INDIANAPOLIS -- The magnitude will not be the same as when Peyton Manning took the field with the Denver Broncos at Lucas Oil Stadium last month, but the Indianapolis Colts will have a soft spot for Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians when the two teams meet on Sunday.
Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record while filling in for Colts coach Chuck Pagano as he, unfortunately, had to battle leukemia last season.
“You can’t put a price tag on it,” Pagano said. “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times, what he did for not only myself, but more importantly, this organization, our players, our coaches, everything, and it was everybody had a hand in it, the players and the coaches and him leading the charge. Again, very, very grateful obviously.”
Arians doesn’t have a filter. He has no problem calling out his players. That’s why Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had to laugh when asked about his favorite Arians' quote.
“A favorite quote that sticks out? I probably can’t repeat that on camera,” Luck said laughing.
Arians helped Luck set rookie records for most passing yards, attempts and 300-yard passing games last season. Luck referred to him as a “natural coach.”
Arians is proving he's a natural coach, as the Cardinals (6-4) are in position to make a run at a playoff spot in his first year with the organization. Arizona has won three straight games and is currently seventh in the NFC.
“I think he’s a winner,” Luck said. “You could (see) that playing for him here. I’m sure you could go back to his days at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, all the way down, you find guys that I’m sure are not surprised. I’m so happy for him. Hopefully, he’s on the losing end this weekend.”