Staff starts coming together

Posted by Darren Urban on January 19, 2013 – 11:10 pm

There have been no official announcements yet from the Cardinals about additions and changes to the coaching staff, but multiple reports from many places have noted that new head coach Bruce Arians — who said Friday he was hoping to have his staff set by Sunday — is starting to do just that.

To the surprise of no one, former Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is the pick for Ray Horton’s replacement as defensive coordinator. Bowles took over in Philly for the fired Juan Castillo last year as the Eagles season went from bad to worse. Bowles played for Arians at Temple and later played for the Redskins and 49ers. Here’s an interesting coincidence too — Bowles was interviewed for the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator job in 2011, the spot that eventually went to Horton. He worked as the assistant head coach and interim head coach while in Miami, but his part-season stint in Philly this season was his first as a coordinator.

For offensive coordinator, Arians will go back to his Colts’ ties to bring in Harold Goodwin, who was the offensive line coach in Indianapolis. Arians already said he will call his own plays. But having Goodwin on staff — along with whomever is the going to be the offensive line coach — will give the Cards extra eyes on a unit that needs to improve. Arians already said he is a big believer in technique on the line. Goodwin’s brother, Jonathan, is an offensive lineman for the 49ers.

(It may be worth noting, after a lot of talk of late that after the head coaching hires around the league did not include a minority, both Cardinals’ coordinators will be African-American.)

The Cardinals do need a lot more spots filled. It looks like Arians will move on from the bulk of the holdover coaches. Special teams coach Kevin Spencer joined former boss Ken Whisenhunt with the Chargers Saturday (Whiz was named offensive coordinator and the Chargers hired Frank Reich, who was just the Cards’ receivers coach, as the quarterbacks coach).  The Cards reportedly only are keeping tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens — Kitchens played quarterback in college for Arians when Arians was the offensive coordinator in 1997 for Alabama — and strength coach John Lott. That would mean moving on from defensive line coach Ron Aiken, linebackers coaches Matt Raich and Ryan Slowik and defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi.

Again, there have been no official announcements yet. Whether the staff is all in place by tomorrow is in question, but as coaches and scouts head to Mobile next week for the Senior Bowl work, it seems that Arians will have a good chunk of his work done (and Mobile is often a place where coaches can interview prospective candidates, too.)


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54 Responses to “Staff starts coming together”

  1. By Chuck 1 on Jan 19, 2013 | Reply

    BA was one of the two candidates for HC that I favored from the get-go. The other was Lovie Smith.
    HOWEVER, i’m getting the feeling that BA has done a “Whiz thing” by bringing in Bowles as DC i.e. hiring a friend (as Whiz did with Grimm) rather going for someone who has better DC credentials.
    We shall see how Bowles works out.

  2. By Procen on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Darren what do you think about Todd Bowles? The defense of the Eagles was joke and the cards defense is well put together with great players.

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Procen —

    RE: Bowles

    I know the Cards interviewed him for their DC job in 2011. I know the Eagles didn’t play well with him in charge of the defense, but I also know he stepped into a situation where everyone in the world knew the head coach was a dead man walking by then and it’s hard to believe the players were still fully focused. I don’t know if he will be a good hire or not. But was everyone thinking Horton was a good hire in the first few games of 2011?

  4. By J G on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    I like the sound of having two sets of eyes on the o-line. Still not sold on Todd Bowles for D cordinator but I’m glad that Arians wants to mix it up scheme-wise. And whilst it sucks that Horton is gone I do understand why Arians would think it is necessary.

    All in all I am really excited about having Arians in AZ, I think he is just what this organization needs. Looking forward to a bright future for this great team.

  5. By Scott on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    One guy who hasn’t been mentioned at all is Asst Strength & conditioning coach Pete Alosi. Has he been let go as well?

  6. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Scott —

    RE: Alosi

    I am thinking if Lott is OK, Pete is OK too.

  7. By Cardsgirl on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Was Kevin Spencer under contract? Could the Cards have kept him? This move bothers me more than any other because I believe the Cards special teams were among the tops in the league. If KS was under contract, I thought he could not take a lateral move without team permission. If they let him go, this is, to me, a first strike against Bruce Arians.

    I know Kevin and Coach Whiz were close, but is this a good move for the Cards?

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Cardsgirl —

    RE: Spencer

    He was under contract because he was still on staff. The Cards would have had to let him go.

  9. By mike hadzinski on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Bring Back D.R.C Now and sign branden Albert and draft warmack and it’s a Great offseason….

  10. By clssylssy on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    What a mess! Looks like all the talk from the front office was just that and we are trying to be sold on a HC who has pretty much been Whisenhunt’s successor on more than one occasion previously at the expense of losing a top and respected DC for the …Eagles not so stelllar DC? As I recall, the Eagles were one hot mess last season and it would seem like this cannot make our defensive players too thrilled. And, as the stomach turns each day, and we get more news of another of our Cardinal family who will be gone and replaced by ex-Colts personnel (we all remember how bad they sucked without Peyton and before Luck!). The only bright news for many old Cards fans this week is that Anquan Boldin and the Ravens are still in the playoffs and knocking on the door of the SB…and this is a guy that Michael Bidwill didn’t think was worth paying! Wow, what a football genius we have at the helm, should make Fitz, Peterson, Washington scratch their heads and say, “Come’n Man!

  11. By gbrim on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    It is very interesting that Arians dumped every coach under contract that coached with Arians in Pittsburgh. Clearly, he wants every chance for divided loyalties to be eliminated, as well as every chance for the players to think we are still trying to be Steelers West. We will miss both Horton and Spencer—good coaches who flourished here. Lets hope their replacements can be close to as good.

  12. By Rich on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    gotta clean house………good hires…..let’s rock and roll Cards !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. By Andy Kw on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Why can’t we keep Louie Cioffi? Our defensive backs played well under him.

  14. By dougb on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    As far as Bowles and the Eagles defense goes, he took them over at a time when the Eagles about gave up. I would not hold his time in Phili against him. Plus I think if he is successful here that he won’t be here long cuz of a head coaching positiion will be waiting. Cardinals probably didn’t hire him in 2011 because he didn’t come from that Steeler coaching tree that Whiz coveted. As far as BA cleaning house that’s typical whenever a changing of the guard happens in bussiness. If those guys were good we wouldn’t of had to bring in BA and go through this whole process. I just think as lifelong Cardinal fans we have all grown very skeptical of the team operations. They did the right thing and let go the most successful coach in team history, Whiz had lost his MOJO. That had to be a tough decision.. So let’s hope the new regime can keep this going. I also find it interesting listening to the radio in the Northwest in my travels that the Cardinals hiring BA is about the only hire the analysts want to talk about. Even more than Chip Kelly hire. So just found that interesting. I am excited on keeping LOTT. Least we know the Cardinal brand will get some air time once the Combine comes around. Let’s get our MIND right!

  15. By gocards316 on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    I’m agree with Cardsgirl…..letting Kevin Spencer go……HUGE mistake…let’s recap – during the Warner regime we had a great offense and not so much of a defense, post Warner era we had a good defense with no offense. The only thing consistent was we always have had one of the best if not the best special teams in the NFL. KS should have been promoted not fired….concerned to say the least

  16. By Andy Kw on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    RE:-mike hadzinski

    I could not agree with you more about bring back D.R.C. Drafting Warmack would be okay but I feel Snyder and Colledge are fine for right now. Our O-Line is improving so much and I have total faith in Arians that Sendlein, Snyder, Colledge, Brown, and Massie will do a superb job with the right coach. We need to replace William Gay. I feel William Gay will play better at nickel than at #2 CB spot. D.R.C should be back as the starter #2 in no time. With the duo of Patrick Peterson and our former Pro Bowl Cardinal Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie back, our pass defense should be one of the best if not the best in the league. But our Defensive Coordinator needs to bring back Rashad Johnson, I am begging you man. He is our future Starter at Strong Safety PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. By Andy Kw on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Since Bruce Arians wants some new faces in this organization, he knows who to release:
    -Offense: QB Brian Hoyer, QB Ryan Lindley, QB John Skelton, RB Alfonso Smith, WR Early Doucet, WR Kerry Taylor, TE Kory Sperry, OT D’Anthony Batiste, G/C Mike Gibson, T Pat McQuistan, G/C Rich Ohrnberger, C Scott Wedige.
    (Think about the return of LaRod Stephens-Howling & William Powell)

    -Defense: DE Vonnie Holliday, DE Ronald Talley, LB Stewart Bradley, LB Paris Lenon, LB Zach Nash, CB Michael Adams, S James Sanders, CB Greg Toler.
    (Think about Nick Eason, Quentin Groves, & Rashad Johnson)

    -Michael Bidwill, Please make sure Arians does not release key players.

  18. By safetyguy on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    In listening to the introduction of coach Arians by Mr Bidwill., did he say we tried to get coach last year?
    If he did, do you happen to know if it was for HC?

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Safety —

    RE: Arians

    Previous attempts were to have him as part of Whiz’s staff as an assistant.

  20. By Austin on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    I am skeptical of Bowles but thanks for reminding everyone how upset they were by hiring Horton in the first place. Not to mentio how many people wanted him run out of town on a rail for the first half of the 2011 season. I will give the guy a chance and can’t wait to see what the ’13 Cards will look like.
    GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. By GMAN on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Do you think it’s possible that the Hyphen could go to San Diego and play for Ken Whisenhunt?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    GMan —

    RE: Hyphen

    He’s a free agent. He’ll go wherever he gets paid. That could still be here.

  23. By Soares20 on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    You must have the feeling that BA is hiring all the people he knows and loves rather than the people who are best for the job. I hope for the Cards sake they are both.

  24. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Great to hear Lott will remain!!!

    Darren – thanks for enlightening everyone on the tough spot Bowles was in back in Philly last season.

  25. By clssylssy on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    I have to wonder if our players don’t see a “dead man walking” in our new HC. Our defense and special teams were what won us games for the most part, last season and it will be interesting to see BA get us the Lombardi without the budget to get quality talent. Players have a bond with their coaches, as anybody who ever played any competitive sport knows, (Michael Bidwill would know nothing about this) and while our players are professional athletes I can see us losing some valuable players to the Browns or the Chargers simply because playing for a bunch of ex-Colts is just not as appealing and obviously those two franchises have aggressively got what they went after. I have a feeling we can expect to see either of those teams in the playoffs long before the Cards. So far, I have seen NOTHING that spells “WINNER” in any of the hires by Keim/Bidwill.

  26. By Cardinals future owner 17 PHX on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    There is no justifying the hiring of Bowles… Whats so ever. Darth Arians has already come in and started to wreck this team, he knows he wasnt wanted by the majority of the fan base, now he is making those who oppose him pay, firing all the coaches within days, bringing in his friends just like Whiz did, he is having it his way. A lot is going to change this summer, He is just mad because he knew Horton was the better man

  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Cardinals future —

    RE: “Wreck”

    How, exactly, do you wreck a team that went 5-11?

  28. By Procen on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply


    I see your point about Horton, but half way to the season you saw the cards defense came together not like the Eagles with all the good players they have still the defense is below average.

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Procen —

    RE: Eagles

    You sure the Eagles had “all those good players?”

  30. By smack28 on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    I cannot believe how negative people are in regard to Arians wanting to hire his guys and running things his way. Anyone that thinks Horton could have co-existed with this staff as the DC is crazy. Think about it, he thought he was getting the HC job this whole time! How committed would he have been playing the “second fiddle” to Artians? Good for this HC to see the possible issues and bring in his own people. It is just not time for us to judge hios decisions when we really don’t know anything about him or how he operates.

    I will state this – incumbent players that do not buy in to his philosophy better be prepared to hit the road. Arians stated some really good things that should make the players happy – this is their team and they are accountable. He sounds like a player’s coach that believes in the players he puts in place. That is how a professional team should be ran. I think players that want accountability will enjoy playing for this coach and this staff. I am excited where we are heading. Time will only tell, but I think we can all agree this direction makes good sense considering where the other road was taking this team.

  31. By steve on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Cardinals future owner-

    You, like most of the fan base are foolish. Making coaching decisions to please the fan base is the dumbest thing an owner or Head Coach can do. There can only be leader on this team. once you make the Arians hire, Horton had to go. The way he “took his ball and went home” shows he would not be capable of being #2 to BA. Your idea that the fact that you and your other idiot friends wanted to keep Horton had anything to do with his dismissal just shows how truly ignorant you are.

  32. By CDJ on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    darren do we know yet what draft pick we got for A.J. Jefferson

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    CDJ —

    RE: Jefferson

    I do not.

  34. By Supercardinals100 on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    I like Arians attitude towards wanting to win and be a tough football team but I’m not Shure about his controll freak attitude that can go bad he seems to want to hire a bunch of yes men on his staff…I hope he knows what he is doing…

  35. By warnerHOF on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Those of you who are already hammering todd bowles dont have a clue. First of all he took over while the season had already started. You cant make a bunch of changes or even start to put in a different defense. All he could do if anything was make small changes at a time. he was an excellent defensive backs coach and also player. Give him, a chance to have the mini camps and training camp to put in his own system and go from there. Horton is the one who blew up because he didnt get the hc job. he hasnt been coaching very long. his time will come if he deserves it. we bring in a coach who has an excellent football mind and is excellent with qbs and your not happy whatever we do. if somebody threw a tantrum because i hired a hc that i thought was best four our team, then maybe hes not team minded and selfish. you cant keep somebody who would divide the team.

  36. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    darren we are gonna bring back D.r.C plus i heard tom moore is on board?

    Bring back Drc sign branden albert and draft warmack… do you feel about that..

  37. By SteveG on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    One thing thing that can be said of the Bidwills is that have LONG been oblivious to the color of skin of their employees. I find that to be a point of pride for the organization.

  38. By CAJI on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Keep the 3-4 defense we need fast linebackers for kaepernick and russel wilson

  39. By jocards on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    To me it is difficult to fathom the reasoning behind posts proclaiming that Arians is coming in and “ruining” the team. This team stunk last season, 5-11 is bad and there is no way around that. There is nothing to ruin, we finished 4th in the NFC West and would’ve finished 5th but there are only 4 teams. Ray Horton did a pretty good job as defensive coordinator but the defense was never great. Under his brilliance as DC the team hasn’t done anything overall and the defense though better than the offense was never a dominant force. Coaches bring in guys they know and are comfortable with, they bring in guys that they feel will be able to help to get done what the head coach wants to implement….that’s true for players and assistant coaches. It just seems like a lot of people here are unfamiliar with that concept and it puzzles me because every NFL coach does the same thing to some extent, Arians is in no way unique in that respect. He is the head coach and he is going to surround himself with coaches that he feels are the best for the system he intends to implement….that’s the way the NFL operates.

  40. By syncro9z on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Tom Moore to cards staff, can you confirm?

  41. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Synchro —

    RE: Moore

    Nothing official yet.

  42. By Brett n Co. on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Wow all year, read need a change fire everyone and when that happened now reading why is our new coach changing everyhting! Sheez!!!

  43. By Terry E on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, with the DC hired do we know enough to speculate if we will stay 3-4 defense? Sorry if this has already been discussed…

  44. By Darren Urban on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    Terry E —

    RE: Scheme

  45. By Campbells on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    So many know-it-alls!!! Team hasn’t played a game yet, and their failure has already been predetermined.
    BA knows his fate is directly tied to the success of his entire staff. There isn’t a single facet of the game that the Cardinals couldn’t improve on. If special teams were so great, then why couldn’t PP even field a punt without muffing it??? Our defense was far from great. I can’t remember a Cardinal team (ever) whose linebackers could pass-cover. 4-3, or 3-4 is less of a priority than solid execution.
    Let’s watch some games, and then we all can bless this team with our infinite wisdom.

  46. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jan 20, 2013 | Reply

    Brett n Co.:

    Could not have said it better! Totally agree! But some are just Trolls.

    GO CARDS!!!

  47. By BIG RED on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    Big fan of Anquan Boldin the best receiver the Cards ever had. Good Luck in the Super Bowl, hope you win your ring. You deserve it!!!!

  48. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    To all who are quickly on board with Horton’s departure there is legit cause for concern there. We are the same group, on the whole, who were worried about him one day leaving us for a head coaching position elsewhere, and his side of the ball was untouched during the first round of firings. Now it’s okay because we have Bowles to replace him? I’ll grant he can’t be fairly judged by being given the wheel to a train already off it’s track, but can anyone say that his resume reads as well as Horton’s when he got here? Does anyone (other than Georgiebird) want to see what our season would have looked like if our defense had played to the level of our offense? How do you wreck a 5-11 team? Hopefully not by disassembling it’s defensive staff, but time will tell. I have no idea what may have been said between Keim and Horton during the interview process, but from the outside looking in it’s hard to fault him for being upset. I do know that now everything starts over from scratch. Not a big hurdle for our offense to get over, but Horton raised the bar pretty high for his predecessor.

    Fingers crossed.

  49. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    Excuse the last line, make that replacement.

  50. By Scott H on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    I’m not gonna judge Bowles entirely by his brief stint in Philly this past year because that situation was a train wreck from start to finish and that was the handy work of one Andy Reid, whose grossly poor judgement and decison-making paved the road for that whole thing.

    That said, I just don’t feel excitement at the thought of Bowles as the DC here. Yeah, we need to see it before we can judge it, but…the loss of Horton does NOT help my initial impressions here. We had one of the best DC’s in the league. And now? We have a huge question mark. And the question mark is becoming the very symbol of this team. Thay may as weel replace the red bird on their helmets with one, I swear.

  51. By Cert 33 on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    I think it is interesting that Arians is inheriting a team that needed an offensive rebuild but had a defense that the opposing teams didn’t want any part of. Rebuilding the offense would have simplified the task for this first-time head coach but yet he has chosen to create a situation where he now has to do a complete rebuild on the entire team. Unfortunately for the Cardinal fans, this type of rebuild will take more than one season, especially for a first-time HC. Looks like we will be 4-5 win, last place residents of the tough NFC West for a couple more seasons. Probably should have tried to keep Ray Horton and his defense intact.

  52. By jocards on Jan 21, 2013 | Reply

    Just a reminder Ray Horton didn’t make a single play on the field….The players are the ones that make the plays not the coaches. Don’t get me wrong, coaches absolutely can and do make a difference but no coach will be successful without playmakers. That’s true for head coaches, offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, etc. It isn’t as though Ray Horton knows something about defense that other defensive coordinators don’t….

  53. By Eazy E on Jan 22, 2013 | Reply

    Why wouldn’t we keep all our defensive coaches especially for Bowles?! Also our coordinators being Black is probably a cover-up because I do think their should be more diversity throughout the league especially at HC and GM, but Goodwin ain’t gone even be able to call plays, so he’s not going to have an outstanding contribution because of that. If you want to hire a OC that happens to be black, why can’t he call plays since he’s the OC if you have so much confidence in him?! Indy’s O-Line wasn’t great and I know it’s more than who was good or bad, but fully hire him not ”just because”. I already spazzed on the Bowles hiring, I do like the Tom Moore hiring though. So 2/3 are straight. I still wanted us to hire Horton as our HC though. I hope and believe Cleveland will prosper with him, Norv and Lombardi.#Damn should be in the Desert

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