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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Reports: Cards change secondary coaches UPDATE

Posted by Darren Urban on February 9, 2011 – 9:54 pm

UPDATE: The Cardinals have officially announced the hiring of Deshea Townsend as assistant defensive backs coach. That was the only news released.

The Cardinals have made changes on the defensive staff with Ray Horton coming in as defensive coordinator. We knew something was coming, and reports now attach names to the news. XTRA’s Mike Jurecki reported the Cardinals fired defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson and assistant defensive backs coach Rick Courtright (who had been a part of the staff since Denny Green was hired in 2004).

Joe Reedy in Cincinnati, meanwhile, reported the Cards are hiring former Bengals assistant Louie Cioffi, who had been in Cincinnati since 1997 and has been their assistant defensive backs coach. Cioffi coached together with Horton with the Bengals. Add in Deshea Townsend, the just-retired defensive back who also interviewed Wednesday and who Horton made clear he wants to hire, seems like the other likely hire. By the sound of it, both could end up being co-secondary coaches, although we’ll have to see how that plays out.

Nothing official has come down yet, but I’d guess we will see something Thursday.


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Very special teams for Porter, Fitz

Posted by Darren Urban on August 3, 2010 – 11:15 am

The Cardinals were working on special teams yesterday — punting — and suddenly, veteran linebacker Joey Porter jumped in to play gunner. And receiver Larry Fitzgerald jumped in to block him on the “return.” These are jobs the stars don’t do. Except on a Monday afternoon in training camp.

Of course, competition never stops. So they battled pretty good. And Fitz left Porter with a bloody lip afterward.

“I was trying to re-live the old school drill trying to be a gunner,” Porter said, “and he took a cheap shot at me and busted my lip. So I owe him.”

Fitzgerald wanted to make sure everyone remembered he teamed with Nate Poole to block gunners on punt coverage when he was a rookie back in 2004.

“Remember (gunner) Alex Bannister from Seattle, made all-pro?” Fitzgerald said. “We shut him down two games in a row, didn’t have a tackle in Seattle or here in Arizona. … I did do that. (Assistant defensive backs coach) Rick Courtright used to coach me on the technique. I don’t know if I could do it anymore …” Asked if that meant he couldn’t or wouldn’t, Fitz said, “If they need me to I can do it. If they challenge me to do that, I can do whatever.”

As for that busted lip, Fitzgerald blamed offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges, and reiterated his solid blocking job on Porter. “I had Joey the whole time, so I finished him out,” Fitzgerald said, pointing to his bicep. “These aren’t just for the girls.”


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Cards lose Austin to college job

Posted by Darren Urban on February 11, 2010 – 12:29 pm

The Cardinals are looking for another assistant coach now that Teryl Austin has accepted a job at the University of Florida, a development first reported by Mike Jurecki that I have since confirmed. The Cardinals could stay in-house by promoting assistant defensive backs coach Rick Courtright or coach Ken Whisenhunt could look elsewhere. I would guess Whisenhunt would like someone in place by the end of the month when the coaching staff heads to the scouting combine. That begins Feb. 24.

UPDATE: Florida is telling reporters nothing is official yet. Rivals.com’s Tom Deinhart is saying Florida is in the middle of interviewing a different person for the job today.

UPDATE II: Florida has made it official.


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Report: Austin interviewing with Gators

Posted by Darren Urban on February 10, 2010 – 9:49 am

Maybe the Cardinals’ coaching staff isn’t set after all. The National Football Post is reporting defensive backs coach Teryl Austin is meeting with the University of Florida for their vacant defensive coordinator position. The Gators lost one DC when Charlie Strong went to be the head coach of the University of Louisville, and then the replacement, George Edwards, left after a month to take the DC job with Chan Gailey and the Buffalo Bills. Austin was the first announced hire of coach Ken Whisenhunt when he was brought to Arizona. The Cards do have Rick Courtright on staff as the assistant DBs coach; Courtright has been around since the Dennis Green days.


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