A good coach can make all the difference. It’s been quite some time since the Phoenix Suns have been considered a prime destination for free agents, but Jeff Hornacek may have turned the tide back in a favorable direction.
The same dilemma could be said of the Arizona Cardinals organization, but according to Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer, head coach Bruce Arians is quickly changing the perception around.
“Look, the biggest selling point for the Cardinals used to be Scottsdale. Right? It’s great, and of course somebody would want to move down here,” Glazer said before his Saturday tee-off at the inaugural Arizona Golf Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., hosted by the Arians Family Foundation. “But now playing for a guy like Bruce, (he) is the ultimate player’s coach, without being a guy you can walk over.”
Arians inherited a 5-11 squad and turned it into a 10-6 team in his first season at the helm. The Cardinals normally would have made the playoffs with such a mark, but they were unfortunate enough to be in the league’s toughest conference, the NFC West, where two clubs — the San Francisco 49ers and the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks — had better records.
“He just connects with players,” Glazer added. “So when you sit in a room with him, he’s going to sell you. And same with (general manager) Steve Keim: You come in there and, you know what, these guys have completely changed the way this franchise is.
“It used to be a place, like I said, you’d come out here because you want to go hang out in Scottsdale. You can’t blame them! But now you have a place where you go, ‘These guys are a true and winning franchise.'”
The Fox Sports reporter also said Arian’s success in Arizona has got NFL franchises reconsidering what kind of head coaches to look for when they have a vacancy.
“He’s like the face of ageism in this league,” said Glazer of the 61-year-old Arians, who never had a head coaching job in the league until partially through the 2012 season, where he spelled Chuck Pagano on an interim basis. “It’s like how does this guy not get a shot years ago? Right? Because everybody looks for the young, hot guy, or it’s the young this or young that. Meanwhile, you have a guy who can coach circles around everybody else.”