With plenty of people lining up to claim credit for reporting that Cardinals coach Bruce Arians would be retiring after the season (and with some under the misimpression that it’s our function to serve as the “who had it first?” scoreboard), it’s important to point out that the first hint that this would be Arians’ last year came in October.
Craig Fouhy of ABC15.com reported in late October that Arians had told people close to him that he intends to retire at the end of the year. Arians denied the reports, saying it was “news to me” and that “nothing could be further from the truth.”
As noted in this space at the time, it would make sense for Arians to deny it, even if it were true. Arians clearly didn’t want the to be about him, and he didn’t want to create a distraction for his team. As explained on PFT Live at the time, the situation reminded me of Bill Cowher’s last year in 2006 (the clip is attached), when everyone knew it was his last year and he consistently denied it and denied it and denied it until he showed up in that Bill Cosby sweater and walked away.
Arians consistently said, as recently as last week, that he wouldn’t make any decisions until the season ends. And then, immediately after the season ended, he told his players that it was his last game. They all kept it quiet until Monday, which was impressive.
It’s now out there, and it’s fair to wonder whether he’s as “retired” as he was six years ago in Pittsburgh. If, after all, teams like the Colts or the Bears or the Lions show up with a pile of money, maybe Arians changes his mind.
This time, it feels more permanent. That said, it would be wise for some of these owners who are looking for new coaches to think about what Arians could do with their current quarterbacks, especially in light of what Arians did six years ago with Andrew Luck. Even if Arians says no, it costs nothing to ask.