Craig Fouhy, the sports director at KNXV-TV in Phoenix, caused an NFL stir on Tuesday night with his report that Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians would retire after this season. Citing multiple sources, including two NFL coaches, Fouhy says Arians has told “many close to him” that 2017 will be his final season on the sideline.
To which Arians replied: hogwash.
Arians is far from the most avid Twitter user — his denial Tuesday night was just his third tweet of the month, and he had only three in September — so for him to take to social media to issue his response would seem to be telling. For good measure, he also issued a denial in a text message to ESPN’s Ian Fitzsimmons.
“I don’t know who put that out there,” Arians told Fitzsimmons. “But that’s something I never think about until the end of the season. I’m just focused on being 1-0 this week.”
But still, Fouhy is sticking to his story.
“Even if it’s true, this is the last thing Arians is going to want to announce right now,” Fouhy said on his station’s website. “I’m not surprised he is denying it. Of course the Cardinals don’t want this distraction during the middle of the season. You’re seven games into the season with nine games to go. The last thing you want to have to discuss is your coach possibly retiring.”
Arians, 65, has a contract that runs through the 2018 season with a team option for 2019. He’s also had a few health scares, many of them last season. While at training camp in 2016, he was hospitalized with symptoms of diverticulitis, and in November he returned to the hospital with chest pains. Then, in December, doctors removed a cancerous piece of his kidney.
Now in his fifth season leading the Cardinals, Arians has led Arizona to two of its four playoff appearances this century, losing to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC championship game after the 2015 regular season. The Cardinals are 3-4 this season entering this weekend’s bye and are allowing an NFC-worst 27.3 points per game after Sunday’s embarrassing 33-0 loss to the Rams in London. Arizona also will be moving forward without starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who could miss the rest of the season with a broken left arm.
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