What to Expect From Bruce Arians in First Year With Arizona Cardinals
The NFL is a league that highly values the “hot hand” as evident by the San Francisco 49ers swift transition to Colin Kaepernick over established veteran Alex Smith in 2012. As far as coaching candidates this offseason go none had a hotter hand than Bruce Arians who did the unthinkable with the Indianapolis Colts last season.
Arians was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals to be the new head coach and they’re hoping some of the success with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck transfers to teams franchise quarterback Kevin Kolb. To expect the Cardinals to go 11-5 next season may be a stretch, but folks were saying the same thing when Arians stepped in for Chuck Pagano as he was unable to coach due to his cancer treatments.
After a 4-0 start in 2012 the Cardinals wound up winning one game in the last 13 weeks and the quarterback position was made an absolute mockery in the process. In order for Arians to have any success he must get top-notch production and a full season from Kolb who the Cardinals have made such a large commitment to with a $63M contract with $21M of it guaranteed.
Arians has been on both sides of the quarterback spectrum working with both Tim Couch and Ben Roethlisberger–the Cardinals faithful are hoping Kolb can be more like the latter under Arians tutelage.
With six years of experience as an Offensive Coordinator Arians will be responsible for keeping tabs on a defense for the first time in his career. This may be one of Arians weak spots as he will be in unchartered waters, but if he surrounds himself with the right defensive minds and doesn’t completely ignore that side of the ball the transition should be smooth.