The Arizona Cardinals confirmed Saturday that defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast has been let go.
News of Pendergast's dismissal first surfaced on Friday, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt confirmed the firing in a statement released by the team.
"Clancy is a talented coach and we appreciate all that he’s contributed in his time with the Cardinals,” Whisenhunt said. “... But as part of the evaluation process that’s done after every season, I took a look at the last two years as a whole and felt this move was necessary to help us continue the progress we’ve made.
"Like every decision it comes down to what’s best for the team and what gives us the best chance to win."
Pendergast initially joined the Cardinals in 2004 as the defensive coordinator under then-head coach Dennis Green. After three seasons under Green, he was one of two assistants retained by Whisenhunt when he took over in January of 2007.
Whisenhunt said he already has in mind potential replacements, both internally and externally, "and will begin that process immediately.”
The Cardinals are also looking for a new offensive coordinator after Todd Haley took the Kansas City Chiefs' head coaching job on Friday.
In-house candidates on both sides of the ball who could be considered for the coordinator openings include:
-- Linebackers coach Bill Davis, who was defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 and 2006.
-- Assistant head coach Russ Grimm, who oversees the offensive line.
-- Running backs coach Maurice Carthon, who was offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2005 and 2006 under coach Romeo Crennel.
Tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens and wide receivers coach Mike Miller could also be considered for the offensive opening.
An outside candidate who could be considered as a replacement for Pendergast is Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, who worked with Whisenhunt in Pittsburgh. Whienhunt was interested in Butler when he was hired by the Cardinals in 2007, but Butler was under contract at the time and the Steelers would not allow him to interview.