Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles had a five-hour interview with the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, according to a league source, and he is considered to be a lead candidate for the team's head-coaching vacancy.
Bowles originally was scheduled to interview with the Falcons on Thursday but the interview got pushed back after owner Arthur Blank's mother passed away. Bowles instead interviewed with the Chicago Bears on Thursday and with the San Francisco 49ers on Friday before coming to Atlanta. The interview with the Bears went well, as ESPN.com's Josh Weinfuss reported.
Bowles does not have a second interview lined up with the Falcons at this time, the source said. But Blank is likely to conduct second interviews with the top candidates before making a final decision.
Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is believed to be at the top of the Falcons' list now, if he wasn't already. Blank had a strong interest in former Jets coach Rex Ryan, but Ryan is on the verge of being named the new Buffalo Bills coach.
Quinn was part of the first wave of coaches interviewed by the Falcons along with Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and internal candidate Keith Armstrong. If the Falcons want to interview Quinn again, they might have to wait until after the Super Bowl, with the Seahawks a favorite to defend their title.
The Jets reportedly have Quinn -- who is from New Jersey -- at the top of their wish list.
Former Bills coach Doug Marrone, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Ryan were the other coaches previously interviewed by the Falcons.
Bowles, 51, is known for his aggressive defensive approach, and the Falcons sorely need to be fixed on defense after finishing last in the league in yards allowed, surrendering 398.3 yards per game.
Bowles apparently has current Cardinals quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens in mind as an offensive coordinator. He also has ties to a couple of coaches currently on the Falcons' staff. He was a college teammate of Armstrong at Temple University. And Bowles was a teammate of Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice when both played for the Washington Redskins in 1989.