Whether Tampa’s move can affect Cards UPDATE

Posted by Darren Urban on January 26, 2012 – 9:58 pm

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired — seemingly out of the blue — Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to be their next head coach, the Cardinals suddenly had a chance to be affected.


Cardinals wide receivers coach John McNulty was Schiano’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons at Rutgers (and on his staff for five seasons) before McNulty was hired by coach Ken Whisenhunt in 2009. In a business where friends and former co-workers are the first people coaches turn to when building staffs, some not-so-difficult-dot-connecting would say the McNulty could be someone Schiano would like as an offensive coordinator. McNulty has extensive background in the NFL — he worked for Bill Parcells in Dallas and for Jacksonville before he was at Rutgers — and is a smart guy.

UPDATE: The Cards denied permission, according to Kent Somers.

The Bucs would have to ask permission to talk to/hire McNulty, however. McNulty is under contract, and because the NFL’s view of coaching positions has just two levels — head coach and assistant coach — such a move would not be considered a promotion in the NFL’s eyes. Teams can’t block assistant coaches under contract from interviewing/taking head coaching jobs, but they can prevent lateral moves.

There is no way to know right now if a) the Bucs and Schiano will even ask for permission to talk to McNulty or b) what the Cards would say. (Contrary to one report out of Tampa tonight, I don’t believe anyone has asked for permission yet and no one has reported such in Arizona). Given that McNulty has coached quarterbacks before, there is still a chance he could take the Cards’ vacant QB coach position and the Cards would instead hire a new receivers coach. In an interesting coincidence, McNulty is actually in Hawaii right now for Pro Bowl weekend, a guest of one of his star pupils — wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

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29 Responses to “Whether Tampa’s move can affect Cards UPDATE”

  1. By Soares20 on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren just wanted to say I appreciate all of the posts I know there is really nothing to talk about besides speculation, I know it’s hard to keep us entertained this time of year. GO CARDS!!!!

  2. By clssylssy on Jan 26, 2012 | Reply

    Man…this time of year TOTALLY SUCKS! I hate it that teams start poaching staff before the lockers are even cleaned out. When these guys sign contracts, is that simply an empty exercise for show, do they lack integrity or any sense of commitment I can understand having career goals but what happened to a man’s word being his bond? Perhaps this is all mute and it’s just the media desperate for something to write about. Is this piece a “thinking out loud” speculation or what exactly is the purpose?

  3. By cdubbbb on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    I think in this situation, McNulty may be the pupil. Fitz is likely showing that guy things he didn’t even know a Receiver could do. Lol.

  4. By Cards4Life on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    nice job fitz, doubt he goin anywere not with fitz as his pupil, taking him on trips to hawaii and what not, would love to see haley r hue jackson as QB coach just not sure to former head coaches r gona wanna take that big of a step down

  5. By clssylssy on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry Darren…LOL! Can you tell that maybe I take football a little too serious? What will be will be, and as Ii have said before, the true fans will pick up when the chips fall where they may! Great Job, you are one of the sportswriters I always look forward to reading.

  6. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    Have the Cardinals under Coach Whiz ever denied a coach permission to leave the organization for a lateral move or a promotion of any kind, even if it wasn’t a promotion to head coach? I can’t think of any.

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Ottis —

    RE: Permission moments

    Off the top of my head, no, I don’t think he has. Obviously, it’s happened in reverse. I do remember Denny Green denying such things.

  8. By John the Draft Guy on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting. With Mcnulty’s extensive background and experience at QB coach, along with the fact he must know offense and QBs to be considered in Tampa, I wonder why he hasn’t been slid into that vacant QB coach spot?

    Just a thought.

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: McNulty as QB coach

    I wouldn’t rule that out.

  10. By Jeff Gollin on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    I never even considered the McNulty element.

    I’m still too busy reeling over the loss of Schiano to the Rutgers program which (living in NJ) I’ve followed closely (& cheered for) during most of the past decade.

    Schiano’s coaching style reminds me most of Parcells and Coughlin – physically tough, fundamentally sound, conservative overall but unafraid to innovate (he used Sanu as a wildcat TB two years ago).

    I realize business is business, but the potential hit this will have on the current Rutgers recruiting effort could be huge, and I’m not all that comfortable about coaches who wear their “loyalty” on their sleeves only to bail at the worst possible moment.

    As for McNulty – I’m not all that crazy about the progress (or lack thereof) of Doucet, Roberts and Steven Williams and wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep if we had to make a change.

  11. By greg phibbs on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    People give credit to the Cards for granting permission to Ray Horton so he could interview for the Rams HC job, however according to this blog no permission is required. Is requesting/granting permission to interview for HC job just a professional courtesy or not necessary at all?

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Greg —

    RE: Horton permission

    Yes, the permission for an assistant interviewing for a HC coach job is professional courtesy, really nothing more.

  13. By Noel Ronquillo on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darran should this really even concern cardinal fans? I mean our wide receiver core ain’t as dominate and we just keep declining at progress from that position. To sum it all up, I’d say if Bucs really want him just take him? Wouldn’t you agree?

  14. By Darren Urban on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Noel —

    RE: Coach moves

    You can let it concern you or not concern you. I don’t care. Just writing about the possibility.

    And no, I wouldn’t agree.

  15. By Bob on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Todd Haley will re-unite with Fitz.

  16. By Eric on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not so worried about lateral movement, that is one thing contracts can control. In a business where there are only 32 dream positions to be had, no one here wouldn’t jump at that kind of opportunity, and no one should fault others for doing so. Especially the jump from college to the pros. Rutgers to Tampa is a no brainer. It was a good program, but they would never have a chance to win a championship under the current joke of the BCS, so other than create a winning program, what else was there for him to do there? These guys have worked their entire lives to get where they are and if the opportunity comes up to coach at the NFL level, they would be ridiculous not to take it.

  17. By Walter L. on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, do you think, if this move happened, that an opening at WR coach would be more enticing to Todd Haley to come back? Given his close relationship with Larry, it doesn’t seem too farfetched.

  18. By Darren Urban on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Walter L —

    RE: Haley as WR coach

    As I have said a few times of late, I don’t believe Haley is coming here.

  19. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    Now I know Fitzgerald is a bad guy. He even rigs his own contests.
    McNulty won his twitter contest to go to the Pro Bowl with him?

    How convenient.

  20. By Tim in NJ on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    As i mentioned on several message boards yesterday afternoon- Im curious if the delay with the Cardinals filling the QB coach spot is related to the Shiano hiring by Tampa. If McNulty jumps ship to go to the Bucs the Cardinals would have 2 open coaching vacancies (QB and WR coach). I wonder if that “dual” role lands Todd Haley a way more lucrative contract from the Cardinals. I feel Todd is surely on the radar Coach Whiz.

    Our Sheriffs Office always had a great repore with Coach Schiano as we did the Honor Guard details for several Rutgers games in the past. He’s a first class individual. I wish him well in the NFL.

    ~Tim in NJ

  21. By Scott H on Jan 27, 2012 | Reply

    One wonders if having the opportunity to work with / coach an absolute star like Fitzgerald would factor into a decision to stay in Arizona or go elsewhere.

    I swear, it seems like this gets worse every year…multiple HC vacancies around the leagus and the domino effect of all of the hiring and re-structuring that goes on in its wake. Damn…

  22. By Christo on Jan 28, 2012 | Reply

    We should probably let him walk. Other than All World Fitzgerald our WR core is pretty pathetic.

    Again coaching? Or talent?

    It’s the same problem as our OL. How can we ever know if we keep rewarding everyone involved? Ie Grimm, Levi, and Keith.

  23. By William Barry on Jan 28, 2012 | Reply

    I have always said that continuity on the coaching staff, and defense wins super bowls. It is great that we re-signed 5 assistant coaches. It has been proved that continuity, and “TEAM VALUES” wins super bowls…Lets keep our coaches where they remain in place…and let us go out and win the NFC West next year. Go Cards!!!

  24. By Tim in NJ on Jan 29, 2012 | Reply

    Is it possible this could resolve itself with Tampa sending the Cardinals a draft pick as compensation?

    ~Tim in NJ

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2012 | Reply

    Tim in NJ —

    RE: Draft pick

    Yes, that is possible, but very, very unlikely. Tampa will probably just move on.

  26. By Rugbymuffin on Jan 29, 2012 | Reply

    Good business move by the Cardinals.

  27. By clssylssy on Jan 31, 2012 | Reply

    Hmmm…the way you say with some finality that Haley won’t be coming here now has me curious. Usually, when an organization wants somebody they hype them beyond reason, and even such hyped stories as the one about Peyton Manning joing almost every team in the NFL despite a debilitating injury is still getting play. I’m now wondering what turned the tide in the Cards interest in Haley, from early on,when it was speculated with some certainty that he WOULD be rejoining the Cardinals? As I recall you pointed out he still had a home here. As I sit back watching other teams aggressively grab up coaches while we do nothing, I am a little anxious that the Cards don’t seem to have much of a plan. LOL…at least the Chiefs are deciding not to hire a DC and we all know how well it works when the coach takes on more than one critical role. I look for Denver to be smokin next year and am afraid that the NFC West is gonna be a tougher road than we seem to be expecting. Looking at our schedule and the the teams we are playing in the frigid east where we’ve historically struggled, does anybody have a plan? I’d say we need a plan, a backup plan, and one for that. What do you make of all the inaction on the part of the Cards?

  28. By Darren Urban on Jan 31, 2012 | Reply

    clssylssy —

    RE: “Inaction”

    At this point, they have just one opening that wasn’t filled. All these teams that “grab up coaches” are teams replacing, for the most part, their entire staffs because the head coach was fired.

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