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Why did the Cardinals agree to be on the recently announced, "All or Nothing"?

Isn't this the coach that hates "Hard Knocks"?

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arians does not like HBO's "Hard Knocks." Don't believe me? Back in October of 2013, Arians was asked on SiriusXM NFL radio if he would be interested in the show be filmed during their training camp. His response was,

I think it's a total distraction and I think it's an embarrassment to the players.

Granted there had been an owner's rule change that stated if no organization volunteered then one with the following criteria could force a team to participate, unless they had one of the following:

  1. A new head coach
  2. Reached the playoffs in one of the previous two seasons
  3. Appeared on "Hard Knocks" within the previous 10 years
That year was Bruce Arians first year coaching the Cardinals missing the playoffs after winning 10 games. Oh, and the team hadn't made the playoffs the year before or ever been on "Hard Knocks". When the specter of actually dealing with the show occurred, did Arians pair down his rhetoric against the show? Certainly not.

When speaking to Kent Somers at in May 2014, Arians stayed strong in his position saying,
I think it's a total distraction to what you're trying to accomplish because everything about 'Hard Knocks' is getting on television and being an individual. And it's a team game...I don't watch reality TV. It does nothing for me so I don't really want to be on reality TV. I would have to change totally how I coach. It would not be acceptable to a lot of people, and I've been down that road with some people.
Which makes sense. Bruce Arians is known for his brazen language and manner. He's described himself as the "cool uncle you like to have a drink with," and any player will talk openly about how tough he is on players who make mistakes on the football field.

But why then did they allow a show to be filmed during the season last year that gave full access to the 2015 NFL draft to the locker rooms and even some players homes? That was the question I struggled with understanding. As I read more information it became apparent this was a unique endeavor.

First of all, Michael Bidwill talked to Doug and Wolf on 98.7 FM how he approached NFL Films with the whole concept of behind-the-scenes access during the season. Second, "All or Nothing" is coming after the season is over, whereas "Hard Knocks" is produced and aired during training camp.

The final reason that I discovered comes back to what Bruce Arians said himself and I think it makes the most sense as to why Arians, Keim, and Bidwill view "All or Nothing" differently. During the original October 2013 interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Arians had one other quote,
I think that when players are released that some of the things that are said between coaches and players are too personal and nobody else's business.
And it is true. Who wants to have video of them getting fired aired on television? Who would even want to have a job interview broadcast on television? Make no mistake, that's what training camp is in the NFL. None of which is a problem during the season. The focus becomes on the next game and working towards the playoffs.

It's decisions like this that demonstrate the Cardinals have become a premier organization since Michael Bidwill took over in 2007. He's shown excellent decision making in who he hires and how to publicize the organization.

Mostly importantly, the difference is a perfect example of why players love Bruce Arians. His concern for the coaches and players around him allow him to be tough on them because at the end of the day he has compassion for the hardships they may all need to endure.

And make no mistake. The timing of "All or Nothing" is enormous. Every other football organization from owners to coaches to players will watch it for two reasons.

The possibility "All or Nothing" becomes the next "Hard Knocks" and another source of money flowing into the league is too big to ignore.

More importantly because Arians and Steve Keim not only completed a rebuild in one season, but have continued to become better every year with no sign of stopping. Owner's, general managers, and coaches will want to learn from that and players may decide they want to join Arizona if the team comes calling in the future if they like what they see from 2015.

At least, this is what I'm telling myself. Let me know if I'm wrong in the comments. And watch the new NFL Film's "All or Nothing"  streaming on Amazon Video this summer. I know I will.