John Madden is a name that all NFL fans know from all generations, whether it as a coach, a broadcaster or the name of a video game. Madden spoke with LA Time reporter Sam Farmer about a variety of NFL topics and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians came up.
Arians is a different type of head coach, not getting his first head coaching gig in the NFL until he was 60. He had even "retired" after being let go as offensive coordinator for the Steelers and it appeared he was done.
Madden said Arians "reinvented himself" to find success.
"The Bruce Arians I knew isn't the same Bruce Arians I see now," Madden said. "Some guys never get their chance. He was ready for his chance."
One thing Madden really likes about Arians is his willingness to adjust for players, citing how "he let Ben Roethlisberger decide what he liked," indicating it was something he himself as a head coach.
"You can put something in and force-feed it to a quarterback, but if he doesn't like it and have his heart in it, it's not going to be as good as when he really likes something," he explained.
Arians has revealed that a bit now with game planning. He and the coaches come up with a game plan for the opposing team the Cardinals face and then take that plan to the quarterback and decide what plays he is comfortable with running.
Of course, with the Madden comment about Arians not being the same as the one he knew, we are left not knowing what the old Arians was like as a coach. That is never revealed.
There was clearly something that kept him from getting a chance to be considered for jobs before his interim head coaching experience in Indy. He is definitely an old school ball coach. However, he has shown a willingness to bring in new ideas for his team.
But it shows once again that, at least in Arians' case, an old dog can learn new tricks if given the opportunity.