One of the many failures of the Steve Wilks staff was the inability to pull whatever talent was on the roster, out and put it on display.
Oh sure, some players grew, Robert Nkemdiche, Rodney Gunter and Josh Bynes on defense were all benefactors of the new scheme and teaching, but it failed as a whole.
Enter Vance Joseph and his defensive staff. As they look to reinvigorate a completely changed Cardinals defense, they will look to Joseph’s staff to finally get the most out of Steve Keim’s draft picks.
That’s where the position coaches will be key. Bill Davis is a familiar name at linebacker coach, but what about his assistant Charlie Bullen? How can he positively impact the Cardinals linebacking corps?
Let’s get a little background on the new assistant linebackers coach, from the team:
Bullen spent the last seven seasons with Miami, including the past three seasons (2016-18) as the Dolphins assistant linebackers coach. He originally joined the Dolphins in 2012 as a defensive assistant before being promoted to assistant defensive line coach in 2013 where he coached for three seasons (2013-15). Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso totaled 100+ tackles in each of the last three seasons working with Bullen, including a team and career-high 125 tackles in 2018. His 125 tackles were the most by a Dolphins player since 2015 and the most by a Miami linebacker since 2012. Alonso also had three interceptions and three forced fumbles last year and was the only player in the NFL in 2018 with 100+ tackles, 3+ interceptions and 3+ forced fumbles. As a defensive line assistant between 2013-15, Bullen helped defensive ends Cameron Wake (27) and Olivier Vernon (25.5) both rank among the NFL’s top players in total sacks during that span. Miami was the only team in the league to have two players rank in the top-20 in the NFL in total sacks in those three seasons. Wake was selected to the Pro Bowl in back-to-back seasons (2013-14) while working with Bullen.
Prior to working with the Dolphins, Bullen coached for three seasons (2009-11) as a graduate assistant working with defensive backs at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. He also served as a student assistant for two seasons (2007-08) working with Iowa’s quarterbacks while working on his bachelor’s degree. Before attending Iowa, Bullen played quarterback at Harper College (IL) and St. Norbert College (WI).