Thursday, February 7, 2013
Around the NFC West: Early feel on Arians
By Mike Sando
The Arizona Cardinals have made available a Bruce Arians interview shot while the team's new head coach unpacked boxes in his office.
There's a comfortable feel to Arians even with a large photo of a serious looking Bear Bryant perched over Arians' shoulder all the while. A former player's father gave the photo to Arians years ago. Arians worked on Bryant's staff at Alabama during the 1981 and 1982 seasons.
"The one thing Coach Bryant left me with when I went away to be a head coach at 30 was [to] coach them hard and hug them later," Arians says on the video. "I've never forgotten that. We like to be up-tempo at practice, coach them extremely hard and then [have] a great relationship. We want the players to want to be around the coaches, and vice versa. That is something that is extremely important to me."
Arians provides a quick overview of his new coaching staff, pointing out connections among them. His offensive coordinator, Harold Goodwin, came to the Cardinals after the Indianapolis Colts allowed Goodwin out of his contract. Teams regularly block such moves.
Last offseason, the Cardinals prevented their quarterbacks coach at the time, John McNulty, from interviewing to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator. That was bad for McNulty, who remained saddled with a rough quarterback situation in Arizona -- one that would get worse through injuries. McNulty is now the Bucs' quarterbacks coach.
More recently, the San Francisco 49ers reportedly prevented secondary coach Ed Donatell from interviewing with the New Orleans Saints (Donatell has defended the system that prevented him from seeking a promotion).
Back to the Cardinals. Arians seems to have secured the coaching staff he wanted to assemble, for the most part. That can be tough to accomplish for a coach hired relatively late in the process. At the very least, Arians has put together a staff featuring coaches he knows well from working with many of them in the past.