Goodwin brings intensity as new Cardinals OC

The junior partner in the group charged with resuscitating the

moribund Arizona Cardinals offense is new offensive coordinator

Harold Goodwin.

Head coach Bruce Arians and Goodwin talked about their challenge

at a news conference at team headquarters Wednesday.

The man Arians replaces, Ken Whisenhunt, rarely showed his

emotion in public.

Arians laughed when he carefully tried to find the words to

describe Goodwin’s approach.

”With Harold’s leadership in front, there’s going to be a high

(pause) intensity level,” Arians said. ”I have to use my correct

words. We will have a high intensity level with this young fellow

right here in front of this group.”

Goodwin said he learned that approach from Arians, who was voted

NFL coach of the year for leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3

record as interim coach while head coach Chuck Pagano was being

treated for leukemia. Goodwin said laid back would not be the

appropriate adjective to describe him or his boss.

”He’s passionate about this game, he’s passionate about

winning,” Goodwin said of Arians. ”I’ve learned from that and

I’ve taken that in and that’s how I approach the game and that’s

how I coach it.”

With Arians also bringing in a longtime NFL assistant coach, the

highly respected Tom Moore, as assistant head coach-offense,

Goodwin will handle the day-to-day coordinator chores, with an

emphasis on his specialty, the offensive line.

Goodwin has worked for Arians for six seasons, five with the

Pittsburgh Steelers and last year as offensive line coach of the

Colts. At 39, he is 21 years younger than Arians and a whopping 35

years junior to the 74-year-old Moore.

Goodwin said he sees talent on the Arizona offensive line,

mentioning tackles Levi Brown and Nate Potter by name. Brown missed

all of last season with a triceps injury. Potter, a seventh-round

draft pick a year ago, moved into the starting left tackle spot

nine games into the season and played well enough to somewhat

stabilize what had been a horrendous unit.

”Just coming out of Indy, all you need is guys who are willing

to work and you can have success,” Goodwin said. ”We won 11 games

in Indy with guys a lot of people didn’t think could play football

in the National Football League. I think there’s enough talent here

to win games.”

The Cardinals could well look to the offensive line with their

first draft pick, No. 7 overall.

Adding a talented young player to the group would be

”huge.”

”You get young guys and get them to buy into the system you

build for the future,” he said. ”You’ve got Levi Brown, you’ve

got Potter, some guys like that you can build upon. You add another

piece or two and you can have a great offensive line.”

Arians said there was nothing new on the quarterback front, the

Cardinals’ position of greatest uncertainty as the team looks to

revive an offense that ranked dead last in the NFL.

”There’s nowhere to go but up,” Arians said, laughing. ”I

guarantee you we won’t be there this year.”

The Cardinals lost 11 of 12 after a 4-0 start to finish 5-11 for

the second time in three seasons, leading to the firing of

Whisenhunt after a six-year stint that included a Super Bowl

appearance following the 2008 season. Arians was offensive

coordinator of the Pittsburgh team that pulled off a last-minute

win over Arizona in that game. Goodwin also was on that Steelers

staff.

Goodwin will have two matchups a season with younger brother

Jonathan, starting center for the NFC champion San Francisco

49ers.

”Fun,” he said. ”I’m going to win those battles, though. This

past Sunday was the last time I could ever root for the 49ers, so

that’s out the window now.”

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