When Bruce Arians took over for Chuck Pagano as the interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, the expectations were minimal to say the least. Now, Arians has landed a head coaching gig with the Arizona Cardinals as the reigning AP NFL Coach of the Year.
Although Arians has spent six years as an offensive coordinator and just 12 games as a head coach, he still has the chance to make history in his first season with the Cards. The AP NFL Coach of the Year award has been in existence since 1957 and there has only been one coach to repeat as coach of the year — Don Shula shared the award in 1967 and won it outright in 1968 with the Baltimore Colts.
Arians would be a legend if he could win the award simply because it hasn’t been done in over half a century. The thing that intrigues me the most is that if Arians wins this prestigious award, he would become the first coach in the history of the award to win it with different teams in consecutive seasons.
History is fascinating to NFL fans, but this would be something that is incredibly special, given the rare circumstances of a team letting go of a coach after receiving such an accolade.
Arizona is in desperate need of change as they are riding a 1-11 skid after wining the first four games of the 2012 season. Arians is in ideal position to flip this team upside down as QB Kevin Kolb has been released, allowing the team can start completely new underneath center. This team has plenty of holes around the field, but with the talent on the outside that the Cardinals possess, anything is possible.
To put it in perspective, the Cardinals are playing in a division with the San Francisco 49ers, who are returning as NFC Champions, and the Seattle Seahawks, who everyone has high on their list. If Arians could get 10 wins and a playoff birth out of Larry Fitzgerald and company, the Cardinals captain will make history in 2013.