Bruce Arians talks Fitz’s driveway gift, quarterbacks and career moves
Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians couldn’t golf following the 2016 season.
At fault was Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald, whose hug of his coach following a game-winning field goal in Seattle on Christmas Eve tore Arians’ rotator cuff. For the next year, Arians jokingly said Fitzgerald owed him a new car.
Fitzgerald turned that joke into reality for his coach, who after the 2017 entered retirement.
“I kidded Larry all year never expecting it. It was just a joke,” Arians told Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “Drove home Christmas morning and my kids were out in the driveway with their cameras and, ‘What the hell is going on?’ And there’s a car with a big red bow on it from Larry.
“He’s one of a kind — one of a kind player, one of a kind person.”
Now that he’s retired, Arians might have more time to enjoy the car. A year healthier and with his coaching profession in the rear-view mirror, he’s got more time to hit the golf course.
Arians discussed the Cardinals’ offseason, a few draftable quarterbacks and his future career in broadcasting with Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
GOOD MOVES FOR THE CARDS
Arians, always truthful, seemingly would be satisfied and confident in the Cardinals’ offseason moves had he remained head coach.
The quarterback coach by trade said that the free agency additions of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, plus the reshuffling of the offensive line, will make for a good product.
“A lot of the things we talked about before I retired,” he said. “(General manager Steve Keim) already had plans. I’ve always been a Sam Bradford fan. Just got to keep Sam upright and healthy, and you got a heck of a player. You guys know I’ve already been a fan of Mike Glennon — tried to get him a couple years ago, so I think that quarterback room is pretty solid.
“You’d still like to add that young guy. The offensive linemen — all the moves he’s made, I’ve really been excited about.”
The addition of Glennon as a backup also provides insurance.
Before inking a long-term deal with the Chicago Bears before last season, Glennon showed flashes of talent. As a rookie, he played in 13 games, completed 59 percent of his passes and threw 19 touchdowns to nine interceptions.
Arians, who pushed for Keim to acquire Glennon a few years ago, said he fits the mold as a backup quarterback well.
“He’s a big, tall pocket passer. He’s very bright,” Arians said. “When he played us as a rookie against us in Tampa, he just went to the wrong side one too many sides when he picked on (Patrick Peterson) over there, but he almost had us beat. Very composed. Just from that game on, I didn’t think he was surrounded with the best of players. The Chicago thing was hit-or-miss, but I’ve always liked his talent.
“He’s a gym rat. He’s a perfect No. 2 ’cause he’s very, very smart and he doesn’t need a lot of reps.”
ABOUT THAT QB OF THE FUTURE …
Though he didn’t touch on any other quarterback in the NFL Draft, Arians told Bickley & Marotta why he has been so quick to praise Louisville signal-caller Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman winner who threw for 3,660 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 picks last season.
“I think he can really spin it. He’s played in a pro-style offense under (Louisville coach) Bobby Petrino,” Arians said. “When he pulls the ball down and runs, man, the only guy I’ve seen like that is Michael Vick. This guy breaks the game open with his legs. You put him back there with David Johnson and a lot of good things can happen. I think as he progresses and gets stronger and bigger — which he really made a big, if you saw him at the Heisman awards and then you saw him at the combine, he’s already put on weight and thickened up. I think he’s a very intriguing prospect.”
NEXT STEPS FOR B.A.
After a round of tryouts for in-studio and NFL analyst jobs, Arians said he’s awaiting his agent to work out a contract with one of the major TV networks.
“I’ve interviewed in the booth and in the studio for all the networks,” he said. “I’m really excited about it. It keeps me in the game.”
Arians said he’d prefer to do on-site work, allowing him to visit with current coaches and players.