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Young and Hungry: Arizona Finds Their Coordinators


Shortly after Super Bowl LVII the Cardinals wasted no time in getting an interview with Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. He would become the leading candidate for the franchise and first year GM Monti Ossenfort. Once Arizona announced Gannon’s official arrival, it was time for him to get to work on building a staff.

While most of the staff is still being put into place, both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions were filled this past week, according to ESPN. Gannon’s defensive coordinator, Nick Rallis(29) comes to Phoenix from the same staff Gannon came from, Philadelphia. Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball Arizona pulled the Cleveland Browns quarterback coach Drew Petzing(35) to be their new offensive coordinator.

Youngest In The League

Starting with the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals hired Nick Rallis to be defensive coordinator. Rallis instantly becomes the youngest coordinator in the league, formerly having the title of Philadelphia’s linebacker coach. Before his time in Philadelphia, Rallis spent time with the Vikings as a quality control coach.

While Rallis isn’t overly experienced, Jonathan Gannon and the Cardinals staff are hoping he can rejuvenate a defense that hasn’t been great since Bruce Arians’ tenure. Under former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph the teams defense has slowly regressed despite adding talent on the defensive side of the ball. With the likes of Bryon Murphy and Isaiah Simmons, Rallis will have plenty to work with. This defense will be a work in progress, but things can really only go up from here.

A New Offense

On the offensive side, Arizona hired Drew Petzing from Cleveland. Petzing served as Cleveland’s quarterback’s coach last season and similar to Rallis, Petzing coached with Gannon in Minnesota during the late 2010’s. Petzing coached Deshaun Watson for most of last season. Watson looked solid but he wasn’t the quarterback we saw in Houston. Petzing is now tasked with helping Kyler Murray live up to his massive contract signed last offseason.

Petzing’s offense will have many questions these next few months, with rumors swirling of a possible DeAndre Hopkins trade. He will need to fix the Cardinals inconsistent run game while developing a new passing attack that pushes the ball downfield more. Similar to the defense, this offense needs a lot of work. However, a lot of the pieces are there. If Arizona can fix up their interior offensive line, Petzing’s offense will have a chance of being fairly solid.

A Fresh Start For The Cardinals Staff

This new regime for the Cardinals is very young, but they are confident in what they can do. The rest of the staff is still being sorted out, but Jonathan Gannon has said “I’m gonna have some guys with major, major experience worked into the staff.” Experience is a “must have” for this coaching staff at this point, but don’t let the inexperience of this Cardinals staff fool you. They have a lot of pieces that could easily equate to a solid NFL offense/defense. Next season will be interesting to watch if you’re a Cardinals fan.

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