In 2013, Bruce Arians should have been the hottest head-coaching candidate in the NFL. A longtime well-respected assistant coach, Arians was coming off a strong year of leading the Colts on an interim basis while Chuck Pagano underwent cancer treatment.
But it turned out that Arians wasn’t such a hot candidate. As he recalled today, he interviewed with the Bears only to be told that he wouldn’t get the Chicago job — and then to learn that while he was interviewing in Chicago, three other teams that had asked him to interview had decided to move in another direction.
“While I was in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland and San Diego cancelled the interviews that we had set up,” Arians said, via Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com. “I never got an answer [why they canceled], other than ‘Thanks, but no thanks. That day I was at the Bears, three of the teams decided to go in different directions. I was probably more disappointed because I thought I had the Bears job, and it was like a double-whammy.”
As it turned out, things worked out well for Arians: He got the Cardinals job and has done very well there, going 10-6 in his first year, 11-5 in his second year and now 11-2 in his third year.
It hasn’t worked out as well for the teams that passed on Arians. The Browns hired Rob Chudzinski, fired him after one season, and are now 3-10 in Mike Pettine’s second season. The Bears hired Marc Trestman, fired him after two seasons, and are now 5-8 in their first year with John Fox. The Chargers hired Mike McCoy, who is now 3-10 in his third season. The Eagles hired Chip Kelly, who is now 6-7 in his third season.
All four teams that snubbed Arians would have been better off hiring him. The Cardinals have to be happy they didn’t have to compete with any other team for Arians’ services.