Both the Cardinals and Browns are interested in hiring former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano as defensive coordinator, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Pagano may indeed be the favorite for the Arizona job, Somers notes.
Pagano, 58, didn’t coach last season after being fired by Indianapolis, but he’s generated plenty of interest during the 2019 hiring cycle. He interviewed for both the Packers' and Broncos' head coaching positions, and has since been mentioned as candidate to take over as the Jets defensive coordinator under new head coach Adam Gase.
The Cardinals are looking for a veteran defensive coordinator to pair with rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and Pagano — who’s been coaching in the NFL for nearly two decades — would certainly fit that bill. He also runs a 3-4 defense, the same scheme Arizona prefers to deploy. Thus far, the only other candidate who has been linked to the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator gig is longtime NFL coach Dom Capers.
Like Arizona, Cleveland also hired a first-time head coach. Freddie Kitchens was a positional coach to open the 2018 season and had never even served as a coordinator until midway through last year, so he could use an experienced defensive play-caller at his side. After installing Kitchens as their head coach, the Browns parted ways with former interim head coach/defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and a number of defensive assistants. Cleveland is set to interview former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for its defensive coordinator position on Friday.
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