The Arizona Cardinals have made their choice. Bruce Arians is the guy they want leading the team. If you follow football at all, you know that he was with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. He was the offensive coordinator, but took over as acting head coach when Chuck Pagano underwent treatment for leukemia. He was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers previous to that.
But what else?
Here is what his pedigree looks like, as written in the team's press release announcing the hire.
Arians spent this past season as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts while also serving 12 games as interim head coach during Chuck Pagano's absence while being treated for leukemia.
Some of the highlights from Arians' 2012 season in Indy:
- Led the Colts to a 9-3 record in his 12 games and helped Indianapolis clinch a playoff berth while tying the NFL record for most wins ever by an interim coach.
- Was named both "Coach of the Year" and "Assistant Coach of the Year" by Pro Football Weekly & the Pro Football Writers of America.
- Arians & Pagano shared "Coach of the Year" honors from the Maxwell Club in Philadelphia and were named "AFC Coach of the Year" by NFL 101 in Kansas City.
- Indy's nine-win improvement from 2011 (2-14 to 11-5) matched the third-largest single-season turnaround in NFL history.
- Rookie QB Andrew Luck threw for the most passing yards (4,374 yards) by a rookie in NFL history.
- Luck had an NFL rookie record six 300-yard passing games and led the Colts on seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or OT, the most by a rookie QB since the 1970 merger.
- In all, Indy's rookies also combined for 3,108 yards rushing and receiving, the most of any team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger according to STATS LLC.
Arians joined the Colts after spending eight seasons (2004-2011) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the last five as offensive coordinator. While with the Steelers, Arians was instrumental in the development of QB Ben Roethlisberger, helping him become the second-youngest QB to win two Super Bowls (26 years, 336 days). As offensive coordinator, Arians was part of Steeler teams that won three AFC North Division titles, two AFC Championships and Super Bowl XLIII.
In 2009, the Steelers offense became the first in team history to have a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season. That team also broke franchise records for passing first downs (210) and passes completed (351).
Arians has spent 20 years as an NFL assistant coach with five different teams (Indianapolis: 2012; 1998-2000, Pittsburgh: 2004-11, Cleveland: 2001-03, New Orleans: 1996, and Kansas City: 1989-92). During his first stint in Indianapolis (1998-2000), Arians served as the Colts quarterbacks coach and tutored Peyton Manning. In 2000, Manning totaled 4,413 passing yards and 33 touchdowns to break his own single-season franchise record.
He began his coaching career in 1975 at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, before moving on to coach at Mississippi State (1978-80), Alabama (1981-82;1997), and Mississippi State (1993-95). He also served as the head coach at Temple for six seasons (1983-88). A native of Paterson, NJ, Arians played quarterback collegiately at Virginia Tech and was voted the team's MVP as a senior in 1974.
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