Cardinals fire coordinator Bill Davis
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona fired defensive coordinator Bill Davis, a member of the Cardinals' staff since Ken Whisenhunt became coach in 2007.
Davis is the second defensive coordinator fired by Whisenhunt in his four seasons in Arizona. Clancy Pendergast was dismissed after the team's run to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season.
Sando: Whisenhunt under pressure
While the defense was the most glaring problem, the Cardinals were poor on both sides of the ball, so hiring the right DC is important for coach Ken Whisenhunt, writes Mike Sando. Story
Davis was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator following Pendergast's dismissal. The team announced Davis' firing Thursday in a two-sentence statement.
The Cardinals were 5-11 and last in the NFC West after winning the division the previous two years. It was the first losing season since Whisenhunt took over. Davis has been an NFL assistant coach for 19 seasons with eight teams -- in chronological order Pittsburgh, Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Atlanta, the New York Giants, San Francisco and Arizona.
Arizona went 10-6 in Davis' first season as coordinator a year ago, with the team fifth in the league in fewest points allowed. But the Cardinals gave up 90 points in two playoff games and Davis knew the pressure was on this season. The departure of big-play linebacker Karlos Dansby via free agency didn't help.
Arizona wound up 29th out of 32 teams in total defense, 22nd in passing defense and 30th in run defense. Only Denver (471) and Dallas (436) allowed more points than the Cardinals' 434.
The offense, which has yet to have any staff changes, was even worse, ranking 31st in total offense, 31st in passing and 32nd in rushing.
Mike Miller is the passing game coordinator and called an increasing number of plays late in the season. Russ Grimm is running game coordinator.
Whisenhunt called the plays all of the 2009 season and most of 2010. Todd Haley, now coach of AFC West champion Kansas City, was offensive coordinator and called plays for the Super Bowl team. Whisenhunt said on Monday that the plan, as with Haley, was to have Miller call an increasing number of plays. The former offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Whisenhunt said he is considering relinquishing play calling but enjoys that part of his duties.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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