Five points on Cardinals' coaching move
February, 16, 2011
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Five notes regarding the Arizona Cardinals' offense after coach Ken Whisenhunt met with reporters to discuss Mike Miller's promotion to coordinator:
- This was part of a progression. Miller, who previously oversaw the passing game, has been on Whisenhunt's staff from the beginning in Arizona. The two worked together with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2001-03. That made Miller a natural choice for a position that had been vacant since former coordinator Todd Haley left following the 2008 season. If the move takes some pressure off Whisenhunt, that is a good thing. He can perhaps focus on the team more broadly during what figures to be another transition year (new staff, likely new quarterback, etc.).
- Russ Grimm's value remains high. Grimm, the Cardinals' assistant head coach/offensive line, had coordinated the running game. Whisenhunt said he considered Grimm for the job Miller landed, but the move would have made it tough for Grimm to coach the offensive line. Grimm is most valuable coaching the line. It would have been impractical, in my view, for him to call plays and coach the line during games.
- This was not a setback for Grimm. Whisenhunt: "Russ and I talked about it, but Russ is not interested in it. I shouldn’t say Russ is not interested in it, but Russ does a number of things for us and is a very good football coach. At this point, it was not time for Russ do to it. Could Russ do it? Absolutely. I don’t think there is any question in my mind that Russ could do it, but coaching the offensive line is a full-time job."
- Miller may or may not call plays. "I've decided that I am going to call the good plays," Whisenhunt joked. "Since Mike's now the coordinator, he is going to be responsible for all the ones that don't work." Whisenhunt, like quite a few head coaches, loves calling plays. He'll be involved. Miller called plays at times last season, and his role presumably will grow now that he is coordinator. But I'm guessing there will be times when Miller does the dirty work during the week, only to have the head coach have the fun on game days.
- The Cardinals' staff appears set. Miller and Ray Horton are the coordinators. Horton made a few changes to the defensive staff. Quarterbacks coach Chris Miller is staying put after becoming a finalist to become head coach at Southern Oregon University.
AP Photo/Paul ConnorsCardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm will continue to coach the offensive line next season.