Cioffi officially hired as DB coach

Posted by Darren Urban on February 15, 2011 – 12:39 pm

In news that had been expected, the Cardinals have hired long-time Bengals assistant Sigismondo “Louie” Cioffi as defensive backs coach to join last week’s hire, Deshea Townsend, as the team’s new secondary bosses. Cioffi and Townsend replace Donnie Henderson (whose contract expired and was not renewed) and Rick Courtright (who had a year left on his contract but was let go).

Cioffi doesn’t turn 38 until September, but he has already coached in the NFL for 16 seasons, including with the Bengals since 1997. He spent time coaching both with new defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Dick LeBeau, so those ties remain strong. He got a chance to meet a lot of his new players Tuesday; defensive backs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes and A.J. Jefferson were all in the building.

I don’t expect the Cards to make any further hires on the coaching staff either.

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Posted in Blog | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Cioffi officially hired as DB coach”

  1. By Nick Pepe on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Has to be a good hire, his name ends in a vowel! Welcome to the team paisano!!

  2. By Phoenixraven1 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Sounds like a good group to get DRC and Toler playing better…

  3. By K-DUB on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply


    Was Rod Woodson ever contacted by Horton about a position?

  4. By Darren Urban on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    K-Dub —

    RE: Woodson

    Not that I know of. I would doubt it.

  5. By Cards4Life on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Heard Whiz speak today… Said the QB’s coach is being named OC.

    Can we please fire Russ Grim?

    Darren- In the last 5 years here is where we rank in rushing amongst everyone else in the league:
    2010- 32nd
    2009- 28th
    2008- 32nd
    2007- 29th
    2006- 30th

    Why has this not been addressed?

    Those statistics make me sick.

    What is everyone else’s thoughts on this? Am I alone thinking this?

  6. By jocards on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    We must be behind on moderating the posts because I haven’t seen one saying, “The Bengals are terrible, therefore this guy has no business coaching any place”! I know you’re out there…..

  7. By Mike O`Connor on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    He is my cousin and is an awsome defensive back coach he`ll make the cardnals proud

  8. By Phoenixraven1 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Very cool man!

  9. By Eazy E on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    I like cioffi and townsend. Cioffi was the assistant defensive backs coach for the bengals and they have alot of needs but in the secondary, they are good with leon hall, johnathan joseph, roy williams, etc. Deshea townsend was a good cornerback in his 12 years of playing and will bring some great experience, I think both are outstanding hires. Love that ray horton already.

  10. By harlanlee on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Hey, Darren,
    Okay. Now the defensive side of things appears to be well set. If one assumes that the defense in 2010 was responsible for more than half the eleven (11) losses, 2011 might project to a 8-8 or 9-7 record, which might be enough to win the NFC West. But, honestly, with their non-performing offense, do you see the Cardinals moving up the ladder in their division? Can we really believe that Coach Whiz will go to the drawing board and come up with anything close to effective offensive play calling? With a cast of players that would be essentially the same as 2010? Unless the Cards exhibit some break-out mode right now? Even though a new CBA is not yet a reality, do you expect the Cards to improve themselves via free agency or trades?

  11. By Darren Urban on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Halanlee —

    RE: Improvements

    They’d better improve. Will they? Don’t have that crystal ball. Would help if the CBA thing could be worked out, that’s for sure.

  12. By brad oneill on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    you dont expect anymore hires period or just with the defensive coaches?

    Not even the offensive coordinator we all dream of? he he he.

    If miller was the one making the 3rd down offensive calls this year i have a lot of respect for whiz for taking the heat on those very bad calls. If whiz made those calls he needs to turn over play calling to miller full time.

  13. By MattAZ on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    “The Bengals are terrible, therefore this guy has no business coaching any place”!

  14. By Redrage24 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Fire- Russ grim, joey porter, Alan fanaca!!!!! Then running game is horrible, Joey porter and Alan fanaca are washed up get rid of all three

  15. By D on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Suprised that many players were in the buidling-do we know if Horton has met with many of the starters yet?

  16. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    You probably posted a long time ago, but did Henderson ever find out the root cause for his fainting at the wheel?
    And Courtright was the last of the Denny Green regime, correct?

  17. By Darren Urban on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Henderson/Courtright

    No, I never heard why the fainting spell happened. Only that he was OK. As for Courtright, yes, he was the last remaining member of the Green staff.

  18. By John on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, Can you confirm what Cards4Life said regarding OC? This is alot more important then a DB coach and I would think if it was true you would have written about it.

  19. By Darren Urban on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    John —

    RE: OC

    Chris Miller is not going to be named OC.

  20. By RED BIRD 66 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully this guy can get DRC to not play like such a wimp this year. Focus on the game plan and not on you toe nail polish DRC!!!!!

  21. By Scott H on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    I like the changes so far, mostly because there HAVE been changes. Washing away BAAAAAD taste of last season can’t happen soon enough, let me tell ya.

  22. By tony89 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    he has to be a good db coach look what he done to leon hall and johnathan joseph good hire cards i like it

  23. By tony89 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    darren urban, u think we should draft patrick patterson if hes availible he is an tremendous talent and could start right away in place of toler with toler at nickel that would be awsome so what u think

  24. By Darren Urban on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Tony89 —

    RE: Patrick Peterson

    He has the hype for sure. But I think for DBs to shine, they better have a pass rush.

  25. By Chuck 1 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve been saying that Faneca and Porter should go for several months.
    I’m not so sure about Grimm. A coach can only do so much with inferior talent.

  26. By Canadian Red Bird on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Re: Russ Grimm

    You are not alone with your take on Russ Grimm, Cards4hire. This is a performance driven business and his stats are not worthy of continued employ. Whisenhunt would gain tremendous respect from his players, fellow coaches and management if he was able to place the team’s best interest over continued friendships. You can’t evaluate Russ any different than the process that caused Whiz to let Billy Davis go. What are your thoughts on this matter Darren?

  27. By Darren Urban on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Canadian Red —

    RE: Grimm

    I think questions about the offensive line are fair at this point.

  28. By drummer-1 on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    @joecards, thats was funny give it time, it’ll happen… there’s people that post on here that thinks whatever the teams does is wrong…MattAZ posted but i think he did that as a response to your comment…

  29. By Pete on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    All right, now that we have a new DC, and now that the D-side of the team is at least as addressed as it’s going to be before the CBA-issue is settled, can the Card’s please turn their collective sights towards the O-side of the team, most notably the QB position? With roughly the same cast of characters they had in both ’09 and ’10, when they won the division twice and went to the SuperBowl once (just thought I might need to remind folks of how recent this team was considered, dare I say, good!), I truly believe this team’s success, including every facet of the game, hinges on whatever it can get out of whoever plays QB. A good QB can keep drives alive. Sustained drives, especially of the scoring variety, can take pressure off of the D by putting the opposing offense in more pass-heavy situations, allowing the playmakers (and there are some playmakers on that D!) to better warrant the title. This is Football 101! With a good QB, the Card’s will look like the teams that beat them!! Having a good DC’s all well and nice to have, but having a good QB’s simply great to have! Just thought I’d, hopefully, inspire some folks to begin loudly clamoring for a proper address of the position…

  30. By georgiebird on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply

    Getting rid of Henderson and Courtright is a step in the right direction. It’s called addition by subtraction.

    @Cards4Life- to make you even sicker- if you went back 50 years the numbers don’t get any better. The Cardinals have been a bad defensive team for 50 years that I know about- that’s why I had hoped that Whiz would have gone for a top DC to try and reverse a trend that has lasted a half century. But Whiz decided to take a flyer on the DC rather than the best qualified guy-too bad.

  31. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 15, 2011 | Reply


    Based on some of the other comments it doesn’t appear you’re alone on your thoughts about Russ Grimm but I’ll have to disagree with them. The numbers you listed are based on rushing yards per game. If you rank them on rushing yards per carry for the same years he inherited a line/running game that was 32nd in the league in ’06 at 3.2 per carry. In 2007 it improved to 3.6, regressed a little in ’08 to 3.5 and ’09 and ’10 were 4.1 and 4.3, respectively – which puts our league rankings during those years at 32nd, 30th, 31st, 19th, and 10th. Which isn’t bad when you consider the amount of change made to the line and remember that we have two very young backs, one that was a fifth round pick from a division 1AA school and another who was hurt throughout the season.

    However, regardless of how we manuever those numbers around I still don’t see why the line would be judged solely on rushing totals since they’re obviously very instrumental in the passing game as well. If we look at total yards per game during that span, in 06 we were 18th before he arrived. In 07 it was 12th, 08 was 4th, 09 was 14th and last year was 31st. So, is the problem really Grimm or did it have more to do with a certain QB’s year long struggle in a new system? The line that we had in the Super Bowl was Mike Gandy, Reggie Wells, Lyle Sendlein (at the time an undrafted free agent who started due to a preseason injury to Al Johnson), Duece Lutui and Levi Brown. He hasn’t exactly had a Tony Boselli or Jonathan Ogden to build the line around. I’m not saying some of the criticism isn’t warranted, like the up and down play of Levi Brown but all in all I’d say he’s done very well with what he’s been given to work with.

  32. By CoachCee on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply


    I’m surprised that the cardinals didn’t look into a different LB coach. It seems that the 3-4 hinges on the play of the LBs and either due to age, coaching, or both, we didn’t perform well in that unit. We need more pressure, containment, and consistancy. I thought that Horton would see the import of this and bring in a coach in that area.

  33. By Roy on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    No you are not alone Cards4life. We used a top 10 pick and a high second rounder and a lil bit of money in free agency on linemen the last few years. Our o-line is horrible and somebody needs to be held accountable. Granted, we threw a lot with Warner, but Grimm is not living up to his billing. If he was some other team would have hired him by now.

  34. By jason on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    We better not lose the off season to the 49ers too. Get Kolb or Bulger, and draft defense and TE.

  35. By KEVIN KOLB on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply


  36. By CZarr on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Good pickup here. With Hall and Joseph being one of the best corner tandems in the league I am excited to see what this guy can do for our pass coverage.

  37. By georgiebird on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply


    I feel Russ Grimm has done the best job of any of the Cardinal coaches including Whiz. If Grimm’s job isn’t to the satisfaction of the fans, they have a right to complain but all the other coaches should be fired ahead of Grimm.
    For all the geniuses out there- how can you blame Grimm if:
    1) the play calling is bad
    2) the team is playing from behind frequently
    3) Beanie still runs too high
    4) fumbles mess up a lot of the drives.
    5) the QB is helpless

    Give me an example of a team that has the above flaws and the OL coach is doing a great job- feel free to include high school or grade school.

    The offensive line looked pretty good to me when the Cards were going up and down the field when Warner was the QB. The offensive line looked pretty good in the SB. Blaming Grimm is way off the mark, if people are trying to be fair.

  38. By drummer-1 on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    @ jason, i keep reading people write we Better not do this or better not lose the offseason to the 49ers, so tell me what will happen if the do lose the offseason, just a question..i don’t understand all this they better stuff…

    Hey Darren you’re right Chris miller will not be OC, hopefully one day people will know the differance between Chris and Mike Miller..

  39. By Darren Urban on Feb 16, 2011 | Reply

    Drummer —

    RE: Miller v. Miller

    I just didn’t want to be accused of failing to answer the question.

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