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As he leaves, Bruce Arians aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on January 1, 2018 – 7:00 pm

Bruce Arians was the Cardinals’ coach for a day or two when I happened to be in his office as he taped a video for a banquet back in his home state of Pennsylvania. I don’t recall who it was for, but I do recall that Arians got choked up delivering the lines. He admitted he was an emotional sort. It was not only an explanation, but it turned into a promise. And there he was Monday, in his final press conference, choking up again. In between, there was plenty of emotion — tears and otherwise.

B.A. had confidence. Whether he would’ve been like that 10 years ago as a coach (I suspect yes) or if it was the fact it had taken so long to get a head coaching job right as he got to the end of his career, he always was going to do it the way he wanted. That’s who the Cards hired. He won games that way, he made gutsy calls, he did things that frustrated fans. Oh, and he was incredibly entertaining all the while.

Just the other day he was talking about how close he had been in Pittsburgh with fellow Steelers assistant Ken Whisenhunt — the man he just happened to surpass as the Cardinals’ all-time winningest coach, and the man who tried to hire Arians on his Cardinals’ staff at one point — and how much he liked to trash talk the Steelers defense in practice. That carried over. When Arians stepped to the podium Sunday night and said with that crooked smile he’d often have, “Thanks for coming to my house,” that was the essence of Arians.

In an article B.A. co-wrote for The Athletic with Lars Anderson — the author of B.A.’s book — he noted he considered many different options for 2018, including coaching:

“I feel like we have so much unfinished business here with the Cardinals—the last two seasons have been major disappointments because we’ve failed to make the playoffs—and I considered renting an apartment next year in Phoenix, living alone, and making one final charge at the Super Bowl.”

Instead, the pull of family, and his grandchildren, were too much, and choosing to retire is a very human thing to do. So many coaches leave jobs claiming family when, in the end, they are just looking for a different job. In this case, it was family that truly pulled Arians from the game.

On a personal level, I have covered and interviewed many coaches (on many levels, in many sports) over the 27 years or so I’ve been writing sports. Some have been difficult, many have been good to work with. But, especially on the professional level, anyone covering B.A. understands it will never get any better. You could ask Arians any question. He may or may not answer or be detailed, although most of the time, he was very good.

In the end, Arians won. The last two years were not what he or anyone in the organization wanted. But that the Cards finished 8-8 given their injuries was remarkable, and it also says something about where the Cardinals are when .500 (or 7-8-1) is such a disappointment. GM Steve Keim said today he expects to make a couple of moves and still compete in 2018. He’s got to hope he brings in a coach that can be as good as his last hire.


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55 Responses to “As he leaves, Bruce Arians aftermath”

  1. By Matt on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    Cardinals are now in a serious rebuild. Palmer and Fitz are now gonna be done because of Arians. Honestly Palmer is past his prime but Fitz is still in it. We need Kirk Cousins because I dont think we will be able to get any of the big names in the draft. Cortland Sutton from SMU or Alshon Jeffery or even both. The era has ended and a new era has begub. Let’s see what 2018 brings to us.

  2. By Steve W on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    What a great coach, and I wish B.A. much happiness with his family in the future – and I hope to see him involved in broadcasting NFL games. Maybe he’ll join FOX, I’d sure love to see his humor in the mix there. I’ve been following the Cards since they moved to AZ when I lived there myself, and ever since after moving away about ten years ago. I’ve seen lots of coaches come and go, some I liked more than others, and I hope I like the next one a lot. But I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy anyone more than I’ve liked watching and listening to B.A. over the past five years. It’s a damn shame we couldn’t win a Super Bowl with him, but I do think he brought out the best in all the players he coached – and we’ve had some tough luck over the last couple of seasons when it really seemed we were on the brink of something good.

    Good luck coach, wherever you find yourself in the future.

    Steve W
    Biggest Cards Fan in Virginia

  3. By Brett Colorado on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    Thank you Coach for putting the Cards back on the map, made it a blast to watch

  4. By Dana on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    I love B.A. I can think of no two men in the NFL more deserving of a ring than Arians and Fitz, which makes Arians’s retirement even more difficult for fans; will Fitz. be next to say goodbye to football?

    B.A. will be a hard one to replace, no doubt. Thankfully I have a ton of faith in Keim (and Bidwell). It’s obvious that he and Arians had a chemistry that will be hard to duplicate, but it gives me confidence to know that the Cards’ front office has been working for weeks in anticipation of what might happen with Arians’s possible departure.

    Let’s hope we can get someone in AZ. who works well with what we have and builds on what team-Keim-Arians began!

    Dana F.
    Biggest Cards’ Fan in Illinois.

  5. By Steve on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    The Cards could trade up to a top 5 pick and get one of the top QB’s because of the compensatory picks they will receive but SK might be loathe to give up a boatload to do that, I think.

  6. By TucsonTim on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    What BA brought to the Cardinals was an attitude of winning. He had many flaws as a coach….just like real people do. But the swagger of winning is something I have only seen one other time with the Cardinals. The only other time this team had swagger was the Warner, Fitz, Haley trio….almost won a SB

    If MB has some sense of awareness he will realize one thing: the Arizona Cardinals have only been relevant 2 times in their long and dreadful existence. The arrival of Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer.

    What the Cardinals have proven is what Belichick knows, only one position on an NFL team really matters. You can have HOF receivers, RBs, corner backs, O-line, but they will not even get you to a winning record let alone a super bowl.

    QB…that’s about all that matters. Bruce got very lucky that Carson came here and he didn’t have to start Stanton. A little protection, a little better play calling, a little better special teams, a little rest before North Carolina and perhaps this team could have won a SB.

    Time to move on. If we want to be relevant, competitive, we will trade draft choices for some proven on the field talent. This GM can not draft well.

    Free up the cap space and let one of toughest QBs ever go. Sorry Carson, if not for Mike Brown and a terrible AZ O-line, you go to the HOF.

    Get a proven QB. There are probably going to be 2 first rounders out there.

    Let high paid DBs who make business decisions and O-line who can’t stay healthy go to other teams to play out their careers.

    Get a coach who can live with his OC making the play calls, Get a DC who doesn’t have to be told to simplify his defense in order to be effective. And get anybody and I mean anybody other than Amos to coach special teams

  7. By georgiebird on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    Say what you want about BA- stubborn, slow to make adjustments and of course too loyal at times. . But you know what- BA was a master motivator- you have to put him in a class with the greatest motivators. Yes, you can put him in a class with Landry and Lombardi. Without a doubt BA knew how to get guys to give 100%. He should have been a HC a long time ago.

  8. By Tradersbrain on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    “In the end, Arians won” And for this, as a fan, I am grateful. Thanks BA and good luck.

  9. By El Gallo on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    Thank you Bruce Arians for all the great memories. Most definitely left your mark on the organization and legacy. From having one of the largest coaching staffs in the NFL and always standing by your assistants till the end. You gave a chance to many that I can recall even if just as interns, such as the first female coach. Having an Olympian Goldmedalist on staff, and two of the oldest assistant coaches on both sides of the ball that brought a wealth of knowledge. Says a lot about BA as a person. Be well Sir, it was a great ride..

    -Respectfully, long time fan here

  10. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 1, 2018 | Reply

    So Darren, if it doesn’t get any better than B.A., are you going to retire and ride off into the sunset too? And if Fitz and Palmer retire also, your job is going to get a lot harder. Seems like a good time to hang it up. 😉

  11. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Darren is right — those of us who have been fans of this team for a long time know that 8-8 would’ve been considered a huge success under certain regimes. Sure, it was disappointing, but how many people were saying the Cardinals would only win 1 or 2 more games when they were 3-4 this year? How many NFL teams would go 8-8 after losing their superstar RB for the whole year and their QB for more than half, and multiple O-linemen to boot?

    I don’t think the future sets up well for this team, but at the same time, things can change quickly in the NFL. Maybe it’s not as dire as some fans think. I’d be shocked if we fielded a playoff-caliber team next year, but we’ll see.

    For now, hats off to BA for a great run.

  12. By Amir on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks, Bruce Arian, for everything you have done for this franchise and good luck to you.

    You have been the best Cardinals coach since I have started to follow the Cardinals from early 1990s.

    I will miss you!

  13. By Eric G on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Sad commentary on this organization when your coach with the most wins did it in just 5 years. Thank you for putting together 5 years of great football and putting a team worth cheering for out there. Unfortunately, Keim failed you. Good luck in retirement, you’ve earned it. Can’t wait to see your name in the ring of honor next year.

  14. By mitchaz on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Thank you, Coach Arians, for an exhilarating ride and a trip to the NFC Championship Game in 2015, made possible by one of the most exciting playoff wins in NFL history, the OT win versus Green Bay after Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary, and Larry Fitzgerald’s Hail Larry. Wishing you, BA, a happy and healthy retirement.

    Best Bets for BA’s Successor:

    1. Mike Munchak (PIT)—He’s a PA guy from Scranton and one of the best, if not the best OL coaches in the NFL. He was a dominant All-Pro LG. Steve Keim and Munchak are in many ways a perfect match. It would be nice vindication for Keim if Munchak gets the most out of recent draft picks Humphries, Boehm and Holden, (and UCFAs Wetzel and Munyer) in addition to the couple OL or UFAs they will acquire this year.

    It will be very interesting for MB&SK to hear what Munchak’s package (OC, DC, STC) would be. One advantage of this hire would be having a HC who is not going to be the OC or DC…which is an added burden on any HC, especially time-wise.

    One irony is that Munchak was fired after 3 years of being the Oilers’ HC because he refused to fire some of his assistant coaches, whom the GM Tommy Smith said had to go.

    2. Matt Patricia (NE)—If the Cardinals want to go from old school and zoom quickly into the 21st century, Patricia is the high-tech rocket scientist who has cultivated the formula. I think MB and SK are going to be blow away when they learn how Patricia saved Bill B. three hours a day with his tech innovations for film study. Plus they will be blow away when Patricia shows them the prep work he did on analyzing BA’s play-calling tendencies. Patricia’s meticulous preparation and work ethic are off the charts.

    Not sure what package (OC, DC, STC) he will present, but I would bet that Patricia’s choices would be smart and very well vetted.

    3. Pat Shurmur (MIN)—Shurmur will put on a play design and play calling clinic for MB&SK. He will explain to them why UFA Case Keeman is playing at such a high level and why they could come as a package deal, with the thought of drafting a QB to groom for the future. Shurmur may also have other UFA QBs in mind and a few aces up his sleeve…like the guy he wants to bring with him as DC.

    4. John DeFilippo (PHI)—MB&SK are getting with him Friday in Philadelphia and they are going to be blown away by his energy, his QB training philosophies and how extremely well prepared he will be for this interview. Flip will have a detailed plan with precise ideas as to the QBs he wants, the style of play he would bring and the defensive coordinator he think would be perfect match for the Cardinals’ defense.

    All 4 of these candidates are available this week, as all of their teams have a bye week during Wild Card weekend. It would not surprise me if the Cardinals put an offer on the table to one of these 4 candidates by the end of the weekend, with the hope of sealing the deal by Monday or Tuesday. Michael Bidwill loves to act on instincts and I think he will make a sharp and intuitive decision.

  15. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Bruce Arians was a gem for his manner of answering questions directly and telling you what he thought. And, of course, for his “cool uncle” style and humor. For the most part, he didn’t speak in the typical coach speak that tends to make most coaches ( in all of pro sports ) virtually un-listenable. BA had enough of a filter that he didn’t say things he really couldn’t / shouldn’t say in some situations, but the man kept it real. He was a pleasure and a real breath of fresh air in that regard.

    One of my favorite BA moments – and one that let me know we REALLY had the right man for the job – was during his first season ( 2013 ), leading up to the game in Seattle, being asked about the 58-0 beat down the Seahawks laid on the Cardinals there the year before. I forget exact wording but his response was very blunt and he conveyed that he didn’t give a &!@^ what happened last year. That was a different team and no body was getting hung up on that loss. The way he spoke to that question, you BELIEVED him and you believed that he was going to have this team ( HIS team ) ready to play. He made ME forget about that 58-0 loss! And they went into Seattle and won that game.

    And that spoke volumes, to me, about what kind of guy he was. There was no problem understanding why his players loved him. How could they NOT? For players that remain here, I suspect BA is going to be a tough act to follow.

    Darren – any chance you can post a video of BA responding to that question back in 2013? I’d love to see that again.

  16. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: 2013

    Couldn’t find a clip, although there is a couple of quotes in this story: http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Launched-From-58-0/9198ec37-a78c-44d0-8b44-7482bf92154f

  17. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    mitchaz,

    No to 1 & 2, Yes to 3 & 4.

  18. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Folks, BA is not dead. He retired. You can be honest about how you feel.

    Tucson Tim is correct. BA’s job was much easier by the trade to get Palmer. Without a QB, he would have struggled like coach Whiz did without Warner.

    People saying he deserves a ring and are saddened he didn’t get one. I believe he has 2 rings and coach of the year twice. If you remember, he was the OC calling those plays as cads fans watched the steelers go down the field and score the winning TD vs our cards.

    Georgie – he is the best motivator? How many times the past two years have people come out and talked about the team playing flat with no passion?

    My take;
    The combo or BA and Todd Bowles was refreshing to a team that became stale. That 2014 team may have been good enough to win it all if Palmer doesn’t get hurt.

    The team became known as a team that can score points and then play coverage and blitz teams. A healthy Palmer almost got the team to the Superbowl, but unfortunately, they had holes that Steve Keim did not fill and they were exposed in the Panther game.

    In 2016, a poor draft and a nothing offseason put an aging team out there who had injuries and it was a let down year. But to top it off, BA’s health began to fail and you saw it on the sideline. The team began playing flat and without energy.

    The window had closed, but maybe 2017, they could have one more chance. But the oline got zero help in the offseason, a decision to roll with Bethel at CB2 cost 2 early games, and a defense that collapses in the 2nd half of games, lead to a team that was obviously needing an overhaul.

    To me, BA had what it took to win a super bowl. But personnel decisions is what cost this team. It s similar to what happened to Whiz. They could not find their QB and he was fired.

    Better drafts, better FA signings, an aggressive approach, would have given BA the players and this team would have had a Superbowl.

  19. By Steve on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Darren: When are you planning to do your after season roster breakdown on the team? I will be interested to get your thoughts on who could be out and so on, thanks!

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Roster

    Later this week.

  21. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Thank you Chicago Bears for passing on B.A.!

    B.A. was good for the league.

    B.A. was also a good coach,as evidenced by his 10-wins per season.

    B.A. will be missed, and unfortunately his successor will have big shoes to fit into — managing a pro football team is hard in and through itself, it is doubly hard filling in for a previous coach that had a unique style.

    Lastly,B.A. was good for the Valley and the charities he supported.

  22. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    An earlier post, JTDG posted:

    Please do not pick Baker Mayfield, he is Johnny Manzel II. I totally agree JTDG. I think freshman Fromm outplayed Mayfield in the Rose bowl. My opinon, Mayfield’s performance dropped him to the 6th or 7th round.

    I still like Josh Allen from Wyoming, for many reasons. He does not come from a sexy program, and very well could be available mid-way through the 1st round. I still say, throwing to walk-on receivers and being protected with walk-on linemen is much harder than being surrounded by McDonald All-american athletes.

  23. By Ronald Bledsoe on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Teryl Austin should be added as a potential HC candidate. He’s has an excellent defensive mind and great player/coach skills. He’s scheduled to interview for HC with the Lions and Bears so waiting is not an option

    I’m sure LF11, KD56 or PP21 wouldn’t have a problem with Teryl.

  24. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Creditcard;

    Mayfield / Manzel

    I did not say that, Georgiebird did.

    Here is what I said;

    As for Mayfield,
    I don’t know how he transfers his game to the pros. I think he looks great as a college player, but his offense is not a NFL offense. He is a play maker, but so was Tim Tebow.
    But what I don’t like is the question mark of his character. I do not believe in choosing a QB in round one that has character issues.

  25. By vinma98 on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I need a Bruce Arians poster and the eyeglass frames that he wore…
    Other than that I hope he’s still involved with the Cards organization in any way…his wisdom is invaluable. You always have a home in AZ. Greatest coach of all time…yeah I said it. So what…

  26. By Dr. G. on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    MitchAZ – – Yes on 2 & 3…. No on 1 & 4… Nice detail

    JTDG – – nothing from you lately on Keim… are you still in the market for a new GM? Hopefully, I think a new HC can/will have some positive influence on how the picks are selected. It does not look like he is going anywhere… Thanks

  27. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Hearing from Ian Rappaport that the Cardinals are going to interview Bettcher for the HC position. All I can say is I hope there will be other interviewees to follow. I’m just not feeling Bettcher as a head coach. Geez, I’m not even sure I want Bettcher to continue to as our D coordinator.

    I have to think they have their sights set higher than this.

  28. By Cardinalchris on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks BA! My Kangol is off to you! Hope you recovered from the potentially career ending injury Fitz gave you 🙂 and enjoy some golf in retirement!

  29. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG —

    I agree that there were some failings in the personnel department. But, let’s not act like all Keim had to do was fix the problem at CB2 and get a couple more O-linemen and we’d be in the Super Bowl.

    First, the teams’ lack of success this year (and I say “lack of success” as a relative term, because 8-8 isn’t bad) is much more attributable to the injuries to DJ, Palmer and multiple O-linemen than it is to anything else. Yes, there were holes that I’d like Keim to have filled, but even if they had been filled, how much success are we having with no Palmer, no Johnson, no Humphries, etc.? Not to mention the guys that were perpetually “limited” like John Brown, who went into the season (again) being described by many as the key to the offense, because the contributions of DJ and Fitz were taken as a given, and who finished the year with 21 catches for 299 yards.

    Second, while I agree with you that this team could’ve made the playoffs with just a couple more wins, and those wins were definitely within reach, one never knows what’s going to happen in the playoffs (see — NFC Championship vs. Carolina, in the year where we were best positioned to win it all). And heck, we almost didn’t make it to that championship game, after nearly blowing it against the Pack the week before. We were very close to being one-and-done after the best regular season in Cardinals history (at least since moving to the 16 game schedule). Still surprised GB didn’t just go for 2 to try to end it there.

    This year, Eagles fans probably would have expected to go to the SB if Wentz hadn’t gotten hurt. But Vikings and Saints fans think they’re going, too. In the AFC, I don’t think too many people think there’s much of a shot beyond the Pats and Steelers, but who knows? There are going to be a lot of fans thinking this was the year their team COULD have made it — but the fans of only two teams will be able to say they DID make it.

  30. By Juan.dlp on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Darren do you see OC Goodwin as a candidate for the HC vacancy ?? Maybe that move increase the chances Larry stays for another year dont you think ??

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Juan —

    RE: Goodwin

    I would’ve thought we would’ve heard something by now, so maybe not.

  32. By mitchaz on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG—

    I appreciate your candid assessment of BA and his 5 year run in AZ.

    To be 100% honest, I have been struggling with my thoughts about BA for 2 1/2 years. For the first 2 1/2 years I thought BA was the best coach possible for the Cardinals. I credit him for his all-out, go-for-it approach—especially in one possession games which he went an impressive 32-12-1.

    But I will never forget feeling so impressed when the Cardinals beat the Rams with Ryan Lindley at QB to help get the Palmer-less Cardinals into the 2014 playoffs as a wild card.

    And then—at the very moment of the highest appreciation and respect I felt for BA, I watched on in disbelief when he trashed and stigmatized the Rams in his post-game press conference. And I remember saying to myself over and over—“don’t go there, BA., don’t go there.”

    I could not stand Jeff Fisher and especially could not stand Gregg Williams—but, I believe in sportsmanship and I believe in the notion that “what goes around, comes around.”

    And now the horrible irony is that after the past two years the Rams are now the toast of the NFC West and the Cardinals have become the .500 at best team.

    In that interim, in 2015 that was the best run of Cardinals’ games I have ever seen. They won 9 games in a row, 6 in primetime and 13 regular season wins.

    But then came BA’s decision to play all the starters the meaningless Seahawks’ game in Week 17—this on the heels of losing the Honey Badger for the season and Palmer nursing a broken index finger. I thought BA’s decision there was reckless and just plain irresponsible. Turns out—that game was the beginning of the end as the Cardinals being legit Super Bowl contenders. Yes, two weeks later they beat the Packers on Hail Larry, but the debacle at Carolina was a complete dismantling of all three phases of the football team.

    31 year old Sean McVay rested his starters this past week versus the 49ers who beat the Rams handily, but in that scenario w/o the starters, what does it matter?

    Then came the airing of All or Nothing—and two more troubling impressions: (1) how the series basically became the Bruce Arians Show; (2) the nagging question of whether it took TV cameras being in the building all year to get the players performing at such a high level week to week?

    Let’s face it, they haven’t played hard week to week ever since/

    Then came the 2016 pre-season and a new hope that the Cardinals would try to bounce back hard from their humiliating loss in Carolina, and it had to be the most lackadaisical, go-through-the-motions pre-season ever. It looked like the players wanted no part of it. Palmer was throwing picks like he did in Carolina and Stanton was flat-out awful.

    Sure, it’s pre-season, but anyone who knows football knows you win through good habits and play hard all the time. BA was ripping players publicly in the media—calling 20 year old 1st round draft pick D.J. Humphries “Knee Deep.” Which not only trashes the player—it trashes the GM’s NFL Draft prowess.

    Meanwhile the Patriots (the 1st opponent) that pre-season were playing their starters well into the 3rd quarters and playing those contests like real games with Jimmy G going to be the starter.

    We know what happened versus the Patriots—which BA said at the end of last year, took the air out of the balloon which they could never recover from the rest of the season. Really? One game did the team in all season long? And that horrendous pre-season effort was how they prepared for it?

    Then in 2016, as losses started piling up, we saw BA continue to rip his players in the media calling Justin Bethel “a failure in progress”

    There is a wise old mantra for bosses that goes: “praise publicly, criticize privately.”

    Then, this year the mini camps started with BA’s release of his autobiography “The QB Whisperer”…which was curious because wasn’t Tom Moore always called the QB whisperer? By now BA had starred on All or Nothing, had an ESPN “It’s a Football Life” segment done on him—did he really need to draw more attention to himself? We learn of another cancer scare, that was kept mum by the ;players and FO—and we later learn that the Cardinals were interested in talking to HC candidates if BA decided to retire. The coach on the top of their list apparently was Sean McVay. Ugh.

    So BA comes back insisting that his STC Amos Jones is a “brilliant coach”—and this year the team keeps losing games on ST gaffes, even after signing usually reliable veteran PK Phil Dawson. The QBs kept getting pounded in zero protections (Palmer to the IR again) and whenever the team got a lead the defense usually gave it right back.

    Unlike last year, this year the losses (in the same maddening fashion, getting out scored 159-72 in 1 PM EDT games) didn’t seem to phase BA as much—he was pretty laid back in his pressers just trying the keep things light—and then we learn in BA’s farewell chapter of his book that he realized he started to lose his passion.

    All or Nothing? What happened to that? His coaching staff decisions were naive, stubborn and obtuse—he basically was hiring a fraternity, not the best candidates available. To think that when Todd Bowles left, Wade Phillips, Jim Schwartz, and Dick LeBeau were all available, but BA was keen on building his coaching tree (I’ve never heard a coach promote this of himself) by appointing James Bettcher, who had zero experience as a DC. Betfcher is making progress after 3 years as DC, but to think Bettch could outwit the OCs of the NFC the way Bowles did was quixotic.

    So the season ends with a surprising win up in Seattle on a missed FG and then BA again makes it all about himself and now insults the Seahawks saying “welcome to my house.”

    In his tearful retirement announcement, BA says he MB&SK built their foundation on “trust, loyalty and respect.”

    Kent Somers once said you need to put an asterisk next to pretty much everything that BA says, because you can’t trust whether it is true of not.

    Respect?

    That’s a crock. Trashing his own players, officials, opposing teams and coaches.

    Trust?

    You can’t trust a thing this guy says.

    Loyalty?

    Certainly, to his assistant coach fraternity, but not to giving the players the best chance to win.

    BA remained an entertaining sound bite for 5 years. The media loved him and have been gushing and fawning over him. And now he says he “might become one of them.”

    I miss the BA of the 1st half of his tenure in Arizona, but somewhere along the line and especially without Todd Bowles by his side, BA got stuck in a Jeff Fisher-like rut.

  33. By Charley Shurtz on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Bettcher might be a possible answer, young, intelligent, and was under a super HC in Arians, however I think Cards need to look long and hard at Josh OC from NE, great offence usage of players, Cards already have a good DC, upgrade special teams coach, draft a QB and no FA qb unless it would be the unlikely event that Breeze or Rogers became available, I like Mayfield though off field stuff is something a hard look at must be done, and Allen from Wyoming might be a good QB prospect, and Oliver as CB if we are not drafting a QB, please please lets not get caught up in either of the QB backups, Palmer coming back is much better, just need a qb now rather than later, surely they can improve Oline, though a Warner style qb with quick release could be ok, where do you get one? Over all BA is/was the best coach Cards have had, not taking anything from Whiz and the trip to the SB, it could not have happened but what if Warner comes when BA came, wow, anyway go Red Birds time keeps moving, make good choices MB lets get back to the biggest game, SB for the Cards

  34. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Well Carson Palmer retired as well, really no surprise.

    Carson Palmer was a classy professional athlete. Calm demeanor, never said harsh things about other players, or coaches.

    Carson Palmer is walking out, while he can still walk. He has thought it through,while he can still think. As a fan, I will miss Carson Palmer.

  35. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Kevin,

    I get all your points. I think this year, the window was all but closed, so I am not counting this year.

    But think about 2015. Why did we lose?

    Palmer was murdered in that Carolina game. He fumbled twice after being hit early in the game putting the cards behind fast.

    Special teams gave up huge returns to Ginn and fumbled a punt that lead to a TD.

    Defense could not hang in man and had to go to zones, which the safeties could not hang.

    The cards had no pass rushers and could not pressure Cam, who threw over 300 yards.

    By the end of the game, Palmer had fumbled twice and threw 4 ints, David Johnson was well under 50 yards rushing, as Carolina’s front 4 man handled our line.

    That is what I am talking about. 2015, they thought Bethel could take over as CB2, but he couldn’t. It forced Powers outside. Now, we had nothing inside to handle their slot receivers and the safeties were mismatches to their speed. The oline had Sendlin and Cooper/others at center and guard, and pressure came right up the middle.

    If Keim was able to land a couple olineman, a CB2, and someone off the edge, maybe it is different in 2015. Hey, it was All or Nothing right? No risk it No biscuit, right? Not for Keim.

    So enter 2016, One of the best centers in Alex Mack is available but Keim passes for Shippley. Cody Whitehair is there in the draft but he takes Nkemdiche, Casey Hayward was a bargain as a CB2, but he wanted Bethel again to battle a RB turned Cb in Williams. It seemed he landed Chandler Jones and then said I am done.

    These two years is what I am referring to that Keim let him down. Maybe it was BA, and if so, he needed to be saved from himself by a strong GM.

  36. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I apologize for this dumb question, but if Carson retires (and he did), how does he still cost about $6.6 million in dead cap space for 2018. I can see if he was cut from the team that his contract would still count against the cap, or perhaps on how a trade is worked out, but if he retires?

  37. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Retiring/cap

    That is from leftover bonus money that the Cards have already paid. Unless they asked him to return some of it because he retired — which I cannot see happening — they still have to account for it.

  38. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I hope I’m wrong that if one goes they all three go. It’s still how I feel, but Fitzgerald does have unfinished business and depending on who is behind center he may still play. Whatever he decides, I trust he’ll be at peace with the decision.

  39. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Not everyone is able to retire in this league as Carson and Bruce just did. Most are retired and struggle to keep playing. Pretty cool.

  40. By Corgon on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks for everything Coach! I wish you all the best!

  41. By Dynosoar on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Darren,

    thanks for the answer. Makes sense.

  42. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Well, the dominos are falling. It makes sense that Palmer is stepping down in the wake of Arians stepping down. And it will make sense when Larry steps down in the wake of Palmer stepping down.

    I think Larry’s departure is pretty much a done deal now. At 34 / going on 35, is he really going to want to adjust to a whole new coaching staff ( and possibly a new role in the offense – again ) and a new QB? I say there’s no way.

    I think the only question is, does he take awhile and see what moves the team might make, or have the events of the past two days already helped him make up his mind?

    Oh, my……this is going to be hard.

    Geez, I don’t mean to buzz right past Palmer’s announcement like it’s no big thing, but…..it is the next shoe that seems sure to drop that has my attention right now.

  43. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I swear I’ll throw-up and then throw my computer and my lovely dog, if I see Amos Jones gets an interview for the head coaching job.

  44. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Not only is Arians leaving, but I’m sure many of his staff / assistant coaches will leave. I think at least 12 or so coaches on the Card staff are also near or close to retirement.

    Large coaching changes must be tough on the players

  45. By CORMAC on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Arians is probably my all time favorite coach. I am sad to see him go. Like it actually hurts! Haha. Sad to see Palmer go too. Ya wonder who is next?

    We had a good run. I have been a fan since the Plummer days and I truly know what we had in our great team and coaches. I look forward to next season with hope as always. The younger Bidwell and Kiem are a huge part of us having a good team, and we still have them to build us a solid house.

    Happy New YEAR!!!!

  46. By Johnson on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Funnily, BA retires as the OC who planned the Cards downfall with Ben and Holmes in Super Bowl 43! Its sad that we could never win that ring with the Cardinals!

    BA was a class act and I am glad he was the coach for the Cards. I was hoping Keim leaves as well and we rebuild from complete scratch, but now its in his hands to rebuild this team – thats a scary thought!

  47. By Cali Card fan on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I wish BA the best and hope he enjoys his retirement. Like many here have stated, He brought a swagger to the organization that was missing for a long time. I have enjoyed the last 5 years.

    I will say one thing I think the Cardinals have been missing the last two years since Bowles left is halftime adjustments. It seemed like when he was here, the adjustments made on defense was always right on. The past two years it seems like we have a great defensive plan in place to start the game, but after halftime our opponents make adjustments and we just can’t seem to keep up the pressure. I hope our new coaching staff is better at changing up the game-plan as needed on the fly.

  48. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    @JTDG
    Definition of “coming out flat”- the other team has better players.
    BA was the master motivator.

  49. By Big Ken on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    How about Wade Phillips as HC? And please no James Bettcher.

  50. By Big Ken on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    So in “Arians Thanks the Red Sea”, Arians says to trust Micheal to bring in a good coach. Does Micheal Bidwell hire the new coach or does Steve Keim?

  51. By Rith on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks to all Big Red .Thanks to BA and may God Bless you and pray you stay healthy. We love our guys

  52. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    RE: the 2014 Palmer-less Cards getting into the playoffs

    A slight correction may be needed here…..or, at least a partial correction. In that 2014 game against the Rams in which we clinched a playoff spot, it was Stanton who started and played most of that game. He left that game injured at some point, fairly late in the game, I think. So, we can’t really give too much credit to anyone for winning that game with Lindley.

    Stanton played OK, didn’t hurt us, but our offense was struggling in that game. As I recall, we won with all FG’s, didn’t we? The real star that night was our defense. I believe that was the game after which BA made a comment along the lines that everyone got to see a great defense that night but they were wearing red and white. That was his way of responding to the pre-game hype the Rams defense was getting. Another GREAT Bruce Arians moment!

    Unfortunately, we knew we were toast after that game with Lindley. What a feeling, huh? We’d just clinched a playoff spot and without Palmer or Stanton, we knew we had no shot.

    Ah, the life of a Cardinals fan…..it ain’t easy being us.

    I continue to salute the quantity AND the quality of your posts.

  53. By rio on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    No jim Schwartz, he is not a good DC, new York without receivers got 565 yards ,just a couple weeks ago , he doesn’t know defense the eagles are doing good because of offence only.

    the man had a darm good lions team and could not win.

    Go Cards

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