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
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
”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
Goodwin will have two matchups a season with younger brother
Jonathan, starting center for the NFC champion San Francisco
”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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