Bruce Arians stepped into a volatile situation in Indianapolis last year, but wound up leading a Colts squad featuring a rookie quarterback and a head coach suffering from cancer all the way to the playoffs.
Following the year, he earned his first shot at coaching a team of his own when the Arizona Cardinals hired him on to replace Ken Whisenhunt.
In an effort to get to know the franchise’s new head coach, the Arizona Republic sat Arians down for a Sunday feature. In the interview, Arians touched upon a number of topics.
However, what stood out to us was the anecdote he shared regarding the legendary Bear Bryant. Arians spent two seasons as an assistant on Bryant’s staff at Alabama.
“He could read people,” Arians told Kent Somers of the Republic. “When he walked in the office, he could look at the secretary and tell, ‘Oh, she’s down today.’ And he’d go pat her on the back and her feet wouldn’t touch the ground.
“He’d look at me and think, ‘He’s cocky.’ And he’d rip my tail. He loved ripping my tail, because I thought I knew everything.”
The way his wife, Christine, sees things, that cockiness has not gone anywhere. In fact, she believes that is one of the reasons why the Arizona job is his first after spending 20 years as an assistant.
“Honestly, he was overlooked for years,” said Christine. “He didn’t even get an interview. I always said it’s because the man has no idea how to play politics. He doesn’t sugarcoat. And when it comes to football, he truly believes he’s right.”
If he wants to have a career at anywhere near the level of one of his mentors, he is going to have to be right far more than he is wrong out in the desert.
[H/T: Pro Football Talk]