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Cardinals coaching gig caps 'unbelievable' year for Bruce Arians

January 18, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • New Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians went 9-3 as the Indianapolis Colts' interim coach this past year.
New Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians went 9-3 as the Indianapolis Colts'… (Paul Sancya / Associated…)

Bruce Arians could end up as the NFL's coach of the year even though he technically wasn't really a head coach. Although if he does win the award, Arians will be an official head coach, just not of the team he was coaching when he may or may not have earned the honor.

Huh?

Bruce Arians was announced Thursday night as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. This season he served as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts but also filled in as interim head coach while his boss, Chuck Pagano, underwent treatment for leukemia.

During that emotional stretch, Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record and a wild-card playoff berth -- not bad for a team that went 2-14 the previous year and was playing with a rookie quarterback.

“It has been an unbelievable 12 months for me, personally,” said Arians, who also missed the Colts' playoff loss because he was hospitalized on game day with what has been described as an inner-ear infection.

Arians will replace fired Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt for the second time in his career. He took over as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007 when Whisenhunt took the Arizona job.

The Cardinals said they would announce Arians as their new coach at a news conference Friday.

Before he was hired, Arians told reporters on Thursday that he learned this season that being a head coach is “not as hard as it's supposed to be.”

“It's really not,” Arians said. “I think it's all about building relationships. Coaching is all about relationships. As long as it's built on trust, loyalty, and respect, anything is possible.”

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