Arians now has inside track in Arizona


Suddenly, only two head-coaching vacancies remain.

And there’s not much mystery with the openings in Arizona and Jacksonville.  As to the latter, the widespread thinking is that G.M. Dave Caldwell is waiting for his John Carroll teammate and roommate, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.  As to the former, there’s increasing chatter that Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will be offered the head-coaching job with the Cardinals.

Arians, we’re told, wanted the Chicago job, where he was a finalist.  Though it’s believed he won’t be leaving the Colts for any head-coaching job, the Cardinals’ vacancy is regarded as one of the worst available, given the absence of a great quarterback and the presence of increasingly stiff competition in the division.

Moreover, the Cardinals aren’t exactly known for supporting their coaches.  Ken Whisenhunt tied Jim Hanifan for the longest tenure in franchise history with six seasons.  And then Whisenhunt, who took the Cardinals farther than they had gone since Harry Truman was president, was fired the next day.

The only potential glitch in the hiring of Arians could be the ongoing presence of defensive coordinator Ray Horton.  If the Cardinals insist on keeping him and Arians doesn’t want to do that, Arians could pass on the job.

If he does, the position could go to Horton, or to Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

48 responses to “Arians now has inside track in Arizona

  1. The Cardinals can’t be THAT impressed with Horton if they keep trying to hire someone else. I’m still shocked that they’ve fallen so far, so fast after almost winning the Super Bowl 4 years ago.

  2. A company stinks from the top, down. I feel badly for whoever takes the HC job, but feel worse for Cardinals fans. Maybe they can take up a collection to get the team moved.

  3. Long-time Cards fan, and I don’t disagree with anything said by Florio, except support of Whiz under younger Bidwill was very good. He got big bucks, total control, and produced nothing other than when he was coaching the roster he inherited. It was time for Whiz to go, and it looks like Mike Bidwill will spend bucks and be better to work for than his dad (which admittedly isn’t saying much).

  4. If the Cards really wanted Horton to be their head coach, they would have hired him already. Probably within days of firing Whisenhunt. They know what they have in him.

    But personally, I don’t think Horton would be a good hire. He’s a good DC but most good DC’s don’t make good HC’s.

    Plus I can’t imagine Arians wanting to take that job over the Colts. So the next Cards HC remains a mystery.

  5. joelvis72 says:Jan 16, 2013 3:24 PM

    The Cardinals can’t be THAT impressed with Horton if they keep trying to hire someone else. I’m still shocked that they’ve fallen so far, so fast after almost winning the Super Bowl 4 years ago.
    It’s really not that hard to believe. Look what happened to the Colts last year with Curtis Painter filling in for Peyton Manning and the direct turn around they had this season with Andrew Luck. We went from Warner to Derek Anderson. Not exactly a recipe for success. IF we can keep Kolb healthy (big IF) and plug a new left tackle in (if we don’t draft one in the first round then God really does hate us) and move Levi Brown back to right tackle, plus pick up a decent guard in free agency then it really isn’t a bad job.

  6. Darrell Bevell is interviewing with the Cards today. I think he would be an excellent choice for Cards HC.

  7. Bruce Arians was Wide receivers coach and then took over for Whis at Pittsburgh when Horton was there. While it is in the realm of possibility that Arians may not want Horton I think that is an unlikely possibilty especially since the Cards Defense would be a top 5 Defense or better if they had an offense.

  8. The Arizona job should be attractive to any HC looking for a job. They were one of, if not the best defense in the early half of the season before Kolb went down and their offense was actually scoring points.

    They’re definitely missing some pieces but they have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball and are only a decent, healthy QB away from the playoffs.

  9. Poor Arizona…Still trying to unsuccessfully build Pittsburgh West. As a Steeler fan, I personally have nothing against Bruce Arians. But I cannot see him succeeding in Arizona. In Pittsburgh he had Ben and an elite receiving corp in place to make his generally bland, predictable offense look competent. In Indy, he did a great job with a team that was supposed to go nowhere, so I’ll give him and Pagano high marks for that. But in Arizona, he has oonly one noteworthy offensive playmaker, Larry Fitzgerald. Terrible offensive line, terrible qb, and a terrible running game. He’ll have his work cut out for him. He’s not a terrible hire, but they could certainly do better.

  10. Hate to hear this. Was really rooting for BA to get his head-coaching shot. But without a QB, he’s got no more chance of making a success there than Whis did over the last few years.

  11. Horton was a great DC all year except the seattle game, I think its gonna be difficult to get a good OC in there, so theyre trying to bring him in under the “Head Coach” name. All the people other than Horton who interviewed for this job are accomplished OC’s

  12. Someone please explain to me what the different between Arians and Whisenhunt is? One coach got lucky with a completely new roster, most of which are below average player which success will not be repeated next year, the other was dealing with a reality of having no offensive line, no QB thanks to his management for years on end. The hiring/firing process in the NFL is absurd. Same thing with Gus Bradley in Seattle, another example of a Steve Spags who had a ton of talent and people went overboard for him.

  13. BA shouldnt want to go there, stay in indy as a OC and enjoy your job and take less stress off yr life, cause in that division there will be no winning with that offense, and its a cut throat league, stay and help Luck out, its a win win for you and your family

  14. “Moreover, the Cardinals aren’t exactly known for supporting their coaches. Ken Whisenhunt tied Jim Hanifan for the longest tenure in franchise history with six seasons. And then Whisenhunt, who took the Cardinals farther than they had gone since Harry Truman was president, was fired the next day.”

    Seriously? There is not a team in the league who would’ve retained Whisenhunt based on his past three years of struggle since Warner retired. Stop trying to act like there was no loyalty.

    Whisenhunt was a top paid coach in the league, was given almost total control of the roster and draft day decisions.

    Since Warner bolted the Cardinals went 5-11, 8-8, and 5-11. Each of those seasons say the team have consecutive losing streaks of 6 or more games. Each QB brought in after Warner was handpicked by Whisenhunt as was the rest of his offensive staff.

  15. I dont know how the Cardinals dont support their head coaches. They gave KW a contract extension and gave him full control of personnel. That being said they gave him 3 years to find a replacement for Kurt Warner or at least find a running game and he failed at both.The Cardinals also had long losing streaks in all of those seasons including losing 11 of the last 12 games in 2012. A coaching change had to be made. But I’m sure that if the Cardinals would have retained Ken Whisenhunt PFT would be writing about how the Cardinals where to “cheap” to eat what was left on KW contract(5 million) and fire him.

  16. Lets hopes he smart enough not to take the inside track. Let some other sucker have that job.

  17. so glad the Bidwells left St.Louis. What a joke of an owner and a front office.

    It’s even funnier the Cardinals basically can’t give the job away. I wonder which is harder – getting someone to be a HC for the cards or GM for the Jets

  18. How many guys have had the inside track….something like 6 Florio has called out. No way they let Horton go, that would be coaching suicide.

  19. Can not imagine Bruce, or anyone else, leaving the Colts, or any other team, and voluntarily going to the Cardinals. On the other side of the same coin, there may be millions and millions of dollars, and some fine fringe benefits being offered. So, who knows or cares?

  20. With no QB and a sorry O-Line, Arizona is a graveyard for HC’s.

    Arians know Horton from their time together in Arians definitely knows whether he wants Horton to stay or not.

    Carnell Lake, who replaced Horton as Steelers secondary Coach has done a phenomenal job…much better than Ray Horton ever did.

    I think Horton was just a Rooney rule interview.

  21. On the surface it may seem that the Cardinal job is some sort of hellhole, but its an NFL job!

    They have some good talant on both sides of the ball and last I’ve heard coaches have a big ego. Who wouldn’t love the chance to be “the one” that turn thing around in Arizona.

  22. superschrec says:

    Cards need to hire Todd Haley
    No matter how many offensive coordinators they bring in steer that ship, it’s not going to sail without a quarterback. Unfortunately, there aren’t any significant talents coming out in this year’s draft and none on the free-agent market.

  23. Cards may luck out the way I see it. They keep their DC who is highly respected. And then they get Arians who is a great offensive mind and got HC experience this past season. Win win for them.

  24. I can hear the Cardinals counter: Either your the head coach with Ray Horton, or your not! At least Arians can call Bowles and say….”I tried”.

  25. The worst part about this? It’s been reported that if Arians gets the job, Horton won’t be retained. How they’ve treated Horton during all of this is embarrassing to say the least

  26. Deb:
    Every season, a slew of rookie quarterbacks infilitrate the NFL and show abilities that many veterans haven’t shown. Russell Wilson? Kirk Cousins?
    The rules are structured to make quarterbacks look good. Please don’t be fooled by Roethlisberger’s inconsistencies. The Steelers’ QB and offense make scoring look difficult. It is not.
    Bruce Arians will make a horrible head coach because he is easily manipulated. Coaches should coach, and players should play. Uncle Bruce has never figured that out.

  27. In Goodell’s defensively neutered NFL, the Cards are one unknown, moderately talented, quick footed QB from Middle Nowhere State from being a 10 win team.

  28. I may be one of the few Colts fans who would rather see Arians gone.. He did a great job this year BUT his gun slinging offensive scheme is too dangerous for Andrew Luck. Tom Moore and Peyton were a shot yardage, move the chain offense that kept the sack count down. I’d like to see more of that with the new Colts!

  29. bobzilla …

    My mind isn’t constantly revolving around Ben Roethlisberger as yours seems to be. Rather, I was thinking about Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley, and Brian Hoyer.

    Yes, I’m well aware that quarterbacks will come out this year. Unlike you, I’m also aware how rare it is for quarterbacks to succeed in the NFL. The 2012 draft of Wilson, Griffin, and Luck may wind up being remembered like the 1983 draft of Marino, Elway, and Kelly.

  30. I think the Arizona HC position is an intriguing and interesting job for any potential candidates (depending on how well the new GM works this offseason and/or how much control the new HC would have)

    This is a team that has defensive and offensive talent. As a Viking fan, I’ll use Minnesota as a prime example.

    Minnesota made it to the NFC Championship game in ’09 (still bitter.) Even though they lost Favre (a la Warner in Arizona) they still had a core of players who were still playing at an elite level and were reasonably young. Again, much like Arizona. The Cards have guys like Fitzgerald, Dockett, Peterson, and Kolb (bare with me…) Do they have holes to fill? Absolutely, what team doesn’t? But Minnesota went from 3-13 to 10-6 and it wasn’t a fluke. They improved in areas of grave need. Left Tackle, Secondary, and Receiver.

    The Cardinals have a ton of cap room and should be pretty active in Free Agency. Draft an immediate starter at LT (like someone said previously, move Brown to RT) The key is to keep Kolb upright. Draft or trade for a running back – Mendenhall, Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson, are all guys who could be available for the right price (or they could be cut outright) I’d keep Horton on as DC, that defense was scary early in the season.

    Kolb doesn’t need to be Tom Brady, he needs to be like Christian Ponder. Stay healthy (thanks to the Offensive Line) and feed the ball to his playmakers (Fitzgerald, Floyd, etc.) Arians would make a ton of sense, he’s a great offensive mind and he could potentially do wonders for Kolb – not to mention help bring in more pieces.

    Will Arizona go from worst to first in the division? Probably not, but there is a ton of potential here that either Whiz or Graves refused to build upon or replace poor players with. A new head coach could really make ‘Zona competitive in a few years.

    – Vikings fan.

  31. A ton of cap room wrong there over the cap for 2013. Guys like Bradely and Dockett and Wells and even Snyder got to be replaced to get under the cap

  32. The main reason the Cardinals have yet to offer Horton the job is they want to keep him there and bring in an offensive-minded guy as head coach, best of both worlds. Who knows who Horton would be able to bring in as offensive coordinator, whereas someone like Gus Bradley, Arians, or Gruden would have a much better chance at bringing along one of “their guys” to call plays, or calling plays themselves.

    I don’t think it has to do with not being impressed with Horton’s abilities as much as it is just wanting to drastically improve their offense. I’m sure if Horton had been offered the Bills or Browns job, the Cardinals would’ve made an offer for him to be HC rather than simply losing him altogether.

  33. houstontexans99 says: Jan 16, 2013 7:02 PM

    Will somebody PLEASE hire this guy?!

    Texan fans


    Hey, as a Chargers fan, I was pulling for him to sign here. Sorry bud.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.