The Cardinals hired Bruce Arians as head coach because they believe he is the right man to help turn things around. Arians believes Harold Goodwin is the man that can help the league’s worst offense turn around, so he in turn added Goodwin to his staff as offensive coordinator.
Prior to his arrival in Arizona, Goodwin was in Indianapolis with Arians serving as the offensive line coach. Prior to that, Goodwin spent the previous five years (2007-11) as an offensive assistant with the Steelers.
Goodwin has his work cut out for him, but he knows he’ll do well staying under Arians’ wing. “I’ve learned from the best, because he is the best, and it’s gonna be a great experience,” Goodwin said.
Arians has said all along that he’ll call all the offensive plays for the Cardinals. He says this kind of play-calling system will work just fine, considering the recent history he and Goodwin share. “Having been together for six years, our philosophies are identical,” Arians said.
Arians said Goodwin will be in charge of all other offensive coordinator duties, outside of the play-calling.
The Cardinals offensive line struggled mightily last season. It was a banged-up unit that saw three rookies on it at one time because the injuries had overcome the group.
The line did seem to gel as the season went on, as Bobby Massie and Nate Potter settled into the tackle positions quite nicely and once they were able to get the hang of things.
Goodwin knows there’s some good things in place on the line and he’s looking forward to developing the talent even more.
“I’ve been watching the guys here recently, and I kinda like what I see,” Goodwin said. “Obviously there’s a long way to go, but I assure you that we’re gonna do a good job.”
Goodwin says it’s huge to have young talent on the front line that he can help shape, mold and strengthen for the future.
“You add another piece or two and you can have a great offensive line,” Goodwin said.
So, what are the challenges for a first-year offensive coordinator? “The challenge is to learn day-in-and-day-out what are the things I gotta get done, that’s the biggest thing,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin mentioned the fact that, as an offensive line coach, he would just teach his position. Now that he’s running the offense, he has a lot more positions and personnel that he’s accountable for.
“That’s the biggest thing I’m getting adjusted to,” Goodwin said.
Another challenge facing Goodwin is how to address the quarterback situation, which at times appeared worse than the offensive line situation last season.
Like the line, Goodwin sees potential in his quarterbacks. he believes that in order to maximize that potential, a lot of parts will have to move as one.
“As an offense, better protection [and a] better running game is gonna help the quarterback,” Goodwin said. “Like Coach said, [if] one of those guys can’t step to the forefront, he’s gonna search behind Door No. 2 and we’ll go from there.”
Arians obviously knows Goodwin inside and out, being with him for the last half decade or so. He knows just what kind of style Goodwin will bring to the position.
“With Harold’s leadership in front, there is going to be a high intensity level,” Arians said. “We will have a high intensity level with this young fella here in front of the group.”