Playoff Team Steals Lineman Away From Cardinals Practice Squad

Zach Kerr

Getty Images Zach Kerr looks on before the game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 21, 2021.

The Cincinnati Bengals are stealing a member from the Arizona Cardinals.

The Bengals announced the signing of defensive lineman Zach Kerr off of the Cardinals practice squad on Wednesday, January 19. Kerr played in just three games in 2021 for the Cardinals and played no more than 34% of snaps.

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Kerr was undrafted in 2014 and signed with the Colts shortly after. He’s played 95 games in his career and prior to 2021, Kerr has played in at least 10 games each season but has never accumulated more than 33 tackles in a season.

The 31-year-old was also a Cardinal in 2019 before signing a contract with the Panthers in 2020. He then spent time with the 49ers in 2021 for three games and was released – then the Cardinals signed him back for a second time.

The addition comes as the Bengals will face the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the playoffs. Cincinnati needs depth at defensive tackle due to the possibility Josh Tupou won’t be cleared to play.

Kerr was elevated from the practice squad for the Cardinals’ Wild Card game on January 17 and could have a chance to finally see the field for the first time since Week 13.


Coordinator Gets Interview Date

Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is scheduled for an interview for the head coach vacancy of the Miami Dolphins on January 21, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The news comes after the Dolphins put out a request to interview Joseph on January 11. The Dolphins fired Brian Flores on January 9, who finished the year 9-8 after a shaky 1-7 start.

Joseph was a defensive coordinator for Miami in 2016 before taking the Denver Broncos head coaching job in 2017.

“It’s pretty cool, it comes with obviously winning and having a good year and being the playoffs,” Joseph on January 14 when asked about Miami’s interest. Obviously, I worked there before, so I’m familiar with the building, the GM and the owner and those things are always good.”

Joseph did face growing pains as head coach in Denver, going 12-21, and was quickly fired after two seasons. But Joseph’s quarterbacks were Case Keenum, Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch. The Broncos’ offense kept putting the defense on the field way too long in Joseph’s tenure.

The Cardinals have seen improvement on defense under Joseph’s supervision, finishing near the top-10 in opposing points per game in the last two seasons. He also had the Cardinals finish a seventh-best 235 yards allowed per game in 2021.

Joseph’s not the only candidate for Miami. According to Rapoport, the Dolphins are also exploring potential interviews for 49ers OC Mike McDaniel and Cowboys coordinators Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore this week. The Dolphins also interviewed Bills coordinators Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier on January 16.


Kingsbury Speaks to Media

After losing to the Rams on Monday night, head coach Kliff Kingsbury spoke to the media on January 18 about the team’s plans ahead.

“We’ll start talking about it today, tomorrow, the next couple of days while it’s fresh and all the coaches are doing exit interviews and working through that,” Kingsbury said. “It’s an ongoing process.”

Kingsbury is getting a lot of grief for the team’s downward spiral on social media and from sports personalities. Kingsbury’s teams have fallen short in the second half in college and the pros. While the Cardinals reached their first postseason appearance since 2015, the team started 7-0 and had higher aspirations. 

Linebacker Jordan Hicks is giving the head coach support.

“He’s been really good for me through that whole process, so it’s been a pleasure working for him and working with him,” Hicks said. “He’s a great coach. I love being around him, his intensity, his ability to lead. I’ve had nothing but awesome experiences with him.”

2022 free agent tight-end Zach Ertz was acquired in October but sees growth in Kingsbury that shouldn’t be forgotten.

“I think you’ve seen the progress the past three years, going from three wins before he got here to five wins, to eight wins to 11 wins,” Ertz said. “He’s so, so smart offensively, and I think he’s just continuing to get better, from what I’ve heard, in terms of leadership and just managing this football team. Each and every year it’s improved.

The 42-year-old has one year left on his contract.

 

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