Quarterback coach is typically not something even the most diehard NFL fan thinks about during the darkest days of the offseason let alone when the games count. The Arizona Cardinals QB coach, Freddie Kitchens, has recently been brought to the forefront of team news recently after undergoing emergency heart surgery earlier this month.
Thankfully he is recovering because it was not only scary, it was near fatal. So just like many other football players the coach and his family receive our continued prayers for a safe return and speedy one if possible.
This is also is where the next man up attitude comes into play. Until said return not much should change in the regard that it’s Coach Bruce Arians offense that is being ran and he along with Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.
Arians system has worked and his ability to motivate and manage his team has been well documented by past quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. Having the ability to have a good middleman between the qb and head coach are key there have been almost as many quarterback coaches for the Cardinals as there have been quarterbacks.
Kitchen’s is not a new arrival to the staff but is to this coaching position replacing John McNulty from coaching tight ends. The former Alabama starting quarterback has earned his opportunity for the promotion and coming from the former regime shows he was valuable enough to keep.
This is also another note to the way Arians constructed his staff as he did not retain the likes of former defensive coordinator Ray Horton and many others.
The quarterback coach is vital to each team in its own unique ways such as Josh McDaniel’s in New England, Norv Turner in Cleveland and reigning super bowl champion Jim Caldwell. Each one a former head coach now back in a more teaching role as a go between an idea bouncer offer guy. Each role is different in each setting as every other team has a coach in the same role either new or switching from a different teaching role.
So until the coach Kitchens is back is up defining the role will be based a lot on the fact for now the Cardinals have a more than experienced quarterback in Carson Palmer. He can throw for can throw for over 4,000ysd blindfolded obviously, coming out of the black hole that is the Raiders.
His being even more connected at the hip of Arians QB friendly playbook should pay dividends immediately. His having no filter between him and his play caller will speed a relationship that does not have the same flexibility, time or patience as a rookie would.
Even Drew Stanton the former Arians understudy when he was with the Colts is beneficial as a different brain familiar with his terminology. It isn’t something you consider a lot unless you think about it so the position is vital but ultimately whether it be a coach or a player next man up.