After Bruce Arians was named head coach for the Arizona Cardinals, he began immediately forming his coaching staff. He coached with a few of the previous coaches on the staff, namely Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, who were fired, and former defensive coordinator Ray Horton, all of which coached with him under Bill Cowher or Mike Tomlin with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In an interview he gave on Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620, he talked about the coaching staff he would form.
"There will be a common thread in this coaching staff," he said. "They will have either played for me, coached for me, some as far back as 30 years."
As such, almost everyone on the Cardinals coaching staff was let go -- all but previous tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens and strength and conditioning coach John Lott, as noted by Kent Somers.
Hearing Kitchens, Lott only #azcardinals assts retained. ST coord Kevin Spencer also let go— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) January 19, 2013
The staff is reportedly starting to come together. The team has not announced anything officially, but here is where we reportedly stand.
As offensive coordinator, Arians brought over Harold Goodwin from the Indianapolis Colts. Goodwin was the offensive line coach in 2012 for the Colts, was the quality control coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2007-2011 and was an offensive line assistant coach for the Chicago Bears from 2004-2006. He worked alongside Arians in both Indy and Pittsburgh.
At defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles is coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles. Bowles has been coaching since 1997, where he was defensive coordinator for Morehouse College, and then moved on to Grambling State. His NFL experience began in 2000 as defensive backs coach for the Jets. From 2001-2004 he was with the Cleveland Browns as a nickel package coach and then defensive backs coach. He coached the defensive backs for the Cowboys from 2005-2007 and then became the defensive backs coach and assistant head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2008. He even was interim head coach for three games after Tony Sparano was fired in 2011. He then coached the defensive backs for the Eagles before being named defensive coordinator. He also interviewed for and was a finalist for the Cardinals' DC position before the 2011 season when Ray Horton was hired. Bowles and Arians were on the same staff in Cleveland from 2001-2003.
Holdover Freddie Kitchens, who was the team's tight ends coach, will be Arians' quarterbacks coach. He played QB at Alabama, where Arians was on staff Kitchens' final year.
Mike Jurecki tweeted that Darryl Drake is going to be the team's wide receivers coach. He held the same position with the Chicago Bears. I could not find a connection between Drake and Arians.
The team's running backs coach is reportedly going to be Todd McNair. He was running backs coach for the Browns from 2001-2003, when Arians was also there. He was also the running backs coach for USC from 2004-2010.
I could not find anyone else as of Saturday night.
Impressions on the choices for the staff so far?
For the record, I am not among those who are spitting doom and gloom with the hiring of Todd Bowles. He is very good with defensive backs. He has head coaching experience. By all accounts, he is aggressive and he has coached both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. I don't think the dropoff will be huge by the time we look at next season's end.
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