Shortly after losing the AFC Championship Game, the Cincinnati Bengals have to worry about losing one of their coaches. The Arizona Cardinals have requested permission to interview Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo as part of their head coaching search, according to Fox Sports' Peter Schrager..

The Cardinals fired Kliff Kingsbury at the end of the regular season and have been without a head coach for the last three weeks. Sean Payton and Brian Flores are considered to be leading candidates, though no clear favorite has emerged in Arizona.

Anarumo interviewed for the New York Giants head coaching position a year ago. The Bengals coordinator hasn't yet been up for another head coaching vacancy in 2023.

Over the last two years, Anarumo has become regarded as one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL. The 56-year-old's scheme in last year's AFC Championship Game stymied Patrick Mahomes in the second half, allowing the Bengals to make a comeback and reach the Super Bowl.

The Bengals nearly reached the Super Bowl for a second straight season, coming up just short in a 23-20 loss against the Chiefs in Sunday's conference title rematch. Cincinnati advanced to another AFC Championship Game by holding the Buffalo Bills to just 10 points on the road in the divisional playoffs. Anarumo's defense limited Josh Allen to no passing touchdowns and a 68.0 passer rating in Buffalo.

Anarumo was the Miami Dolphins defensive backs coach (2012-2017) and then held the same position with the Giants in 2018. The Bengals hired Anarumo to be the defensive coordinator in 2019.

The Bengals ranked sixth in scoring defense in the 2022 season. The Cardinals ranked second-to-last in points allowed.

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field after losing to the Los Angeles Rams 34-11 in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at SoFi Stadium on January 17, 2022 in Inglewood, California. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images