Mark it down: Bruce Arians is the 2012 NFL Coach of the Year.
Considering that Arians came over from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was part of three AFC championships and two Super Bowl victories, he clearly brought the experience to win.
Well, the Indianapolis Colts were in a dire situation after the 2011 season.
With Peyton Manning gone to the Denver Broncos, the Colts entered the 2012 campaign with a rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck, as well as a new head coach in Chuck Pagano. After beginning 1-2 and entering a bye week upon losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the unthinkable happened.
According to Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star via the USA Today in early October:
Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano will undergo four to six months of treatment, including chemotherapy, to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia, the team announced in a press conference Monday morning.
So, enter offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who held just one head-coaching position before: Temple Owls from 1983 through 1988. He had one winning season.
As anyone can imagine, the challenge ahead for Arians was immense.
First, the Colts' regular head coach was struggling through something extensively more difficult than any football game.
Second, Arians was taking over in the meantime with minimal head-coaching experience.
And finally, the team was only 1-2 at the time with a new franchise quarterback.
Well, Indianapolis has since proved to be the epitome of its two coaches—a fighter.
Every time the Colts have been down, they managed to win in the most clutch of moments.
As for Arians, in an article by Conrad Brunner of ESPN 1070 The Fan:
He’s done it all while juggling two of the highest-stress jobs in the game—head coach and offensive coordinator.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” Arians said. “That’s the only way you can look at it. The stress part, it’s just like the word pressure; I think if you’re not prepared, you feel it.”
And impressively enough, the Colts are now 9-4 and on the brink of a postseason berth.
Now, a little luck from both a figurative and literal perspective also helps. After all, the Colts have been led by their rookie quarterback in the game's final minutes that resulted in dramatic victories.
Nevertheless, a work of art in that respect begins and ends with the man calling the plays. Indianapolis is 8-2 with Arians filling in for Pagano, and the Colts are in the midst of a historic NFL turnaround.
So, to reiterate: Arians is pro football's 2012 Coach of the Year.
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