Since the Chicago Bears interviewed Bruce Arians in January 2013, he won his second coach of the year award.
They’re on their second coach.
Arians admitted during a conference call with Chicago reporters today that he thought he’d get the job, which ultimately led to the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t Marc Trestman era.
“Yeah. I was [surprised],” Arians said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. “I thought when I left, I said, ‘I don’t think anything could’ve been any better throughout the whole day.’ And I didn’t look back thinking I did anything wrong in any way. It was just their decision.”
The Bears at least deserve credit for fixing the mistake quickly, getting rid of Trestman after two years and a 13-19 record (though he might have been just the Cris Carter-style fall guy).
But Arians has gone 21-11 over the same span, getting to the playoffs last year even after losing quarterback Carson Palmer.
The Cardinals are glad the Bears didn’t jump on him, obviously, but the Bears were his first interview. And during his trip there, he spent an hour with quarterback Jay Cutler, with whom he was impressed.
“Cutler is a passionate guy that wanted to win, you know,” Arians said. “I think he gets misunderstood a lot. We spent a good hour together, and I was very, very impressed with him.
“Sometimes when you care a lot, your body can give different signals. Each person’s different. The guy obviously cares about winning.”
If the Bears organization had more at the time, Arians might have helped Cutler change that perception, too.