I recently exchanged emails with, newest Arizona Cardinal, Tim Hightower's former strength and conditioning coach at Richmond University. Coach Brandon Hourigan was kind enough to answer my questions and his enthusiasm and belief in Hightower's abilities are quite evident. Hourigan made sure to let me know how much he'll be missed by all in Richmond and that Hightower will win over fans and teammates with his outstanding work ethic. Since most of us had a fairly limited knowledge of Tim Hightower's college career and his strengths and weaknesses, my goal was to get some first hand knowledge from a coach who would know him best.
Q - The Cardinal coaching staff, and running backs coach Maurice Carthon specifically, seemed quite enamored with Tim after the draft. Did the staff show that much interest at
's pro day? Richmond
A - I think having Coach Carthon at Tim’s Pro-Day says how important it was to Coach Carthon to work Tim out.
Q - Much has been made of Tim's speed, or perceived lack there of, but many had the same question marks about Marion Barber coming out of
. Do you see similarities between their running style or is Tim a different animal entirely? Minnesota
A - He is a different animal that works continuously to get better at his speed. Whether its stretching-yoga-pilates or coming up with a new running drill, he will do it.
Q - What aspect of Tim's game do you think he'll have to improve on the most in order to become a featured back in the NFL, be it blitz pick up or receiving out of the backfield?
A - He will do fine at both, he just needs to keep staying hungry!
Q - Since not many Cardinals fans are familiar with
, can you give us a short explanation of the kind of offense (spread, pro style, etc) that Tim was a part of? Richmond
A - Pro style- Our former head coach is now the Tennessee OC. If this gives you any idea of the background Tim is used too.
Q - Tim's career really took off during his senior season at
. What would you attribute that too, whether it's better supporting cast or new work out regime? Richmond
A - A Mind set to be the best!
Q - I read somewhere shortly after the draft that Hightower. Was a stand out special teams player prior to be a star running back, was that on coverage units or in the return game, or both and do you think that's where he'll have to make his mark early in his NFL career?
A - Tim did it all even after rushing 90 yards for a TD, the next play he is running down on the kick off team making the hit.
Q - Where you put Tim's 'ceiling' as far as NFL stardom? Can he produce the same results that he showed in his senior season?
A - It’s up to him – If he stay’s hungry with a mind set that no one can beat him-Watch out!
Special Thanks to Coach Brandon Hourigan.
It doesn't take long to figure out the impression that Hightower leaves on his former coaches. We'll see this kid on the field soon enough, but for now he seems like a heck of person. Hopefully Hightower can learn quickly from the coaching staff as well as Edge and show some of the abilities that helped him star at Richmond. Regardless, I can't wait to see him in the pre-season, thoughts?