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Cardinals Announce New Coaching Staff

Foote, Leftwich among holdovers from previous lineup


Linebackers coach Larry Foote (right), here talking with Deone Bucannon, is one of a handful of coaches new boss Steve Wilks retained on his first Cardinals' staff.

Steve Wilks finally has a complete coaching staff.

The Cardinals' head coach had hoped to have all the coaches in place by the Super Bowl, but the hiring process bled into this week for a lineup that began after Wilks named his three coordinators: Mike McCoy for offense,  Al Holcomb for defense, and Jeff Rodgers for special teams.

"I'm going to teach everybody the same, but I'm going to coach them differently," Wilks said at his introductory press conference. "I think the most important thing you've got to understand is personalities. Everybody is different in that room, and I want to hire coaches that understand how to relate to different personalities.

"Most importantly, this is a league about developing players. We know what you're going to get in the first and second round (of the draft), but you make your wealth in this league by developing players. And that's what I'm trying to get – coaches that understand that, great communicators that can take these guys to the next level."

Wilks' staff includes a handful retained from Bruce Arians' group: quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver (who was assistant receivers coach previously), linebackers coach Larry Foote (who coached inside linebackers under Arians), assistant offensive line coach Steve Heiden (who assisted with tight ends as well

under Arians), strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris and Bill Bidwill Fellowship/running backs assistant Terry Allen.

The new position coach additions include:

Running backs coach Kirby Wilson returns to the same job he held for the Cardinals when he was on the staff of then-coach Dennis Green. Wilson spent the last two seasons coaching running backs for the Browns, and he has also coached the position for the Vikings and Steelers since leaving Arizona.

Offensive line coach Ray Brown played 20 seasons in the NFL – including his first three with the Cardinals – and was the Panthers line coach the past two seasons, working as an assistant in Carolina the five seasons before that.

Tight ends coach Jason Michael has been with the Titans the past four seasons, working first as offensive coordinator and then as quarterbacks coach, and has 12 years of NFL coaching experience.

Defensive line coach/senior assistant Don Johnson spent 11 years as a defensive line coach with the Bears, Raiders and Chargers. He last coached in 2015, and has coached a total of 39 years. 

Assistant defensive line coach Chris Achuff spent the last nine seasons working with the defensive line at Baylor University. He has 19 years of college coaching experience.

Defensive backs coach David Merritt, a one-time college teammate of Cardinals GM Steve Keim, played for the Cardinals from 1993-95. He has coached in the NFL since 2001, including the last 14 seasons with the New York Giants.

Assistant defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison was most recently the co-defensive coordinator at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and has been a college assistant since 1992. He coached at Auburn in 2013 and 2014.

Offensive assistant Cameron Turner comes from the Panthers, where he has coached with the quarterbacks or receivers since 2015.

Assistant special teams coach Randall McCray had been the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for Texas State.

Ben Burress, who was an offensive assistant for the Panthers the past three years, was named assistant to the head coach.

Also joining the staff are offensive quality control coach Troy Rothenbuhler (the last seven seasons at the University of Findlay) and defensive quality control coach Alonso Escalante(coached with the New York Giants in 2016 and 2017.)

Images of the assistant coaching staff under new coach Steve Wilks

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