Bruce Arians never thought his chance at being a head coach would come. A lifer as an assistant, he finally got a chance when Chuck Pagano was battling leukemia and Arians stepped up with the Indianapolis Colts. The Arizona Cardinals came calling and finally, Arians was a head coach.
On Monday, he walked away from that job, on his own terms, retiring after five years as the Cardinals’ coach at the age of 65. His announcement was typical Arians: touching and emotional.
“The tears you see are really tears of joy, peace,” Arians said in a news conference. “I’ll miss the players. I’ll miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem because it still gets me . . .
“I probably truly didn’t know until that kick went through [Sunday in the 26-24 victory in Seattle] that I was going to retire. I know everybody speculated for months . . . you now have the story. Like I said, it’s been an unbelievable journey.”
Arians, who was 50-32-1 (including playoff appearances and an NFC championship game run), has had health issues over the past two seasons and mentioned that he was stunned to learn his son is 40, wondering where the time has gone and saying his only regret was the time away from his family.
“It’s been a great ride. . . . I will miss the game,” he said.
Arians’s resume shows a reputation for working well with quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer. Along the way, he was part of two Super Bowl championship teams in Pittsburgh, as wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator.
Arians joked Monday about joining the media and, well, it looks like there might just be an opening coming up on “Monday Night Football.” ESPN could do worse than to give Arians a tryout.
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