The news that broke Saturday that the Pittsburgh Steelers are planning to hire Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin will likely affect the Cardinals and new coach Ken Whisenhunt.
All along, Whisenhunt wanted to tap into the Steelers’ existing coaching staff and assistants that he had worked with in Pittsburgh. But the Steelers, who had been considering one of the assistants on that staff — assistant head coach and offensive line coach Russ Grimm — were unwilling to let most of their coaches out of their contracts.
But now that Tomlin is apparently going to get the job, he is likely going to want his own coaches. And that means Whisenhunt may be able to target Steelers assistants again.
Whisenhunt was turned down when he tried to talk to Pittsburgh linebackers coach Keith Butler and receivers coach Bruce Arians.
Whisenhunt could also have interest in bringing Grimm — who was also a candidate for the Cards’ head coaching job — to Arizona.
First, though, Tomlin must be hired and he will have to make the same decisions to dump remaining assistants as Whisenhunt has done in Arizona.
Butler may not be needed anymore now that Whisenhunt hired Billy Davis to coach linebackers. Or Butler could be a candidate for defensive coordinator, as Arians could be a possibility for offensive coordinator.
Whisenhunt has hired coaches for linebackers, defensive backs and special teams. The Cardinals still have four holdover coaches as well: defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, receivers coach Mike Wilson, offensive line coach Steve Loney and safeties coach Rick Courtright.