With how great the Indianapolis Colts are playing right now, the question of if interim head coach Bruce Arians returns to the team in 2013 is very valid. There's many head coaching jobs that are going to be available next season and Arians' name is certainly going to come up in conversations.
Since Arians took on the interim role on Oct. 1, the Colts have gone 5-1 under his direction. They're now on top of the AFC Wildcard standings and look to be in prime position of making the playoffs in year one of a rebuilding effort.
No one saw this coming.
Arians, already has more wins in six games as a head coach than 18 other NFL franchises have had all season. He's still a new coach with no head coaching experience. Mix that with 38 new players on the active 53-man roster today and he's definitely exceeding expectations.
The Colts aren't supposed to be winning with all of these new players and relying on true rookies. This was supposed to be a down season and was supposed to have gotten much worse with the announcement that their head coach Chuck Pagano would be out indefinitely for a bout with leukemia.
I suspect, though, Arians will remain with the Colts for 2013 and beyond and not leave to pursue other options. No one knows how long coach Pagano will be out, if he even returns at all. He's still battling for his life right now. The Colts are going to stick by him and leave Arians in charge until he returns.
I can't speak for Arians, but he seems like a guy that would go back to being an offensive coordinator under Pagano and keep the momentum going instead of leaving to take on another head coaching role. That's where his comfort is.
Prior to coming to Indianapolis, Arians spent eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. He was offensive coordinator for five of those eight years and wide receivers coach for the first three. As the offensive coordinator, the Steelers went 55-25 which was tied for the second-best record in the NFL. He helped lead them to three AFC North titles, two AFC Championships and a Super Bowl XLIII victory. He also was a part of the Super Bowl XL Championship win in Detroit for the Steelers.
He's been a huge part of making young quarterback's achieve success quickly. He was the quarterback's coach for Peyton Manning when he first stepped foot in the league and helped Ben Roethlisberger become the second-youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls.
He's now a huge part to why Andrew Luck is succeeding so fast and I don't think he's going to want to leave that project after one year.