Former Cleveland Browns tight end Steve Heiden has decided to join the coaching ranks. Heiden has been hired by Bruce Arians in Arizona as the team's assistant tight ends coach and special teams assistant.
Heiden has several connections to Arizona's coaching staff, as Arians was his offensive coordinator for a couple of years. Arizona's assistant offensive line coach, Larry Zierlein, was the Browns' offensive line coach during the Butch Davis era, and John Lott, the Cardinals' strength and conditioning coach, was with the Browns from 2005-2006.
Heiden first joined the Browns back in 2002 via a trade with the San Diego Chargers. He was released by the Browns after the 2009 season after he had difficulty staying healthy for several seasons. He remains one of the longest tenured Browns of the post-1999 era, aside from kicker Phil Dawson. Heiden was always a bit of a mini-fan-favorite in Cleveland, so I wish him well in his coaching ventures! It's too bad he could not have joined the Browns' staff; Rob Chudzinski was Heiden's tight ends coach in 2004, and his offensive coordinator from 2007-2008.