Cardinals have their coaches

Posted by Darren Urban on February 5, 2013 – 1:34 pm

The Cardinals finally released a list of their new coaching staff Tuesday. They had already announced, after the hiring of head coach Bruce Arians, the addition of assistant head coach/offense Tom Moore, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Now comes 13 new names, along with keeping four holdover coaches:

— Special teams coordinator: Amos Jones (last job, special teams coach, Pittsburgh Steelers)

— Quarterbacks: Freddie Kitchens

— Wide receivers: Darryl Drake (receivers coach, Chicago Bears)

— Running backs: Stump Mitchell (head coach, Southern University)

— Tight ends: Rick Christophel (head coach, Austin Peay)

— Assistant tight ends, assistant special teams: Steve Heiden (tight ends coach, Concordia University)

— Assistant offensive line: Larry Zierlein (OL coach, Hartford of UFL; was Steelers’ OL coach from’07-’09)

— Defensive line: Brentson Buckner (intern DL coach, Steelers, 2010-12)

— Pass rush: Tom Pratt (consultant, IMG Academy)

— Linebackers: Mike Caldwell (linebackers coach, Philadelphia Eagles)

— Outside linebackers: James Bettcher (special assistant to head coach, Indianapolis Colts)

— Defensive backs: Nick Rapone (defensive coordinator, University of Deleware)

— Cornerbacks: Kevin Ross (safeties coach, Oakland Raiders)

— Defensive assistant/assistant defensive backs: Ryan Slowik

— Offensive assistant: Kevin Garver (offensive assistant, University of Alabama)

— Strength and conditioning: John Lott

— Assistant strength and conditioning: Pete Alosi

An interesting note: the offensive line doesn’t have a offensive line coach per se. Duties teaching the line will be split between Zierlein, Moore and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, who has spent his coaching career as an offensive line coach.

Kitchens had been coaching tight ends under Ken Whisenhunt, but moves to quarterbacks, a position Kitchens played in college. Slowik was outside linebackers coach on the last staff, and of course, Lott and Alosi remain in their former jobs. The staff of 21 is four more coaches than was on Whisenhunt’s staff. Arians said he preferred to have extra coaches on staff, and said he likes the diversity of experience and youth. The group moved into offices and began their meetings today. More in a bit on, including more background on the new group. (And here it is.)

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Posted in Blog | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “Cardinals have their coaches”

  1. By D on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    I like the younger former players as coaches…today’s players respect that….

  2. By donttakelosses on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply


  3. By Brian R. on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    shoulda tried keepin horton harder than they did. dc we got isnt good.

  4. By chieftain6 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    We had one of the best defensive coachs in the NFL in Horton, but we ran him off.

    So now we have:

    Offensive line coaching by Committee. This should be just fabulous.

    Go figure.

  5. By chieftain6 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    The Cardinals run off one of the best Defensive coaches in the league for what purpose?? Now we are expecting the worst offensive line in the league to improve without an ‘O’ line coach but with coaching by committee.

    We do have a coach that can coach quarterbacks that are highly talented. My question is can he coach a quarterback without the God given talent?

    I wonder if the term “leadership” ever entered the front office’s vernacular.

    I really would like to know which “genius” invented these improvements???

    Go figure.

  6. By Darren Urban on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Chief —

    RE: “Now we are expecting …”

    Who is “we?”

  7. By Jeff Avery on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    We kept one def coach from last yr? Hopefully Slowik can teach the new guys a thing or two about what Horton was running

  8. By Robert H on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    All you glass half empty fans did to stop you’re belly aching, and go whine with the other 30 team fans who did not make it to the big dance, yes we lost DC Horton and who’s to said wouldn’t have left in 2014 for a HC job would have be gone anyway, it just happen a year earlier . Let’s give our new coaching staff a chance to show us what they have and then we can judge them fairly. Oh by the way if you hadn’t notice the Cardinals have been horrible the last 3 seasons and the only way we can go is up.

    I live in Florida and purchase Direct TV NFL ticket just to be able to watch my Cardinals on Sundays. Let’s see what the new era brings us, Lord only knows we been down too long.

    GO BIG RED 2014

  9. By Mike G on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Looks like a nice array of coaches for the Cards–nice blend of veteran coaches meshed with some younger guys. I’m sure they will do a nice job once they get their pieces in place and evaluate the current roster. Hey Darren–most teams that finish 5-11– you sometimes see a big turnover of players from the year before. I dont really see that here– the roster has some nice players–this coaching change was made to fix the offense in my mind–to get the right QB develop & compliment him with good dependable running backs. Darren–do you see a big turnover with the current roster that is in place????

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Roster

    There is always some turnover with a new staff.

  11. By sqhead on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Darren I feel for you, It seems like a lot of the posters on here have intimate knowledge of everyone and anyone who has ever coached or played in the NFL. My advice to them is to just be a fan for now, the new league year hasn’t even started yet and the staff is having their very first meeting today! Quit jumping to conclusions just because you don’t recognize some of the names, and perhaps come up with a plan to buy your own NFL team, so you can hire who you want. Leave Darren alone.

  12. By jeffy1951 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: I am always reading about how Horton was this and Horton is that but I’m positive that he’s not the only good DC in the NFL. Seeing as how the only direction the offense can pretty much go is UP, I would really like to hear the “skinny” on Todd Bowles. What is the league-wide consensus of him and what unique approaches if any does his philosophy bring to the table? I’m sure Coach Arians wouldn’t have brought him in if he didn’t have a high opinion of him – can you fill us in?

  13. By Darren Urban on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    jeffy —

    RE: Bowles

    From what little I can gather right now, I think he was a well-thought-of assistant — Whisenhunt interviewed him for the DC job before hiring Horton — and was in a good place until last year when he took over the sinking ship in Philly and obviously that went poorly. Bowles will be speaking to the media Thursday. We’ll get more then.

  14. By joe holst on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    welcome back Stump!

  15. By Laird on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    I agree; give the new guy’s a chance! The team can only go up. Can’t be any worse than 2012 season!

  16. By G. Witt on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Yea Stump Mitchell. So Happy to have you here!!!
    Where was our fantastic defense when we lost to the Sea Chickens 58 to 0. That was a big joke. We were the laughing stock in the NFL.
    We need to give BA and his coaching staff all our support until they prove they don’t deserve it.

  17. By Artie on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply


    I don’t know why you are so high on Horton. I get that we had a pretty good defense last year, but it wasn’t good enough. With the kind of offense that we had last year, we need a defense more like Chicago, where every time they got an interception it was a touchdown (I am exaggerating). If the offense can’t score the defense has to. If they can’t do it by interceptions then they need to force more fumbles. 13 on the year is not going to make for a “Good Defense”. The point is that even Ray Horton wasn’t good enough. (3 best defense in the Division!) It is time for change let us assume Michael Bidwill knows what he’s doing.

  18. By AzDesertRat1953 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Watch out gentlemen, ‘Stump’ is back in the nest.

    Hello to All the new coaching staff!

    GO CARDS!!!

  19. By Rick206 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Good Grief!! lets cry over spilled milk be it happens….

  20. By aaron on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Horton went from goat to insanely overrated in just under two years. Impressive.

  21. By Rick206 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Who’s to say we don’t have next years pick of the litter coach on our staff now?

  22. By jetdoc1 on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Darren….. great response to Chief… Who’s we? ROFLMAO WHY would they ask Slowik to show them how to do what Horton was doing? Why would they want THAT? They FIRED Horton, so why try to “COPY” what he did. There’s more experience on this Staff, than you give them credit for. You act like Bowles was coaching Pop Warner the past 10 years… This ain’t Bowles first Rodeo man. I’m MORE than happy with the new Staff. I’d have made a few changes, but all in all let’s get on with the 2013 Season! Combine coming in late February already

  23. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    STUMP! The Cards’ best RB since Ottis Anderson.

  24. By William Barry on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    The blend of old coaches and new coaches is very good!!!! I like the addition of Tom Moore, and Goodwin, from the Indy staff….I really think bruce can fix our struggling offense..GO CARDS IN 2014!!!!!! AND THE CURRENT STAFF HAS SOME GOOD OFFENSIVE MINDS TO TUTOR OUR NEXT QB!!!!

  25. By Scott H on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    OK. We have our coaches. Now the REAL question – who’s the QB?

    And why do I not like the sound of us not having an O-line coach per se??? It would seem to me we could definitely use ONE truly soild teacher with solid credentials in this area of expertise to be firmly in charge of this rather critical position….a position where we were so woeful last year. And the year before. And the year before that.

    Seriously, it sounds like that crazy crap we had a few years back, when we had the run game coordinator, the passing game coordinator….c’mon, man. These things don’t require a committee – they only require ONE man. When you have the RIGHT man, that is.

    I can only hope this is not a situation where the names have changed but the game is the same. Because if there is anything we don’t need any more of around here, it’s more of the same.

  26. By Scott H on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Can someone check the locker room and see if maybe – JUST MAYBE – Bruce Arians may have snuck Andrew Luck out of Indy with him? Worth a shot…

  27. By iammattyoung on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Not much of a track record of success in this bunch: Bowles (Philly D), Drake (Bears WRs), Zierlein (Steelers OL), Caldwell (Philly LBs) all coached some pretty awful units. Just sayin.

  28. By Brian on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Man, so many people hating on Todd Bowles and acting like Horton was the best DC out there. Horton was good. I liked him. But I also understand that he was working with a lot more than Bowles was in Philly. You all want to point to his time as DC in Philly but as Darren has said many times already and I guess I’ll reiterate it, Philly was a mess when he took over. Stop using that situation for support for your argument. He was an interim DC. If you want to go that route, he was also an interim HC and went 2-1. He got HC interviews after that season but didn’t get hired. Sound familiar? Bottom line, you all don’t know how successful he will be and neither do I. But I do know this, he’s getting a lot of talent and will have a full offseason to work with them and get his defense in place. Why don’t we see what happens before proclaiming this a poor hire.

  29. By Dynosoar on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    I like what I see. Especially after reading Darren’s article on the main page.

    I loved watching Stump Mitchel in my youth, looking forward to having him coach our RB’s. Here’s hoping he gets to coach E. Lacey.

    Go Cardinals! Let’s have Jim’s crying come before the playoffs next year.

  30. By Credit Card on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    I like the new philosphy, that the coaches are teachers. I’m starting to warm-up to Arian’s method of thinking. Hopefully in this group of teachers, there are some coaches who can also motivate a player beyond his ability.

  31. By Eazy E on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply


    Dude ain’t nobody hating on Bowles, have you seen dude’s defense last year?! It was pathetic and very soft. I’m all for a brotha getting a job because it has to be hard to get a job this big being black, but I’m about production too and his defense didn’t have it.

  32. By BIG RED on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    Good Luck to the new coaching staff! Welcome back Stump Mitchell you were one of my favorite players.

  33. By georgiebird on Feb 5, 2013 | Reply

    You mean Running backs coach Lyvonia Mitchell

  34. By Jason Marcus on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    Everybody needs to cool it with the coach talk, this is the reality let it play out there’s nothing anyone can do about but watch and wait, All In…….GO CARDS!

  35. By AzDesertRat1953 on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    Todd Bowles had what, a half season being the DC in philly?
    Dang hard to make a Silk purse out of a Pig’s ear.

    I agree with Brian “Bottom line, you all don’t know how successful he will be and neither do I.” None of us know, that’s the Fun of the Game, if you know how it Ends, why play?

    I will say this. More eyes/coaches watching how the O and D works, is a Good idea.

    GO CARDS!!!

  36. By Josh T. on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    Life is all about perspectice- how you choose to look at things. I am looking forward to giving these guys a season or two to show us what they can do with the squad. A lot of getting people to perform is getting them to buy into you. As a teacher myself, I know just how hard someone who you have developed a strong rapport with can and will work for you. If BA comes in here and builds relationships, while holding these guys to high standards, and pushes for them to keep mentaly tough, we could have a good squad. Plenty of talent roaming the field for the Cards, should provide these coaches the ability to show what theya re made of. I am really excited about BA’s game philosphy. It gets me pretty excited to here about running an up tempo offense and really developing strong game plans and designs specifically for red zone play. Whiz’s motto was be focused, be disciplined, work hard, and we will win. Sounds more like BA’s is a bit more along of the lines of, “That stuff’s good, but you still gotta outplay the other guys on Sunady, so let’s practice that.” Welcome aborard to all the coaches, and welcome back “Stump!” The Red Sea is behind you.

  37. By wnycardfan on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    I”m on board with the glass half full crowd. Give the coaches a chance. I”m optimistic that we will see something different then the last 3 years and it will be more positive than negative. If its a complete mess, well, I’ll be ticked off. But for now, its Arians show, his first REAL show in the NFL, so I’m hoping he brings some Bear Bryant with him and coaches up this team big time.
    I also like his mix of coaches AND that he has 4 more than last year. Sometimes, you need to spread some of the workload out to get the most. Not sure about the OL committee, I think jury is out, but what the hell, lets let him do it before we say it stinks.

  38. By Brian on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    Eazy E –

    You just proved my point in your response. You are using his fraction of a season as your basis for saying his “defense was pathetic and soft”. It wasn’t his defense to begin with. Do you realize that before the Eagles collapse he still had a top 10 secondary? Yes, as the Eagles Secondary Coach, he was top 10. That was his primary role before he got promoted to oversee a defense that was in shambles after being coached by an O-line coach the whole season. You say you are about production but I think you need to have a decent sized sample to be able to evaluate someone that way. By that same logic, a rookie QB who comes in to a system that was in place before he got there that was different than what he knew in college goes 3-13 in his first season and throws 28 interceptions should be benched or cut. Gotta give him a chance to fully prove himself. That’s all I’m saying. Horton’s defense gave up over 20 points per game the first few games of his first season and he turned it around obviously. Maybe I’m wrong and you’re right. Maybe he isn’t successful, but I’m not one of those fans who jumps to conclusions just to be able to say “I told you so” later on. I’d rather trust the decision of the people who obviously have careers in this field and are considered professionals at making these decisions and see how they play out. By the way, the rookie QB I referenced before was Peyton Manning, good thing someone gave him a chance…

  39. By jasonsoroski on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    Thrilled to see Stump Mitchell back in the fold. My all-time favorite Cardinal after Warner and Fitzgerald. 🙂

  40. By Chris Lewis on Feb 6, 2013 | Reply

    I keep seeing comments about how we should’ve kept Ray Horton. I hated to see him go as well, but what some of you don’t seem to understand is that Horton was upset and didn’t want to stay in Arizona after being passed over for the HC job. After everything that’s transpired, I believe it was best for both parties to part ways and give Horton a chance at a fresh start somewhere else. I’m sure he’ll get another shot at HC somewhere real soon. I like our choice in Arians as HC. I just like the way this guy carries himself and you can see the genuine passion he has for the game of football. Now that all the coaching spots are in place, it’s time to get this team back to where we were a few years ago, which I sincerely believe is going to be sooner than later. GO CARDS!!!

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