Arizona Cardinals’ Arians Ranks 3rd in USA Today Poll
By Erich Becker
USA Today came out with new rankings today for all 32 head coaches in the NFL and the Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians comes in at number three, trailing an all time great, and a questionable choice at number two.
Bill Belichick comes in at number one on the poll, which should not be a surprise. As one of the longest tenured and most successful coaches in NFL history, even outside a prickly attitude at times, you can’t argue that he is one of, if not the best the league has. The Patriots visit the Arizona Cardinals for the first time in the regular season in over 10 years on September 11th.
Coming in at number two is Seattle Seahawks’s head coach, Pete Carroll. To Cardinals fans, this may seem a bit of a also-ran having Arians follow Carroll, but, like him or not, he has won a Super Bowl as a head coach, something Arians hasn’t done yet, and his teams play hard, maybe too hard at times, but they play hard.
At number three is Arians, entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Cardinals, his reputation follows him wherever he goes:
Is there a more aggressive coach in the league? Arians isn’t jumping on the dink-and-dunk trend most NFL offenses are now favoring. The Cardinals offense is going to attack defenses downfield and do it relentlessly. And that mindset has carried over to the defense. No team captures the personality of its coach more than Arizona. Arians also produces results. His teams have never won fewer than nine games, and that includes his 12-game stint as the Colts interim coach, when Indianapolis went 9-3.
There isn’t much more to say about Arians than that, no other team imbues the personality of their team more than the Cardinals and Arians. Aggressive, but never abrasive, fun, but never letting their guard down, and relentless, without being careless. The Arizona Cardinals and Arians are a true match.
The rest of the Top 10 has a lot of familiar faces:
4. Mike Zimmer, Vikings
5. Sean Payton, Saints
6. Mike Tomlin, Steelers
7. John Harbaugh, Ravens
8. Ron Rivera, Panthers
9. Mike McCarthy, Packers
10. Andy Reid, Chiefs
A few surprises here, Tomlin seems awfully low and Rivera awfully high, but the nature of these polls is proxmity to the past season has to weight in there a little bit. The Panthers epic run to Super Bowl failure has to account for something. The one thing you notice, except for a few, is that these are all perennial playoff teams, and many of them having won Super Bowls in the tenure at their current locations.
Good company to keep, and beat.