Report: Cardinals interested in interviewing Falcons DC Mike Nolan

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals were seemingly ready to appoint Todd Bowles’ replacement at defensive coordinator from within.

It’s now looking like the team is okay with going outside for their search as well.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Cardinals are interested in bringing in Atlanta Falcons’ defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for an interview for the vacant position.

Nolan has been the Falcons’ defensive coordinator for the past three seasons. In 2014, Nolan’s defense gave up the most yards per game [398.3], yards per play [6.14], passing yards per game [279.9], passing yards per play [7.91], rushing touchdowns [21] and first downs per game [22.4]. Atlanta’s defense also had the highest third-down percentage [46.8] in the NFL.

Bruce Arians and Nolan have never worked together in the NFL, but Nolan and Bowles have history. Bowles was on Nolan’s staff when he was the New York Jets’ defensive coordinator in 2000. Bowles was also with Nolan in 2010 and 2011 in Miami, when Nolan was the Dolphins defensive coordinator. Nolan also coached Cardinals linebacker John Abraham when Abraham was with the Falcons.

The Cardinals are reportedly looking in-house at defensive backs coach Nick Rapone and outside linebackers coach James Bettcher for the defensive coordinator position as well. Rapone is believed to be the frontrunner for the job. Prior to joining the Cardinals, Rapone served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at the University of Delaware for seven years [2006-12].

Fox Sports 910 Cardinals Insider Mike Jurecki is hearing something a bit different than what Schefter is reporting. Jurecki believes that Nolan would be brought in as a senior advisor and not the defensive coordinator. The Cardinals are also expected to have former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in this week for an interview.

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