When it comes to the assistant coaches for the Bucs, Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles are going to get all of the love (and hate). Granted, it is warranted, as they are the offensive and defensive coordinators respectively, so that’s not out of the ordinary. It also means, that when it comes to head coaching vacancies and the Buccaneers being the suddenly successful franchise that they are, their names will always be at or near the top of teams lists.
When it was announced that Arians found his way to the COVID list, and would be unable to coach against the New York Jets, suddenly the Buccaneers found themselves with a bit of a coaching vacancy. To fill the void, they went with neither offensive nor defensive coordinators for the job, Heck, they didn’t even go for the special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.
Harold Goodwin has been with Arians on almost every single staff that Bucco Bruce has been a part of in his career, including both seasons he was named NFL‘s Coach of the Year. Naturally, he was an easy pick for Arians when it came to coaching in his stead.
Goodwin is certainly qualified, currently serving as the Buccaneers assistant head coach and run game coordinator. Granted, there’s been a bit of ballyhoo amongst Bucs fans when it comes to the running game, but it is certainly hard to deny that it’s come alive once again late in the season when they need it most.
Before that, Goodwin was a winner practically everywhere he’s been a coach. As a graduate assistant for the Michigan Wolverines in 1997, he got his first taste of being a champion. Once he got to the NFL, Goodwin served as an assistant offensive line coach for the Chicago Bears, being a part of the staff that helped lead the Bears to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI. After that season, he jumped to the Pittsburgh Steelers to serve as the head offensive line coach and quality control coordinator, becoming a champion again when the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII and served until 2011.
It was in Pittsburgh where he started coaching with Arians, and it was after his stint in Pittsburgh where he would serve as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, during Andrew Luck’s rookie season, and Bruce Arians’ first Coach of the Year season where he primarily served, ironically, as an interim head coach. As previously mentioned, Goodwin then followed Arians to the Arizona Cardinals where he served as offensive coordinator for Arians’ second Coach of the Year season in 2014, and an NFC Championship Game appearance in 2015.
That brings us to Tampa Bay, where Goodwin now finds himself leading the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. Arians did have the option of leading the team via zoom but decided to give his long-time friend full control of the team in his absence.
Henry Goodwin has the résumé, credentials, and the trust of his superior. The Bucs are in good hands this week if they weren’t already with an opponent like the Jets. Who knows, with all this being said, perhaps Goodwin will join the aforementioned coordinators and get himself some interviews for some full-time head coaching vacancies. For now though, one thing at a time.