Cardinals coach Arians: It’s not time to walk away from sidelines yet

Apr 17, 2017, 5:09 PM | Updated: Apr 18, 2017, 11:02 am

(AP photo)...

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

A little more than two years ago Bruce Arians signed a contract that, with a team-option at the end of it, would keep him in the fold through the 2019 season.

But as the coach enters the 2017 campaign, his fifth with the Arizona Cardinals, some wonder how much longer he plans on roaming the sidelines.

At 64 years old, he is the third-oldest head coach in the NFL behind Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, but unlike those two, Arians has dealt with some recent health issues.

Last August, while the team was in San Diego for training camp and a preseason game, Arians was taken to the hospital with what was ultimately diagnosed as diverticulitis, and then, in November, he was taken to a Valley hospital after experiencing chest pains.

Finally, while it does not compare to the previous issues, Arians ended up needing surgery after Larry Fitzgerald gave him an aggressive high-five or hug as the team won in Seattle in Week 16.

So, the idea that Arians may be thinking about the end of his coaching career is not necessarily unfounded, though when speaking with Tiki and Tierney on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network Monday, the coach said he has not really considered calling it quits.

“It always crosses your mind; I’m not one of those guys that’s going to die on the sidelines,” he said. “But until I don’t look forward to coming to work — then I’ll know when it’s time — but when my wife is like, ‘OK, enough is enough,’ but it’s not time yet.”

Arians has not been an NFL head coach for long, though in a brief amount of time he has been quite successful. He led the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-3 record as the interim coach in 2012, and then in four seasons with the Cardinals has guided the team to a 41-22-1 record that includes one NFC West title, a pair of playoff appearances and a berth in the NFC Championship Game.

Finally getting a top job at his age is a catch 22, Arians said, in that he waited so long for this only for it to finally come in the latter part of his career. That’s not the only thing that would make it tough to walk away, though.

“I have such a great group of guys to work with, the players and coaches,” he said. “It’s fun. [Monday] was the first day back and I was excited like a little kid, doing the first-day installation again with our offense.

“When those things don’t get exciting and I don’t look forward to them, I’ll know it’s time.”

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