How Will Robinson Change Arizona's Offense?

The Arizona Cardinals face a major transition period. The change at quarterback will certainly give their offense a facelift. The revisions don't end there. The most recent development is the addition of running back coach Tommie Robinson who spent the past three season in the same position at the University of Miami. The hire will further change the landscape in Arizona.

The Arizona Cardinals recently hired Tommie Robinson to take over the running game. Robinson, who made a name for himself in the collegiate ranks, inherits Beanie Wells, Tim Hightower and LaRod Stephens-Howling as his primary ball carriers. Robinson's first task at hand should be erasing ball security issues. The second, giving the group a more prominent role in the Cardinals offense, which will include cementing Wells as the group's featured back.

While the same isn't true for the team as a whole, Robinson's to-do list is easier with former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner out of the picture. With Warner gone, it's inevitable that Arizona will utilize its ground game much more. Prior to Warner's retirement announcement, he and coach Ken Whisenhunt fundamentally disagreed on what the team's run-pass ratio should be.

Ken Whisenhunt
Getty
Whisenhunt's initial goal was to get the ratio to an even 50-50, while Warner wanted to pass on every play. With Warner's Hall of Fame worthy passing ability, coupled with a receiving unit that consisted of Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban, it was difficult to argue against. While the talent at receiver remains intact, Whisenhunt's play calling will be much more conservative with Matt Leinart under center.

Prior to Robinson's hire, Whisenhunt's assistant coaching staff was a bit unconventional. When Todd Haley left before the start of the 2009 season, Whisenhunt didn't replace him with another offensive coordinator. He split the offense instead. Russ Grimm handled the run game and offensive line. Mike Miller handled passing game coordinator duties. Whisenhunt, a former offensive coordinator himself, acted as the final decision maker.

A year later, the Cardinals hired Robinson with the sole task of the running game. This addition shows the Cardinals commitment to improving that unit.

Barring Leinart living up to his former glory, Arizona's high-flying passing attack seems to be a thing of the past.


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