No one knows exactly how Bruce Arians will be as a head coach, not even Arians. Yes, he got a dry run last year with the Colts – Arians won Coach of the Year honors in the NFL last year for that, so it meant something – but that time was also fueled in part by emotion, in a setup that was still Chuck Pagano’s even if Pagano wasn’t able to be there some of the time.
Yet, as can be seen in the comments made a couple of nights ago while Arians was at the NFL All-Access event in Los Angeles, the chance to see what Arians can be like as a head coach given his interpersonal qualities is intriguing. He came into this job talking about how blunt he can be, and goodness knows I myself witnessed some of that in offseason practices. He can get very angry if something is done the wrong way, and he has no problem telling his players such.
When it’s over, though, it sure seems to be over. He is emotional – he’s made that point about himself too – and doesn’t have a problem showing it. That’s not just anger. That’s tears (we’ve already seen him choke up talking about his family). While Arians obviously has input on personnel, the fact GM Steve Keim has final say will be a good separation here. Arians will care about his guys, and that’s a strength, yet Keim can make the hard decisions if necessary. That will be better with the players (who can forget Anquan Boldin getting mad that Ken Whisenhunt was so involved in his contract dispute.) Certainly, Arians seems to have the type of personality that will drive the players to do well in support of him. He has no shortage of believing players he’s left in his wake over the years in Indy and Pittsburgh, for sure.
Everything remains in the honeymoon period. Nothing has gone wrong yet and that’ll be another test of Arians and his staff. But with camp starting next week, you can see why there was a belief Arians can do the job managing a roster full of different personalities and pull them together.
Tags: Bruce Arians, Steve Keim
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