Bruce Arians is now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. We know some about him in the way of his positions and success. But I wanted to know more about the type of coach he is. I reached out to Stampede Blue (SB Nation's Colts site) editor Brad Wells to get some insights as to what to expect.
Here is what he tells me:
He's a very creative playcaller and a fun, straight-shooter personality with the media. He doesn't hide or shy away from players playing poorly or well. He tells it like it is. The person who will benefit most from his arrival will be Larry Fitzgerald. He'll get utilized the way Arians used Hines ward in Pittsburgh and Reggie Wayne this past year in Indianapolis. Look for Fitz in motion... a lot. Fitz will get utilized as a blocker as well.
The knock against Arians is his offense attacks down the field too often, and it forces the QB to hold the ball too long. Thus, the QB gets killed. Ben Roethlisberger was crushed often in Pittsburgh, and Andrew Luck was sacked over 40 times this season in Indianapolis. I don't think your current crop of QBs will be able to hold up. If they brought in Arians, chances are they will draft a QB in 2013, and the most logical talent to fit Arians' scheme is Geno Smith from West Virginia.
While I'm happy he got what he wanted (a head coaching job), I'm shocked Arians took this job. I don't see him as much of an upgrade over Whisenhunt. Though, unlike Whiz, Arians has a strong track record working with multiple, young QBs (Roethlisberger, Luck, Manning in 1998, etc.). Signing him is holding up a big flag that reads "WE WILL DRAFT A QB!"
He has been criticized for his playcalling ability by some people I have had contact with, but I have heard it both ways. However, getting Larry Fitzgerald more involved? I LOVE that. Plus, although Michael Floyd has been said to not be the sort of receiver Arians likes to use, he certainly had success with Hines Ward, who probably can be viewed in the same fashion -- a wideout that can block and be physical with the football.
The most intriguing part to what Wells told me is that having Arians says "We are drafting a QB."
As for the knock, this is a concern. Taking shots down the field has issues in two ways. One, the line has not kept the quarterbacks clean, and then the quarterbacks could not complete passes down the field. We will find out soon enough if any of our QBs will be retained.
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