Less than a week into the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals are already making changes. Thursday, coach Ken Whisenhunt let his defensive coordinator Bill Davis go after two seasons in the position and four with the team.
This came on the heels of a 5-11 season where the Arizona defense finished ranked 29th in total yards and last in points allowed.
"I have great respect for Billy as a coach and a friend, but when you go 5-11 you're forced to make some tough decisions, and this is one of them," Whisenhunt said.
Davis is the second defensive coordinator to be let go by Whisenhunt since he took over as head coach in 2007. Clancy Pendergast was fired prior to the 2009 season, when Davis was promoted from linebackers coach.
The Cardinals’ defense struggled in 2010 with five new starters, including two rookies, and failed to mesh into a productive unit, putting added pressure on an equally inept offense. Several returning players also failed to produce, limiting the unit’s ability to carry the team.
Whisenhunt has not ruled out further changes to his staff and is expected to look outside the organization to fill the defensive coordinator position. Initial candidates include Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler and former Arizona secondary coach Teryl Austin who was recently let go as defensive coordinator of the Florida Gators.