Bruce Arians' Bucs staff has Arizona Cardinals, Temple influences

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have assembled their full coaching staff under new head coach Bruce Arians, with 11 members rejoining Arians from the Arizona Cardinals and seven who either played for or coached under Arians at Temple. There also are strong influences from the Pittsburgh Steelers and from Todd Bowles' four-year stint as head coach of the New York Jets.

Here's a closer look:


Byron Leftwich (coordinator): Leftwich will call plays for the Bucs after spending the past three seasons with the Cardinals. He played quarterback for 10 seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, Steelers and Bucs. He helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII, serving as backup to Ben Roethlisberger, a player many have compared Jameis Winston to because of his big arm and knack for keeping plays alive. "I think that's where I really started truly coaching too, to be honest with you," Leftwich said. "I was able to be an extra set of eyes and ears for Ben. [Arians, then the Steelers' offensive coordinator] would talk to me about certain stuff and I would talk to Ben. ... It allowed me to see the way that I played the game [inside the pocket] and the way [Roethlisberger] played the game [outside the pocket, often improvising] and see that there's a whole lot of different ways you can get the job done. That in itself made me a completely better coach, a completely better player."

Harold Goodwin (assistant head coach/run-game coordinator): He spent 11 seasons as Arians' right-hand man with the Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts and Steelers, with his most recent stint serving as the Cardinals' offensive coordinator (2013-17). "When I say he's truly like a father to me, he is," Goodwin said of Arians. In Arizona, Goodwin ran both zone and power-blocking schemes.

Joe Gilbert (offensive line): He most recently worked as the offensive line coach at the University of Arizona. Prior to that, Gilbert spent six seasons with the Colts, including one when he overlapped with Arians, serving as assistant offensive line coach (2012, 2016-2017) and offensive line coach (2013-15).

Clyde Christensen (quarterbacks): He was most recently with the Dolphins, working as the director of player development and as an offensive coordinator. Prior to Miami, Christensen spent 14 seasons with the Colts, guiding offensive players such as Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Andrew Luck. He was with Arians at Temple from 1983 to 1988 and served on Tony Dungy's Bucs staff from 1996 to 2001.

Todd McNair (running backs): He played under Arians at Temple and would go on to play 121 games in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Oilers. He coached with Arians in Cleveland (2001-03). From 2004-2010, McNair was the running backs coach at USC, guiding Reggie Bush to a Heisman Trophy in 2005.

Kevin Garver (wide receivers): He spent the past six seasons (2013-18) with the Cardinals, helping to direct Larry Fitzgerald to four Pro Bowls and developing former Cardinals receiver John Brown, who recorded a 1,000-yard season in his second year in 2015.

Rick Christophel (tight ends): He served as the Cardinals' tight ends coach (2013-17) after a stint as the coach at Austin Peay State University (2007-12). Prior to that, he spent 25 years as an assistant coach in college, overlapping with Arians at Mississippi State for two seasons.

John Van Dam (offensive quality control): A walk-on quarterback at Michigan State, he served as a backup to Brian Hoyer and Arians protégé Drew Stanton. Van Dam has served as offensive coordinator at Pennsylvania's Lafayette College and Southern Illinois, and he has coached under Nick Saban and Jim McElwain.

Antwaan Randle El (offensive assistant): He spent nine years in the NFL playing for the Steelers (2002-05, 2010) and Washington Redskins (2006-09). In Super Bowl XL, Randle El became the first wide receiver in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.


Todd Bowles (coordinator): He compiled a 24-41 record with the Jets, including 10-6 his first year in 2015. "He's the best of the best, the best coach I've ever been coached by," Jets Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams told ESPN. Added Cardinals Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson: "Coach Bowles is pretty much a spitting image of Coach B.A. [on defense]. He's very, very aggressive." Bowles will adapt his scheme to fit his players and has coached 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. He is expected to transition the Bucs to a hybrid 3-4, one-gap scheme. In two seasons as the Cardinals' coordinator (2013-14), Arizona allowed the fifth-fewest points per game in the league (19.47), had the fifth-most interceptions (38) and scored the most defensive touchdowns (9). Bowles has worked under Andy Reid, Wade Phillips, Bill Parcells and Butch Davis, and he was a four-year starter at defensive back under Arians at Temple.

Kacy Rodgers (defensive line): He spent the past four seasons with Bowles as defensive coordinator of the Jets. Rodgers also worked with Bowles in Miami, serving as the defensive line coach (2008-14). He spent five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, and he has worked under Houston Nutt, Parcells and Phillips.

Larry Foote (outside linebackers): He spent the past four seasons coaching with the Cardinals after playing linebacker for 13 seasons in the NFL and playing on the winning teams in Super Bowls XL and XLIII.

Mike Caldwell (inside linebackers): He was the Jets' inside linebackers/associate head coach under Bowles. Prior to that, he served as linebackers coach with the Cardinals (2013-14) and Philadelphia Eagles (2011-12). Caldwell spent 11 seasons in the NFL, playing in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. Foote's and Caldwell's experiences in both schemes can play a key role in helping Bucs linebacker Lavonte David transition inside.

Kevin Ross (cornerbacks): He was the Cardinals' cornerbacks coach from 2013 to 2017, helping guide Peterson to five Pro Bowls. Ross, a two-time Pro Bowler himself, spent 14 seasons playing safety and cornerback in the NFL. He played under Arians at Temple.

Nick Rapone (safeties): Rapone was the defensive backs coach for the Cardinals from 2013 to 2017, tutoring All-Pros Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. During that span, the Cardinals amassed 86 interceptions -- third most in the NFL -- and their 14 pick-sixes tied for the most in the NFL. Last year, the Bucs registered just nine interceptions, 26th in the league. Rapone was a college teammate of Arians at Virginia Tech and coached for him at Temple.

Tim Atkins (defensive quality control): He spent the past three seasons in the same role for the Jets under Bowles after stints as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns (2014-15), Buffalo Bills (2012-13) and Dolphins (2006-08).

Cody Grimm (defensive assistant): Grimm, who played free safety for the Bucs (2010-12), spent the past four seasons at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, serving as a quality control/defensive coach. Throughout his playing career, Grimm acted as a rover (hybrid linebacker-safety), which could come in handy as the Bucs transition to a 3-4.

Special teams

Keith Armstrong (special-teams coordinator): He spent the past 10 seasons as special-teams coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons, leading them to a third-ranked punt-coverage unit (8.0 yards per return) and a fourth-ranked kick-returns unit (23.9 yards per return), the third-best mark in field goals (87.7 percent) and the second-best accuracy in extra points (99.1 percent) over that span. He credits Arians for getting him into coaching after playing for him at Temple.

Amos Jones (special-teams assistant): He was the Browns' special-teams coordinator in 2018 and served in that same role with the Cardinals from 2013-17. Jones coached with Arians at Temple and Alabama.

Chris Boniol (specialist): He has six years of actual NFL kicking experience, something the Bucs haven't had on the coaching staff, despite having the league's worst field goal percentage (77.3 percent) over the past 10 years. Boniol has worked with Dan Bailey and Sebastian Janikowski.

Mike Chiurco (assistant to the head coach): Chiurco spent five seasons working under Arians with the Cardinals, first as assistant to the head coach (2013-14) and then defensive assistant/assistant defensive backs coach (2015-17).