Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians wins Coach of the Year


Bruce Arians wins second Coach of the Year award in three seasons

It wasn’t much of a shock but more of an expectation that came true on Saturday evening at Phoenix’s Symphony Hall.  Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians won the 2014 AP NFL Coach of the Year Award at the NFL Honors event on Saturday evening.  He also won the award in 2012 as interim coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

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This award was kind of a no-brainer as far as I was concerned.  Sure, he had some very good company with three other deserving coaches but what Arians did with a team that had so many devastating injuries was truly amazing.  I would be sitting here saying the same thing even if I wasn’t a Cardinals fan.

As we all know, he took an injury-plagued Cardinals squad to the playoffs with an 11-5 record.  The Cardinals started the season 9-1 before they lost their starting quarterback Carson Palmer for the season.

They lost nine players to season-ending injured reserve.  They weren’t third stringers either.  Guys like Palmer, running back Andre Ellington, punter Dave Zastudil, linebacker and 2013 Cardinals sack leader John Abraham, amongst others, were lost for the season.  That list also doesn’t include linebacker Daryl Washington, who was suspended for the 2014 season.

The “next man up” slogan pretty much had a shelf life of all but the last couple of weeks of the season when it finally caught up to them.  The loss of backup quarterback Drew Stanton sealed their fate and they couldn’t hold a division lead they had held all season from week one until week 16.

I’ve always said in Bruce we trust.  The Cardinals front office and his players all believe in him.  He doesn’t beat around the bush.  He’s a straight shooter and always honest.  Plus he’s good for a few laughs and just a super personable individual.  When you combine that with on the field success, Arians was most deserving of the award this season, his second in Arizona.

Arians has now complied a record of 30-14 in the games he has been the head coach, interim or otherwise.  That’s impressive.  Arians has said this will be his last NFL job.  With the way things or going he won’t need to ever worry about another job.  He should be in Arizona for a long time to come.

He said on Saturday night that he saw the award as a team award and not an individual one.  That much is true.  It does take team to be successful but it all starts with the guy leading them.  That guy probably has not won his last award.