Peter King: Arians Searching For “Kindred Spirit”

Arizona Sports News online

It’s often said in life one benefits greatly from mentors.

These visionaries often provide guidance, stability and leadership which further enables growth and development.

The same can also hold true in the business world, as well.

This includes billion dollar businesses like the NFL.

Each corporation, or franchise in this case, builds their infrastructure a certain way.

Here in Arizona, Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians seems intent on following a specific philosophy as he searches for his new defensive coordinator after the New York Jets hired 51-year-old Todd Bowles to be their next head coach.

“It strikes me that Bruce Arians is looking for a kindred spirit,” Senior NFL Writer Peter King told’s Brad Cesmat during his weekly interview Tuesday. “He’s looking for a guy that he knows who has a long and proven track record as a defensive mind in the NFL.”

A couple big names have surfaced as possible replacements, including one who the well-traveled Arians’ knows quite well.

“I think his ‘ideal world guy’ would be Dick LeBeau,” King explained. “He really trusts Dick and he believes that LeBeau would be a great mentor for a young defensive coordinator-particularly on a team where you have so many veteran guys and so many trusted veteran guys.”

King feels the Cardinals’ defense would not only play extremely hard for the long-time Pittsburgh Steelers coach but show their respect for the Pro Football Hall-of-Famer.  

“I think it would be a great advantage if they could get LeBeau,” he said.

Arians, who is currently in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl is expected to meet with the 77-year-old LeBeau at some point this week. Long-time NFL coach and Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has also been linked to the vacancy.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.