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Cardinals’ coaching staff hard at work with no offseason turnover

INDIANAPOLIS — It is like clockwork every year in the NFL when the regular season ends: head coaches are fired and new coaches hired while a horde of assistant coaches are once again arranging for moving vans.

This year, there were seven head-coaching changes:

  • Former Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris replaced Arthur Smith in Atlanta.

  • Former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales replaced Frank Reich (fired during the season) in Carolina.

  • Antonio Pierce, previously the interim head coach replacing Josh McDaniels, was hired as the Raiders head coach.

  • Former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh replaced Brandon Staley (fired during the season) with the Los Angeles Chargers.

  • Jerod Mayo, previously the inside linebackers coach for the Patriots, was promoted to replace Bill Belichick in New England.

  • Former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald replaced Pete Carroll in Seattle.

  • Former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn replaced Ron Rivera in Washington.

The coaching carousel spins wildly for nearly two months every year and most teams end up being affected. This year, however, all was quiet in Tempe a year after numerous new faces arrived, many with little NFL experience.

No assistant coaches on Arizona’s staff departed, and head coach Jonathan Gannon is glad.

“It’s awesome,” Gannon said this week speaking to reporters at the NFL combine. “Continuity is a big thing that gets lost in translation at times with staff dynamics and what we want to improve on and what we want to carry over and what we’re studying and what we’re improving on individually, collectively, ultimately to help improve the players.

“I’m appreciative of that. That’s the business, so you have to deal with it and you have to be prepared for it. But I’ glad we’ve got everybody back.”

General manager Monti Ossenfort echoed those sentiments, saying, “Staff continuity is really important for us. I love our staff. We’ve got a good young staff. We talk about it with our players, we talk about it whether they’re scouts, we’ll talk about it whether they’re coaches. It’s up for them to get better, too, the second year.

“That we can keep that messaging the same moving forward, that our players know how the messaging is going to be, and our players know about the scheme, I think that’s very important. We’re excited with our staff right now that we have in place.”

With it being almost two months since the end of the 2023 season, Gannon said a lot of work has been done reviewing and looking ahead to 2024.

“Grinding. Grinding,” he said laughing. “Ask those guys. They’re worn out. They don’t have as much juice as I do. No, I’ve been around some really good guys whom I’ve felt when I was in their seats here’s how I improve the most and it was set up in a way by the head coach. That was something I was taking notes on since I was 24 years old.

“I think we set up a good plan in January and February and now we’re getting into March here and they did a good job of attacking what I asked. Ultimately, you’re just trying to get better for when the players get in here in April.”

Meanwhile, six Cardinals offensive assistants got a head start on the Combine and the draft evaluation process by coaching in either the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine Game:

Senior Bowl

Quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork, National team quarterbacks

Running backs coach Autry Denson, National team running backs

Assistant offensive line coach Chris Cook, National team line

Offensive quality control coach Connor Senger, American team wide receivers

East-West Shrine Game

Receivers coach/passing game coordinator Drew Terrell, East team offensive coordinator

Passing game specialist Spencer Whipple, West team wide receivers

Gannon said it was “huge” for the team to have those coaches participating in the all-star games.

“That’s a tool that we use,” Gannon said. “We wanted to get our guys involved and obviously, that’s a platform to show the world what they can do, too. But I know what they can do, so not for me. It was more to coach the players, get your hands on the players if we want to make them Cardinals. So that’s a tool we’ll use moving forward.”

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire