Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is very bold. We know that. It is his personality. "No risk it, no biscuit" is one of the sayings that he goes by on the football field. He's not afraid to say what many others might shy away from.
At the NFL owners meetings this week, he reiterated his belief in the talent on his team by putting it out there that the Cardinals should play the Super Bowl in their home stadium this season.
As noted on the the official team site, he "ain't afraid of it."
"We played well at the end of the season. If we can do that early, the confidence of the core of the team is back. Our leadership is back. We are talented enough. Talent is not the issue. I told them that last year but they didn't believe me until it was too late. There is no reason we can't be the first team to play a home Super Bowl. Absolutely no reason."
While this isn't quite Rex Ryan territory, it is bold. It is always is a little risky to put that expectation out there because it can set people up for huge disappointment...not that Cardinals fans aren't used to that feeling.
The risk is that if things don't start as well as people and players hope, things might take a nosedive.
At the same time, now is the time to start preaching winning. He is essentially saying that, no matter how tough a division they play in, he knows that the team is talented enough to win it all. By starting with that confidence, he can then build on that week to week.
It is all about perspective. He isn't saying that it will be a lost season if they don't. He simply is showing his complete trust in the talent of his team. Since he claims that the team didn't believe him when he said they were talented enough at the start of last season, he is already ahead of where he was a year ago. That ideally means they will come out the gates faster instead of being behind the eight ball.
Consider this -- a 2012 start with a 2013 finish.
Is talking Super Bowl enough on the offseason and each week? No. As with all sports, you have to keep an "in the now" focus with the long-term goal in mind. They have to talk about getting better in each practice and each game, but that doesn't need to change the ultimate goal. And if they fall short of the goal this season, the goal needs to be changed immediately to look to the next year's Super Bowl.
Exciting? Most definitely.
Is there a Cardinals fan you know that isn't excited about the upcoming year? Probably not. That's the proof.
Bring on the expectations.
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