The coaching staff under new Cardinals head boss Kliff Kingsbury has filled out.
James Saxon, who had coached running backs for the Steelers and reached significant success with Le’Veon Bell and James Connor, highlights the previously unannounced coaching additions. Two former Broncos secondary coaches, Marcus Robertson (defensive backs) and Greg Williams (cornerbacks), will join new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph after Joseph had both on staff in Denver.
Chris Achuff, who had been the assistant defensive line coach on the former staff of Steve Wilks, has been promoted to defensive line coach.
The other new additions to the staff include Charlie Bullen (assistant linebackers), Peter Badovinac (assistant wide receivers), Rob Grosso (defensive quality control) and Spencer Whipple (offensive quality control).
Along with Achuff, the Cardinals are keeping Randall McCray (assistant special teams), Cam Turner (offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks), Buddy Morris (strength and conditioning) and Vernon Stephens (assistant strength and conditioning) from Wilks’ staff.
The Cardinals had already announced eight of Kingsbury’s assistants: Joseph, Tom Clements (passing game coordinator/quarterbacks), Bill Davis (linebackers), Sean Kugler (offensive line), Brian Natkin (assistant offensive line), David Raih (wide receivers), Steve Heiden (tight ends) and Jeff Rodgers (special teams coordinator). Heiden and Rodgers are also holdovers from Wilks’ staff.
"We brought together an experienced group from all over," Kingsbury said on his Kingsbury Chronicle podcast. "We put together the best staff that we could, regardless of prior relationship, and I feel like we’ve done that. (GM) Steve (Keim) did a great job helping me, being a great resource for me as we put this thing together, and I’m really excited about it. Everybody’s still getting to know each other, but we’re working hard at the Xs and Os and getting ready for free agency.”
Saxon has been an NFL assistant for 19 seasons after playing running back in the league for eight years. In those 19 seasons, one of his backs has earned a Pro Bowl berth 15 times and 11 times have rushed for 1,000 yards. Besides Bell and Connor, Saxon has coached Adrian Peterson, Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes at his various stops.
Robertson, who played 12 years in the NFL as a defensive back, has coached defensive backs the past 12 seasons for the Titans, Lions, Raiders and Broncos. Williams has 10 years of NFL coaching experience with the Colts, Chargers and Broncos.