Reports from the Arizona Cardinals' organized team activities point to an expanded coaching staff as one difference from the recent past.
Around the NFC West: May 15, 2013
"Bruce Arians has 21 coaches on his staff, so it makes sense to put them to work," Kent Somers writes. "In full-team drills, the 90-man squad was divided into two. Part of the staff, including Arians, stayed with the first- and second-team players. Other coaches went to the other field with the other group."
If and when the Cardinals enjoy sustained on-field success, they probably will point to quarterback play, not staff size, as the primary reason. But with every head coach seeking even the slightest advantage wherever he can get it, staff size is worth some consideration.
The Cardinals and St. Louis Rams each have 19 assistants, plus two coaches assigned to strength and conditioning. The San Francisco 49ers have 17 assistants and two strength coaches. The Seattle Seahawks have 20 assistants and three strength coaches.
With Arians directing the offense and calling plays, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin coaches the offensive line. Larry Zierlein serves as assistant line coach, giving Arizona two coaches for the line, a change from last season. Every other team in the division has two coaches assigned to handle the offensive line.
The Cardinals under Arians have closed the numbers gap with other staffs in the division. We'll take a closer look at other staff considerations another time.