While I am doing the research to come up with GM and coaching combos from the NFL’s top organization, here is an “outside the box” Steelers’-related quartet that can help the Cardinals erase the stigmas of the past, make Arizona a hotbed of football culture and elevate the franchise to unprecedented heights.
- GM: Ryan Clark —- the proverbial straw that stirs the gatorade, ultimate go-getter, straight-up honest, big-time personality. Master of X’s and O’s, NFL coaching staffs and rosters.
- HC: Troy Polamalu —- once a yearly top candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, he formed a Super Bowl champion tandem at safety with Ryan Clark. He’s been Head of Player Relations of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) and has the charisma and football acumen to be a tremendous NFL head coach and mentor, particularly to veterans and young players alike.
- OC : Mark Whipple —- former Ivy League QB at Brown from Camelback High School (named Arizona Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1975), former Steelers’ QB coach when Ben Roethlisberger came into the NFL (while Polamalu and Clark were on the roster), led UMass to a Division 1-AA national championship and had OC stints at Miami (FL), Pittsburgh (where he developed Kenny Pickett) and at Nebraska this past season. His offenses are consistently high scoring and QB centric. His son Spencer is currently the Cardinals’ RB coach.
- DC: Larry Foote —- former Steelers’ teammate of Polamalu’s and Clark’s as one of the ILB in Dick LeBeau’s vaunted 3-4 defense, who went on to play ILB for the Cardinals under Bruce Arians (then after he joined BA’s staff as ILB coach) and is currently the LB coach with the Bucs whom he helped hoist the Super Bowl’s Lombardi Trophy in 2020.
Just imagine what Budda Baker, whom Ryan Clark calls “my guy”, would think of him and his teammates being led by Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu, Mark Whipple and Larry Foote.
Talk about creating a buzz!