Coaching his hometown team is ‘euphoric’ for Cardinals’ Drew Terrell
TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals saw an influx of new faces join first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon’s staff this offseason.
Passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Drew Terrell, however, doesn’t need help finding his way around the Valley.
In fact, he’s the one giving pointers to the rest of the staff on where to eat, live and everything in between.
Terrell, who previously served as the Washington Commanders’ wide receivers coach the past two seasons, grew up in Mesa and attended Hamilton High School.
It’s a surreal moment in Terrell’s life, where his coaching career has brought him home.
“I can’t explain it. … I can’t quantify or put into the words the joy and excitement it’s brought me,” he said Wednesday. “The sheer euphoria I felt when I knew it was real and I knew I was coming home.
“It was something that I didn’t necessarily think of because I thought it would never happen. So it never really crossed my mind that I have a chance to represent the Arizona Cardinals and represent the state through coaching.”
Staying at his mom’s place until his family can find a house of their own, Terrell is back to driving those same streets he traversed growing up in Mesa.
He’s reconnecting with old friends and getting to spend more time with his nieces, brothers and the rest of his family that he was only getting to see two times a year working with the Commanders.
It’s an opportunity Terrell doesn’t take for granted.
On top of the added bonus of being back home, it’s another step up the NFL coaching ranks for the 31-year-old, who now adds coordinator duties to his plate.
“I started coaching relatively young, I started when I was 22, and I kind of mapped out in my mind what I want to do by the time I hit certain milestones by the time I was certain ages,” Terrell said. “I actually wanted to hit some of them quicker.
“But I said it in my mind that if I wanted to do certain things, it was going to be up to me to get things done by a certain date. So I wouldn’t say it’s surprising, but when it actually happens, it’s like, ‘Wow, like it’s really happening.'”
One way Terrell can continue that ascent is by getting the most out of a wide receivers room that has already seen the release of Chosen Anderson and could see more change on the horizon with the trade speculation surrounding No. 1 option DeAndre Hopkins.
Marquise Brown enters a contract year and contributed 709 receiving yards over 12 games last season, while third-year pro Rondale Moore is someone Terrell is eager to work with.
After playing in eight games last season due to injury and recording 41 catches for 414 yards and a touchdown, Moore is looking to bounce back with a healthy Year 3.
“Rondale has a tremendous talent. … He’s explosive, he’s fast, he’s twitchy, he has ball skills, he’s good with the ball after the catch, he’s tough,” Terrell said. “All those things make him a dynamic player.
“Exactly how we’re going to get him involved in offense are things that we’re going to continue to dive into the further we go along when we get to OTAs and training camp. But definitely fired up for a guy like Rondale’s skillset. I think he brings a ton of value.”