Bruce Arians a Perfect Fit for the Arizona Cardinals

Daine PavloskiAnalyst IIJanuary 18, 2013

Bruce Arians led the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record in his time as interim head coach.
Bruce Arians led the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record in his time as interim head coach.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Gus Bradley as their new head coach, the Arizona Cardinal's coaching vacancy was the only head coach spot left up for grabs in the NFL.

Until Thursday night. 

On Thursday night, the Cardinals offered the head coaching position to Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts

Arians got a lot of attention around the league after Indy's head coach Chuck Pagano missed 12 games during his battle with leukemia last season. During that stretch Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record and an eventual playoff berth. 

The former Colt will be taking over for Ken Whisenhunt and an Arizona Cardinal team that started out last season 4-0 but dropped 10 of the last 11 games to end at 5-11 on the year. 

Arizona's pass defense was one of the few bright spots for the team last season allowing just 200 yards per game through the air which was fifth-best in the NFL. The main issue for the Cardinals comes on the other side of the ball. 

The Cardinal offense averaged under 190 yards passing per game, which was 28th in the entire NFL. Their rushing offense was even worse, averaging just 75 yards per game, the worst total in the entire league.  

Arians will have his hands full helping the Cardinals get back to where they were in 2009, but has proved to be very capable of doing great things with an offense. In 2009 Arians, as the offensive coordinator, helped lead the Steelers and Big Ben to a Super Bowl victory over—who else—the Arizona Cardinals. 

At Pittsburgh Arians helped the Steeler offense increase it's passing output by over 1,000 yards from 2008 to 2009 and helped keep a solid running game involved in a pass heavy offense, which, on a team with talented receivers like Arizona, will be very important. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd and Early Doucet make up a pretty formidable passing attack if Arians and the Cards can find a quarterback who can not only stay healthy, but play at a high level. 

Having such a talented group of receivers fits perfectly with Arians, who was a wide receivers coach at Mississippi State in the 1970's and with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004 to 2006. 

According to his conversation with, Arians explained that he would handle the quarterback situation in a few different ways. First he and his coaching staff will try to help their current quarterbacks improve. If that doesn't work, Arians said they'll go find a strong quarterback, an option he referred to as "Door No. 2." 

Arians had a great season in Indy filling in for Chuck Pagano, and will be a perfect fit in Arizona. At the beginning of the 2012-13 season the Cards showed that they can win football games. Now Arizona has to figure out how to do it for an entire season, and Bruce Arians is the perfect man for the job.