Shane Bowen potential candidate to watch in Arizona Cardinals' coaching search

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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By now, anyone who follows the Arizona Cardinals knows all about Sean Payton, Vance Joseph, Brian Flores and several other candidates for the NFL team's open head coaching position.

A new name could soon be mentioned with them among the favorites to replace Kliff Kingsbury.

That name? Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen.

Odds are already giving Bowen, 36, a shot to become the next coach of the Cardinals.

OddsChecker recently put him fourth in its odds to coach in Arizona, with +600 odds or a 14.3% chance.

He only trailed Joseph, the current Cardinals defensive coordinator, Payton, the former coach of the New Orleans Saints and Flores, the former coach of the Miami Dolphins.

DraftKings also put Bowen fourth in its odds to coach the Cardinals, giving him +500 odds, behind Payton, Flores and Joseph.

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Cardinals coaching speculation has started to include Bowen, who has ties to new Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort from their time together in Tennessee.

Fansided recently called Bowen a "darkhorse candidate" to be the Arizona Cardinals' next coach.

Jim Koch wrote: "Over the past two seasons, Bowen has done an impressive job with the Titans defensive unit. This past year, the 36-year-old assistant’s group gave up just 21.1 points per game, and ranked number-one in the NFL against the run. In 2021, Bowen’s defense ranked 5th-overall in points allowed (20.8) and were 2nd-best in the league at stopping the run. … Could it be that all of the talk about the other candidates has been nothing but a ruse? Bowen is certainly an intriguing option for the Cardinals. We’ll know soon enough if Ossenfort feels the same."

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Raising Zona's Sion Fawkes included Flores in a list of potential Cardinals' coach candidates after Ossenfort's hire.

He wrote: "The Arizona Cardinals have their general manager, so of course, Monti Ossenfort will aid in owner Michael Bidwill’s quest to find the ideal head coach. Several names have popped up over the last few weeks, and Brian Flores may now be the most notable. Ossenfort and Flores were together in New England, so the pair know one another well.  And Flores will get his chance, as the Cardinals requested an interview with the former Miami Dolphins head coach. But there could be other takers as well, like Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen."

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Could Shane Bowen end up being the next Arizona Cardinals' head coach?

Yardbarker recently called Bowen an "NFL head coach in waiting."

Sam Robinson wrote: "The Titans were able to secure a No. 1 seed last season, reaching that place despite housing less talent compared to the Chiefs, Bills, and Bengals. Bowen's play-calling tenure started rocky in 2020, but the Titans ranked sixth defensively last year. They did their part in a divisional-round loss as well, sacking Joe Burrow nine times. This year, Tennessee has dealt with major injuries on Bowen's side of the ball -- most notably Harold Landry's ACL tear. Mike Vrabel has become a well-regarded head coach, but Bowen, 35, is calling Tennessee's defensive plays. Vrabel's top lieutenant stands to receive HC looks soon."

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Sportsnaut.com recently included Bowen on a list of the best NFL coaching candidates for 2023.

Matt Johnson wrote: "For NFL teams seeking a young defensive-minded coach, Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator Shane Bowen has accelerated the coaching ladder quickly. He started as a student assistant at Georgia Tech and then served as a grad assistant (2010-’11), learning under Paul Johnson. After one season as a grad assistant on Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State, Bowen spent the next three years at Kennesaw State before making the jump to the NFL in 2016 with the Houston Texans (2016-’17) before becoming the Titans’ outside linebackers coach.In his first season as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator (2021), the Titans had the fifth-lowest blitz rate (21.3%) in the NFL, but finished ninth in sacks (43) and pressures (169). Tennessee finished the 2021 season ranked eighth in Football Outsiders’ Weighted DVOA. A year later, Bowen’s unit is top-12 in Weighted DVOA despite losing Harold Landry before Week 1."

Could coaching the Cardinals be the next step on the coaching ladder for Bowen?

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Reach Jeremy Cluff at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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