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Cardinals' Coaching Search Reveals Clear Desire to Shift Culture

You don't have to look far into the Arizona Cardinals' coaching search to understand their goal to change the culture of the football team.

Losing breeds losing. 

That's a fact the Arizona Cardinals know all too well. Since the days where the franchise relocated and played their initial home games at Sun Devil Stadium, winning seasons have been far and few between. 

Only seven times since that relocation to Phoenix in 1988 have the Cardinals finished with a record above .500, which includes just once in the last seven years. 

Winning is the only thing that matters, and although fans have enjoyed great seasons in 2008 and 2015 (among others), the Lombardi Trophy has yet to make its way to the team facility in Tempe.

That bothers Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill, especially having to fire head coach Kliff Kingsbury not even a full year after handing him a contract extension. 

Yet some decisions are needed to be made for the betterment of the future, and although every excuse was available for Kingsbury whether it be injuries or constant drama around the team, it's clear Bidwill didn't see him as the future. 

Thus, the search for a new head coach is underway, and there's one clear word Bidwill is seeking in the pool of candidates he's either interviewed or requested to interview: Culture. 

With some exceptions, there's essentially two molds of coaches: An offensive play-caller that has now captivated recent hiring trends, and a defensive-minded coach who brings factors such as toughness and attitude. 

Let's evaluate the seven outside candidates associated thus far: 

Frank Reich: Offensive guy, Super Bowl winner as OC with Philadelphia

Sean Payton: Offensive guy, Super Bowl winner as HC with New Orleans

Ejiro Evero: Defensive guy, Super Bowl winner with Los Angeles Rams

Aaron Glenn: Defensive guy, part of a culture shift under Dan Campbell in Detroit

DeMeco Ryans: Defensive guy, part of a culture shift in San Francisco 

Brian Flores: Defensive guy, part of a culture shift in Miami 

Dan Quinn: Defensive guy, part of a culture shift in Dallas

It's clear that Bidwill and GM Monti Ossenfort are looking for somebody that can help change what has been a losing culture within Arizona's walls. 

Recent trends have shown a surge in young, offensive masterminds making their way into head coaching positions. Though that was a clear swing-and-miss with Kingsbury, there's a want from many to bring somebody in to maximize the talents of quarterback Kyler Murray. 

In his introductory press conference, Ossenfort said they're simply looking for a leader, regardless of what side of the ball they lean towards. 

“We're looking for a head coach that can lead this entire organization. We're looking for a head coach that can develop all the players with Kyler being a big part of that. We want the right coach," he said. 

"Whether that's an offensive coach or a defensive coach, it frankly doesn't matter. We want the best coach and we have a plan for what we are going to be as an organization; we're going to develop our players and we're going to put them in the best position to make us successful and ultimately win.”

Including Joseph, six of the eight candidates to take over for Kingsbury have their strengths rest on the defensive side of the ball with most of those six having strong leadership qualities. 

The search will continue. Coaches will get second interviews and Arizona will eventually close in on their fourth head coach in the last decade. 

There's hope the next can be the last, at least for awhile. Taking a scan across the league, some of the most stable and successful franchises of this millennium (Bill Belichick in New England, Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, even John Harbaugh in Baltimore) are led by the mold of coach the Cardinals seek. 

The Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan's of the world aren't going anywhere. Should the Cardinals hire their own young offensive mind (Shane Steichen exists, Mr. Bidwill), that wouldn't be a bad hire. 

Yet Arizona has a clear idea of what they want out of a leader, especially after seeing what Kingsbury lacked so much down the stretch of his final 4-13 season with the Cardinals. 

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