The Rams’ search for their next head coach continued on Jan. 5, with the club reportedly meeting with Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin. Here are three nuggets to know about about the assistant from one of Los Angeles’ division rivals.
1) Helps lead one of NFL’s top offenses
As teams of the NFC West know in particular, the Cardinals have been one of the most prolific offenses for the last few years. While much of the credit for that goes to Arizona head coach Bruce Arians — who does call the plays — Goodwin reportedly has an integral role in game planning, particularly when it comes to pass protection and the run game.
The last two years, the Cardinals have finished in the top 10 in yards per game, points per game, and first downs. Under Goodwin’s tutelage, David Johnson has arguably become the league’s top dual-threat running back, rushing for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns this year while also making 80 receptions for 879 yards for a league-leading 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns.
2) Worked under Bruce Arians for last decade
Arians received his first full-time head coaching job in 2013 with Arizona, but had been working with Goodwin for years prior to that. The two first connected in Pittsburgh in 2007, with Arians as the offensive coordinator and Goodwin as the club’s offensive line coach and quality control coordinator.
But with so much history and familiarity between the two, Arians has reportedly begun to groom Godowin for a head coaching position. Goodwin has said he’s gotten more responsibilities over his time in Arizona, with one example being that he has called plays in three of the four preseason games for the last two years.
“I love him for it," Goodwin said in November via ESPN.com. "I’m very appreciative. I’m excited for the opportunity to grow as a coach and as a man, and I just thank him for it. … For him to do this for me is special. It tells me he thinks a lot about me, and I don’t ever want to disappoint him.”
3) Loves to run the ball
Goodwin played college football as an offensive lineman at Michigan, and that Big Ten upbringing has stayed ingrained in Goodwin’s coaching style.
As a former offensive line coach, establishing and maintaining a strong run game has been one of Goodwin’s specialties. Per Goodwin’s Cardinals biography, Pittsburgh averaged 118.5 yards rushing per game during his tenure as offensive line coach. And now in Arizona, players have noticed his run-first mentality.
“As an O-lineman, I like the way he calls plays," Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley said in November, via ESPN. “He calls plays because he likes to run the ball. That’s a big facet of what he likes to do. He likes to show who’s the toughest, who’s the most physical group and he does a good job of doing that.”