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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Few answers in Cardinals' coordinator search

By Mike Sando

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Cardinals' reported interest in Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler as a candidate for defensive coordinator appears headed nowhere.

Mike Jurecki of KGME radio in Phoenix said the Cardinals requested and received permission from the Steelers to interview Butler for the job. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Cardinals haven't even asked for permisison on Butler.

Kent Somers, longtime Cardinals beat reporter for the Arizona Republic, says he has been unable to confirm Butler as a candidate. I have also been unable to confirm Butler as a candidate. The Steelers and Cardinals have declined comment as a matter of policy.

We know the Cardinals once had interest in Butler. They requested permission to speak with him before the 2007 season, when Ken Whisenhunt left the Steelers for the Cardinals. The Steelers denied permission at that time. Here is what Somers reported Jan. 19, 2007, according to the Republic's paid archives:

"Whisenhunt asked for the Steelers' permission to interview three current staff members. The Steelers denied the request to talk to receivers coach Bruce Arians and linebackers coach Keith Butler. They granted Whisenhunt permission to talk to special-teams coach Kevin Spencer, and he could join the Cardinals staff soon."

Spencer coaches the Cardinals' special teams. Arians became the Steelers' offensive coordinator. Butler remained in Pittsburgh as linebackers coach.

The Cardinals remain without coordinators on boths sides of the ball, and without a quarterbacks coach. Linebackers coach Bill Davis and secondary coach Teryl Austin appear in line for interviews on the defensive side. Assistant head coach/offensive line Russ Grimm is a candidate on the offensive side.

The Rams are the only other NFC West team with an opening at coordinator. The Rams have not named position coaches at tight end, linebacker or defensive back, but they could conceivably fill one or more of those positions with coaches already on staff.

Title Cardinals 49ers Seahawks Rams
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
Mike Singletary
Jim Mora
Steve Spagnuolo
Off. Coord.
Jimmy Raye
Greg Knapp
Pat Shurmur
OL Russ Grimm
Chris Foerster
Mike Solari
Steve Loney
QB (unnamed)
Mike Johnson
Bill Lazor
Dick Curl
WR Mike Miller
Jerry Sullivan
Robert Prince
Charlie Baggett
RB Maurice Carthon
Tom Rathman
Kasey Dunn
Sylvester Croom
TE Freddie Kitchens
Pete Hoener
Mike DeBord
Def. Coord.
(unnamed) Greg Manusky
Gus Bradley
Ken Flajole
DL Ron Aiken
Jim Tomsula
Dan Quinn
Brendan Daly
LB Bill Davis
Zerick Rollins
DB Teryl Austin
Tim Lewis (unnamed)
Special Teams
Kevin Spencer
Al Everest
Bruce DeHaven
Tom McMahon