There are currently seven head coaching openings in the National Football League.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the seventh team with an available post after firing Lovie Smith Wednesday night. Word out of Tampa is that Dirk Koetter, who served as offensive coordinator under Smith for the last two seasons, is the overwhelming favorite to land the job.
But that doesn’t mean the Bucs aren’t looking elsewhere for coaching talent, as first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 8, 2016
Later Friday, the team confirmed the report.
Goodwin has 12 years of NFL coaching experience, including the last three on Bruce Arians’ staff in Arizona. He has helped shape the league’s top offense in 2015 — the Cardinals averaged 408.3 yards per game while going 13-3.
The man making the hire for Tampa Bay, general manager Jason Licht, has familiarity with Goodwin. Licht was the Cardinals’ vice president of player personnel in 2013, Goodwin’s first year in the Valley.
“Just be yourself,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of what advice he gives Goodwin. “Fortunately, he knows Jason and it should be a really good one for him.”
The interview with Goodwin will satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams with available head coaching jobs to interview at least one minority candidate.
Whether Goodwin gets the job or not, though, Arians said the chance to interview is helpful. And the more he interviews, the better a candidate he will become.
“I think you get more comfortable about the process,” he said. “Each one is a little different, you know. But we’re pulling for him.”
This is the third straight offseason in which a Cardinals assistant will at least interview for a head coaching job. Last year, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles got the New York Jets’ opening and led the team to a 10-6 record in his first season.
Losing another coordinator the following offseason would not necessarily be ideal, but Arians understands it could happen. In fact, he’s not surprised.
“He’s more than ready,” he said of Goodwin.
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