The request came less than 24 hours after the Browns fired first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski following a 4-12 season.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians expected Bowles to be the target for some of the teams looking for a new head coach. That number was five by Monday afternoon and could grow by the end of the week.
Bowles has experience as a head coach, albeit briefly. He was 2-1 as the Miami Dolphins interim head coach for the final three games of 2011.
As the Cardinals’ defense improved throughout the season, Bowles’ name climbed up coaching lists. He ran a 3-4 scheme as the Cardinals did in 2012, but with a few tweaks. He transformed a run defense from the 28th best unit in the league to No. 1 simply by going to a single-gap defense. Under Bowles, Arizona finished with the sixth-best defense overall and the 14th-ranked pass defense.
Per league rules, teams are required to allow coordinators to interview for head coaching jobs if teams submit a request.
Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who is considered as a possible replacement for Chudzinski, held the same position with the Cardinals in 2012.