Cards hire Robinson as RB coach

Posted by Darren Urban on February 5, 2010 – 9:31 am

The Cardinals have a complete coaching staff again. On the heels of the news John Lott (and the rest of the staff as well) is back under contract through 2010, the Cards have hired Tommie Robinson — who was the running backs coach for the University of Miami — to replace the departed Curtis Modkins as the Cards’ running backs coach.

Robinson, who had been at the “U” for three seasons, was an assistant for the Dallas Cowboys from 1998-2000. Between his time with the Cowboys and the ‘Canes, Robinson coached at Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech and Memphis.

It’ll be the third running backs coach in three years for the Cards. Maurice Carthon, who came in with coach Ken Whisenhunt, left after the 2008 season to join former Cards’ assistant Todd Haley in Kansas City. Modkins left after one season to become the offensive coordinator in Buffalo under new head coach Chan Gailey — who, ironically, coached Robinson in college and used Robinson on his coaching staffs with the Cowboys and Georgia Tech.

Robinson will have a nice backfield to work with, given Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower. And the Cards are expected to lean on the run more often now that Kurt Warner has retired.

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Posted in Blog | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Cards hire Robinson as RB coach”

  1. By ben on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply


    For lack of time at work, can you let us know who Robinson has coached in the past? Any running backs from the U that are in the NFL? Any history he has during his coaching tenure? Thanks.

  2. By darrenurban on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Ben —

    From Robinson’s official bio on the Miami website:

    “Robinson spent the 2006 season as the running backs coach at the University of Memphis, following a four-year stint as an assistant at Georgia Tech (2002-05), where he coached under Chan Gailey, for whom he played at Troy State and worked under as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys. At Georgia Tech, Robinson coached wide receivers for one season before becoming the tight ends coach, where he tutored former NFL players John Paul Foschi and Darius Williams. During the 2002 season, Robinson worked with standout receivers Kerry Watkins and Will Glover, who both finished their careers among the top-five receivers in Georgia Tech history. He spent the 2001 season as the running backs coach at Oklahoma State, where he worked with Tatum Bell.

    “From 1998-2000, he served as an offensive assistant with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, working with wide receivers and special teams. While in Dallas, he worked with such noted NFL greats as Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith and former Hurricane Michael Irvin. Prior to his time in Dallas, Robinson spent three months at UNLV in 1998, four seasons at TCU (1994-97) and two years at Utah State (1992-93) as a full-time assistant. While he was at TCU, he worked with LaDainian Tomlinson, the All-Pro running back for the San Diego Chargers.”

  3. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply


    Was Modkins’ contract over at the end of 2009 season, or did Whiz release Modkins from a contract that extended into 2010?

    Apparently Dedric Ward and Clancy Pendergast weren’t that valuable to Todd Haley either as both Ward and Pendergast were released by the Chiefs last month…

    In Whiz I Trust.

  4. By darrenurban on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Ottis —

    I believe the Cards allowed Modkins to leave so he could take a promotion.

  5. By Ross on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Time to put Hightower in the banner. Come on Darren!

  6. By darrenurban on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Ross —

    The player choices on the banner are decided higher on the food chain than I.

  7. By Pay Dockett on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, then tell paul to do it! 🙂

  8. By TucsonTim on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    I’m sorry. You said we have a complete coaching staff. Who is the offensive coordinator? Who is going to call the plays?

  9. By TucsonTim on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    One more thing, any talk about a defensive coordinator?

  10. By darrenurban on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Tucson —

    I’m sorry. I thought you followed football more closely. Ken Whisenhunt, who called plays in Pittsburgh for several years — including a Super Bowl victory — calls plays for the Cards, who led the entire NFL by scoring touchdowns at better than 70 percent when they got in the red zone.

    At defensive coordinator, the Cards have Bill Davis, who was on the job this season when the Cards shaved more than six points a game off its per game allowed average and smashed the team mark for sacks since the franchise moved to Arizona.

  11. By Mclark on Feb 5, 2010 | Reply

    Atta boy Darren!!!

    Go Cards Go!!!

    In Whiz we Trust!

  12. By Dan on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    Our best RB by far is Beanie Wells, Hightower is good but he can’t even hold Wells jock. This is Wells team from here on out if he stays healthy. Wells athletic ability is much more superior than Hightowers. My personal game plan was to run Beanie Wells like a beast against the Saints and that didn’t happen, Hightower had a great run but we hardly even used Beanie Wells in the game and that was a huge mistake. It really surprised me to see the type of gameplan we had against the Saints. I was screaming for Wells in the 1st quarter…hehe! He puts a fear in the defense and we didn’t use it to our advantage. Coaches get caught up with being too close to these guys and they can’t see whats really going on in front of them, obvious becomes distorted. Cardinals should hire me as a scout, I have a unique talent. I’m 40 years old and have watched football my entire life, even played HS football…hehe! Seriously, I have no doubt I could build a team to greatness…..give me a call Michael and I’ll pay you dividends. For example…..draft Greg Hardy in the 1st round because he will be gone by the time we pick in the 2nd round. I would draft mostly defense in this upcoming draft. He’s not the best DE in the draft but hes our best option considering our late 1st rd pick. Quit messing around and just draft the guy.

  13. By k. on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    when are they going to update the coaches page to reflect the change from modkins to robinson?

  14. By darrenurban on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    k. —

    I will get to that as soon as I can. Probably Monday.

  15. By Chuck Anderson on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    Coach Wiz knows what he is doing! I believe in Coach Wiz !

  16. By k. on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    thanks darren! i love yr. work on the articles, blogs, and the underground! seriously you deserve an award for excellence in coverage of the az dagnasty nfc west champions to be in ’10. thanks for yr. professionalism all these years! k.

    p.s. y’re most deserving of credit – no shate!

  17. By k. on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    i’d love to see an article on ufa’s and rfa’s to be in a no cba in ’10 as well as all those players that have contract issues. i am glad to see strength coach lott signed up through ’10 but i am wondering is this just because coach whiz is signed through ’10? if so, if and hopefully this is the case, coach whiz gets an extension will they extend the other coaches too? any word on an extension for whiz because damn if he doesn’t get one then who in the nfl deserves one? thanks. k.

  18. By darrenurban on Feb 7, 2010 | Reply

    k —

    Do you mean the Cards’ UFA and RFAs or the whole league?

    As for the coaches, most of it is up in the air because of the lack of a CBA. Teams want to be careful with what they are locked into paying — including coaches — because there may be no football in 2011.

    As for Whiz, the Cardinals hold a team option for 2011, so he can’t be a coaching FA unless the Cards decide not to exercise the option, which is unlikely.

  19. By TucsonTim on Feb 6, 2010 | Reply

    OK Darren –

    Whiz was a great offensive coordinator..for the Steelers. I thought he was hired to be the head coach. How many NFL teams use their head coach to be the offensive coordinator and call the plays. You want to put me in my place with a red zone stat, educate me a little more. You can quote stats all day, but the stat that stands out to me is that we lost 4 home games this year.

    As far as standing up for Davis; how many points did we give up in 2 playoff games? An NFL record, yes or no. Don’t forget that we get 4 games against Seattle and St Louis. Things would look a lot different if we were playing in ANY other division in the NFL.

    I know you are a company man but if you want to come after me, bring it on.

  20. By darrenurban on Feb 7, 2010 | Reply

    Tucson —

    I would be making the same argument if I was still working for a newspaper. You chose to use sarcasm, so I answered in kind. I wasn’t the one picking this fight.

    You are a fan and you are allowed your opinion. That’s fine. But too many times there are knee-jerk reactions with players and coaches. Cut this player. Fire this coach. I’ve been about as close to an NFL franchise for a decade now and I can’t pretend like I have all the answers. My guess is you haven’t had the same access. You are a die-hard fan, sure. So the Cards should do, what? Hire Tom Moore as OC? Chase, who, Gregg Williams as DC? And if Williams’ defense surrenders 38 points to Peyton later today, I guarantee there will be some Saints’ fans calling for his head. Ridiculous. But true.

    So the Cards lost four games. They shouldn’t have lost the 49ers game. Given. They were overpowered by a Colts team, that, it can be argued, could have been undefeated this year. Warner melted down against the Panthers. They gave away the Packers game before it started. I’ll let you argue they could have been more dynamic offensively against the Niners, but they were without Breaston and Anquan was injured and thus worthless in that game. Which game was the fault of the playcalling? Seriously, let me know. And don’t tell me they blew it because they weren’t feeding Beanie 25 times a game. That may have helped against SF but in no other game.

    Should the defense have been better in the playoffs? Yes. Where did Davis go wrong though, since you are an expert? If he benches McFadden — and obviously Whisenhunt has a big say in who plays — who do you put in? Toler? The coaches watched him every day and determined he wasn’t ready. They played arguably the two best offenses in the NFC in those two playoff games. I’m all for fans getting upset but the Cards finished in the top 8 of 32 teams. One team wins the Super Bowl. Going 10-6 and getting to the Divisional round should not mean blowing the whole coaching structure to hell.

  21. By k. on Feb 7, 2010 | Reply

    darren –

    when i referred to a piece on the ufa’s and rfa’s in ’10 without a cba i was talking about the cardinals. the same is true for contract situations facing the organization.

    wow, i can’t believe i didn’t know there was a team option in’11 on whiz’s contract! thanks for the information.

  22. By darrenurban on Feb 7, 2010 | Reply

    k. —

    Since that’s the case, go to this blog post. In it is a link where I go over all the contract situations with practically everyone on the roster.

  23. By Jay Martin on Feb 7, 2010 | Reply

    Way to get ’em Darren! I had my doubts with Whiz at the head of our offense when the season began, but he showed that he is able to do the head coach job, and the OC job just fine. I find it odd that after so many losing seasons, how we, as cardinals fans, try to pick apart every wrong in our team lineup and coaching staff after one of the best seasonal records since moving to AZ and a divisional round playoff game. Even if its a divisional round playoff loss, i would have given anything 8 years ago to see us do something like that.

    As stated before, whiz, with the help of others (KW/LF/AW) has turned our franchise around, if he thinks he can call the plays better than the next guy, then i say let him do it, hes gotten us this far, I believe he will get us all the way there.

  24. By Ty on Feb 8, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I am a big fan of Whisenhunt calling plays for us. While Haley did an excellent job last season, I felt like something that was really missing were the trick plays and confusing packages from 2007. I think we had a couple of interesting looks in 2008, but nothing like Tim Rattay lining up at receiver or the more frequent flea flickers & double-reverses. Those types of plays can a) surprise the defense, b) excite the players, and c) pump up the fans during home games.

    This year I felt like we went to them more often (Dockett & Watson on offense at the goal line, Antrel at QB, for example) but not nearly as much as in 2007.

    Do you agree, and if so, do you think that we might get back to using more trick plays now that our quarterback won’t (at first) have as much control/influence over the offense?


  25. By darrenurban on Feb 8, 2010 | Reply

    Ty —

    I think Whisenhunt, whether he is calling plays or not, will always have some gadgets available. As far as what it means in relation to Leinart, we have to see. I don’t know if that means more or less.

  26. By VJ on Feb 8, 2010 | Reply

    We’ve followed Kurt Warner throughout most of his career. How can those of us who don’t live in the area be able to view the special retirement programs that are being aired only in the Phoenix area? We live in Missouri and met Kurt on his way to try out for quarterbacking jobs the year before he took the Rams to the Superbowl … so we’re eager to see all the special programming of his retirement. We will miss him big-time!

  27. By darrenurban on Feb 8, 2010 | Reply

    VJ —

    “The Warner Legacy” show should be up on the site sometime in the near future.

  28. By k. on Feb 8, 2010 | Reply

    thanks darren!

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