NFC West: Bear Bryant

Jack Pardee among 'most courageous'

April, 1, 2013
Jack Pardee accomplished much before, during and after his 13-year career with the St. Louis Rams. Those unfamiliar with his resume should check out some of the details in the Houston Chronicle's obituary. Pardee died from cancer at age 76.

Pardee played for Bear Bryant at Texans A&M in the 1950s and was one of the famed "Junction Boys" of that era. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors while with the Rams before posting an 87-77 record as an NFL head coach.

"Pardee was diagnosed in 1965 with a malignant melanoma in his left arm and on his 28th birthday underwent an 11-hour surgical procedure that included chemotherapy, a complete blood transfusion and a procedure that lowered his body temperature to 86 degrees," the Chronicle's obituary notes. "He recovered and returned to the NFL, completing a 15-year career in 1972, and other than a recurrence in 1986 that was treated with minor surgery but no chemotherapy had been in good health ever since."

The Rams released a statement honoring Pardee as "a great player who was one of the most courageous men to ever don a Rams uniform."

More from the Rams: "For 13 seasons, Jack gave everything he could to the organization, so much so that he eagerly returned to the field after winning a battle with cancer during the middle of his playing career. On the football field, he experienced success as a player and coach at every level of the game. Off the field, he was a family man and true gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Pardee family."
The Arizona Cardinals have made available a Bruce Arians interview shot while the team's new head coach unpacked boxes in his office.

There's a comfortable feel to Arians even with a large photo of a serious looking Bear Bryant perched over Arians' shoulder all the while. A former player's father gave the photo to Arians years ago. Arians worked on Bryant's staff at Alabama during the 1981 and 1982 seasons.

"The one thing Coach Bryant left me with when I went away to be a head coach at 30 was [to] coach them hard and hug them later," Arians says on the video. "I've never forgotten that. We like to be up-tempo at practice, coach them extremely hard and then [have] a great relationship. We want the players to want to be around the coaches, and vice versa. That is something that is extremely important to me."

Arians provides a quick overview of his new coaching staff, pointing out connections among them. His offensive coordinator, Harold Goodwin, came to the Cardinals after the Indianapolis Colts allowed Goodwin out of his contract. Teams regularly block such moves.

Last offseason, the Cardinals prevented their quarterbacks coach at the time, John McNulty, from interviewing to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator. That was bad for McNulty, who remained saddled with a rough quarterback situation in Arizona -- one that would get worse through injuries. McNulty is now the Bucs' quarterbacks coach.

More recently, the San Francisco 49ers reportedly prevented secondary coach Ed Donatell from interviewing with the New Orleans Saints (Donatell has defended the system that prevented him from seeking a promotion).

Back to the Cardinals. Arians seems to have secured the coaching staff he wanted to assemble, for the most part. That can be tough to accomplish for a coach hired relatively late in the process. At the very least, Arians has put together a staff featuring coaches he knows well from working with many of them in the past.