Goodwin brings intensity as new Cardinals OC
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - 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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