Reports: Cardinals fire WR coach David Raih; QB coach Tom Clements retires

Jan 7, 2021, 11:29 AM | Updated: Jan 8, 2021, 9:45 am
(Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
(Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly fired wide receivers coach David Raih, reports CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

Additionally, Arizona passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements has opted to retire, reports CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. Cam Turner, an offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach, is expected to be promoted to quarterbacks coach.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury in his postseason media session Monday said the Cardinals would evaluate their coaching staff after finishing a 8-8 season.

Arizona’s receiver room and passing game as a whole struggled this season despite the addition of DeAndre Hopkins.

While Hopkins piled up 1,407 receiving yards this season, No. 2 receiver Christian Kirk took a step backward statistically to finish with 621 receiving yards despite playing in a career-high 14 games. Kirk posted 709 yards in 2019.

The Cardinals’ third-leading receiver was tight end Dan Arnold (423 yards). He was followed by veteran Larry Fitzgerald (409) and running back Chase Edmonds (402).

The development of young receivers that Arizona invested in heavily to start Kingsbury’s tenure figures to be a primary reason Arizona made the move to fire Raih.

Andy Isabella, the second-round 2019 draft pick acquired in the trade of quarterback Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins, has struggled with consistency over his first two seasons.

He had 224 yards and two touchdowns this year, plus a string of three healthy scratches at the end of the season. Isabella was active in the season finale due to Fitzgerald’s groin injury and the loss of Kirk to the COVID-19 reserve list.

Arizona also waived its 2019 fourth-round pick, Hakeem Butler, before his second season even began. Sixth-round pick KeeSean Johnson (173 yards) was not active for a portion of this past season.

It’s probable the Cardinals’ top leadership put the young receivers’ lack of development on Raih, who coached the receivers alongside offensive analyst Jerry Sullivan.

Raih has a history with Kingsbury dating back to 2013, where he was on staff at Texas Tech. He joined Kingsbury’s Cardinals staff in 2019.

Prior to joining the Cardinals, Raih served as the Green Bay Packers’ wide receivers coach (2018), offensive perimeter coach (2017), assistant offensive line coach (2016) and coaching administrator (2014-15). He developed a strong reputation having worked with Davante Adams leading up to the receiver’s breakout year in 2018 in which he posted a career-high 1,386 receiving yards.

Clements spent 2006-2016 coaching quarterbacks and at points calling plays for the Green Bay Packers. He did not hold a coaching job until joining Arizona’s staff in 2019.

He and Raih move on after questions arose about how Arizona utilized Hopkins, though only the Cardinals can say whether that is on the assistant coaches or Kingsbury.

With Hopkins having learned a new offense during an abbreviated training camp — he also missed time on the field with an ankle injury heading into Week 1 — it was often a topic with Kingsbury about how much better the wideout and quarterback Kyler Murray could improve with more time together.

The Cardinals almost exclusively lined Hopkins up on the left side of the field.

The Cardinals offense this year, despite ranking No. 6 in yards per game, appeared underwhelming when it came to the passing attack.

Arizona ranked 19th in yards per pass attempt (7.1) and 25th in yards per completion (10.6).

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