Report: Former Cards coach Leftwich joining Arians in Tampa Bay

Jan 8, 2019, 5:47 PM | Updated: Jan 9, 2019, 11:16 am
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)...
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is attempting to bring some familiar names with him to Tampa Bay, according to senior NFL reporter Albert Breer.

Arians’ tabbed Todd Bowles to be his defensive coordinator, but Bowles is also reportedly considering joining coach Matt Nagy’s staff with the Chicago Bears, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Chicago lost defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who is reportedly taking the head job with the Denver Broncos.

Former Cardinals offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is expected to serve as pass-game coordinator with Harold Goodwin, who was OC under Arians in Arizona, acting as run-game coordinator.

Bowles, 55, spent the past four seasons as head coach of the New York Jets. He served as Arians’ defensive coordinator for two seasons and was named the Associated Press’ assistant coach of the year for the 2014 season. The Jets posted a record of 24-40 under Bowles.

After the Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy in October, Leftwich took over as interim offensive coordinator for the rest of the season. Along with former Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, Leftwich was fired on Dec. 31. A coaching intern under Arians in 2016, Leftwich was quarterbacks coach during Arians’ final season in Arizona.

Goodwin goes back with Arians all the way to the Indianapolis Colts days, coaching their offensive line for one season in 2012 before moving with Arians to Arizona in 2013 as the team’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for five seasons.

In five seasons leading the Cardinals, Arians went 40-27-1 and took Arizona to the playoffs twice, including an appearance in the NFC Championship game. Arians’ replacement Steve Wilks went 3-13 in his first and only season before being fired. Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury was hired as Arizona’s next head coach on Tuesday.

Arians, 66, has been an NFL head coach just once (not including his 12 games as interim head coach of the Colts), but has decades of experience coaching both at the professional and college levels. He was the offensive coordinator of the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers team that beat the Cardinals in the Super Bowl and coached quarterbacks that include Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer.

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