It almost seems as if Bruce Arians has come out of nowhere.
The second-year Cardinals coach has compiled a 16-7 mark in Arizona, and that follows a 9-3 record he compiled as the interim coach in Indianapolis in 2012. The 25 wins he’s amassed over that stretch are the fourth most in the NFL over the last 35 games, trailing only John Fox (Denver, 29), Bill Belichick (New England, 28) and Pete Carroll (Seattle, 26).
Arians, along with his staff, have helped to quickly turn around a struggling franchise, and now a guy who waited decades to get a chance to lead a franchise is looked at as one of the game’s best bosses.
According to Yahoo! Sports contributor and former NFL QB Shaun King, he is the fourth-best coach in the NFL.
A lot of projection here but can you blame me? Arians immediately turned Arizona back into a contender last year, finishing at 10-6. Midway through 2014 in the ultra tough NFC West, he has them in first place at 6-1, the best record in the NFC. Add in what he accomplished as the fill-in head coach in Indy and as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, and you should start to see why I am so high on him.
Arians’ fast ascent to the top of the rankings could be reason to celebrate or gloat for a guy who had been passed over many times for head coaching gigs. At the very least, what he’s done over the last three seasons should at least be a little vindicating, right?
“No, not really,” Arians said when asked if the success has lead to that feeling. “It’s fun, though. Lose four in a row and I’ll be the same old (expletive) I always was.
“But no, it’s fun. It really is.”
Arians and the Cardinals have another chance to make a statement Sunday when they visit the 6-2 Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium. Already boasting the best record in the NFC, a road victory would go a long way toward helping the team clinch its first playoff berth since 2009.