I’ll admit, it was definitely a weird thing for me to be listening to Bruce Arians give his honest opinion of the Arizona Cardinals while the game was live instead of screaming at his players from the sideline.
But with BA gone and now a member of the CBS Sports crew, Arians’ role did a reversal this past Sunday when the Cardinals visited the Kansas City Chiefs for what many thought would be a complete blowout. It ended up being a relatively competitive game and Arians was there to analyze and break it down for the viewers.
So this week, I wanted to do something a bit different and analyze the analysis that Bruce Arians gave from the broadcast booth.
One thing that I thought may have come up was how the coaching staff that is now in place for the Cardinals is one that does not have any direct ties to Arians, outside of new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. Arians was definitely complimentary of Leftwich, stating that he knows “how to use David Johnson” for example, which was as much a compliment to Leftwich as it was a slight towards Mike McCoy. But for the most part, he was also complementary and gave high praise to the rest of the staff as well.
In the 4th quarter, for example, defensive coordinator Al Holcomb drew up a great blitz that saw the play end with a Josh Bynes sack on Patrick Mahomes. Arians raved about how good of a call it was (we all know how much BA loves to blitz) by Holcomb.
In terms of players, Arians showed a little bias towards some of his former guys, but it wasn’t overwhelming, in my eyes. Larry Fitzgerald, for example, was labeled as a “no doubt” Hall of Famer by Arians (which we already knew), but was later criticized by his former coach in the 3rd quarter when he didn’t run a route past the first down line, which caused him to be tackled short of the sticks and resulted in a punt. BA was never shy to criticize even the biggest of stars like Fitz when he was here and that didn’t change on Sunday either.
It was nice to hear Arians confirm some things that we already knew as well. He is obviously a big fan of Josh Rosen and had him as the most NFL ready quarterback coming out of the draft. Arians mentioned that there’s no way anyone can question Rosen’s toughness after the beating he kept getting back up from on Sunday.
Arians also mentioned that if the Cardinals want to set Rosen up for success, they are going to need to work on that offensive line. Again, this is something that anyone with eyes already knew, but it was nice to hear BA acknowledge. When he was a coach, it’s something that he may have glossed over or sugarcoated a bit.
The only thing I would have liked is for Arians to have actually talked a bit more. His analysis was often brief and in short sentences. I, like many other Cardinals fans, really value the opinion he has, especially of his former team. Now that he isn’t being paid by the Cards, I wanted to hear a bit more raw emotion from him.
Overall, he did exactly what he said he would do, which was to call the game like he saw it. He was not overly critical of the Cards, nor was he a cheerleader disguised as a broadcaster. He was even-keeled and I definitely look forward to him calling another Cardinals game in the future.