Former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians on CBS gig: ‘I really couldn’t be me’

Jan 15, 2019, 10:03 AM | Updated: 11:40 am
New Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians gestures as he is introduced during a news confere...
New Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians gestures as he is introduced during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Bruce Arians couldn’t last through a 12-minute interview without letting one slip.

So you can imagine how difficult it was for the former Arizona Cardinals head coach to reel in his tongue in the broadcast booth for CBS Sports this past season.

That wasn’t the biggest reason why Arians’ retirement lasted just a year. With the perfect coaching staff available around him and a familiarity with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front office, he found the perfect opportunity to return to the game as head coach of the Bucs.

But, yeah. That CBS gig might not have fit him.

“I was biting my tongue man,” Arians said Tuesday when he joined Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “I really couldn’t be me. I got in trouble for saying a guy was wide-(expletive) open one time. That was my first game.

“Each week as I broadcasted games and going to practice every Friday, the fire (to coach) started burning. I think it was like Week 8 or 9 and I’m standing on the sideline and a DB did … I started to coach him. I said, ‘Woah, this isn’t my team, I can’t do that.’ Things had to fall into place for me to do it.”

The 2018 season wasn’t a waste.

Arians visited teams across the NFL, taking tidbits from veteran coaches like the Kansas City Chiefs’ Andy Reid and youngsters such as the Rams’ Sean McVay.

“Andy Reid has obviously, he’s always on the cutting edge, always has been,” Arians said. “A lot of these young guys have some things.

“None of that stuff works unless you have a Patrick Mahomes and a Tyreek Hill. You can do all kinds of (expletive), man.”

Arians remains firm that he was done with coaching when he retired following the 2017 season, leaving the Cardinals after an 8-8 campaign. But as he felt out of place in the booth and began stopping himself from coaching other coaches’ players, the fire started burning.

The year off also helped Arians regain his health.

“They gave me this unbelievable physical,” he said Tuesday. “They said I got a C. That’s like the best news I had in 10 years: I got a C on the physical. Yeah, I mean, Cs were always great for me … you know what I mean?

“When you’ve been an F health-wise for 10 years, a C is great.”

Arizona never contacted Arians about its own head coaching opening, and he never reached out about potentially returning to the desert, he said. The Cardinals were well into their search by the time it became clear to Arians he could leave retirement.

Now with the Bucs, Arians will face his former Arizona team at some point in 2019 — as uncomfortable as it’ll be.

“Those are always the ones I always hope we get through fast, when you have relationships with people,” he said. “It’s never fun but you got to play the game. Hopefully you can win and get over with it quick.”

Arians hosting farewell golf tournament

The Arians Family Foundation will host its sixth annual golf classic at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz., on March 22-23.

The golf event, a dinner and concert will benefit CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Those wishing to enter the tournament can fill out a form from the Arians Family Foundation website.

Arizona Cardinals

James Conner #6 and Byron Murphy #7 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrate as they run off the field af...
Arizona Sports

NFL Network’s Rosenthal projects Arizona Cardinals’ 2022 starters

With OTAs next week, NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal projected the 2022 starters for the Arizona Cardinals with notes about every position.
12 hours ago
A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals runs after his catch from David Long #22 of the Los Angeles...
Arizona Sports

The Athletic’s Jones: Cardinals-Rams in Week 3 a must-watch game in 2022

Of the Cardinals' 2022 slate, The Athletic's Lindsay Jones believes the Week 3 matchup against the Rams stands out above the rest.
12 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) in action during the first half of the National Foot...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals 2022 preseason schedule finalized

Specific dates and times for the Arizona Cardinals to face the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans in the preseason were not yet set.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Vance Joseph, Quentin Harris participating in NFL Accelerator program

Cardinals DC Vance Joseph and VP of player personnel Quentin Harris are taking part in the NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator program.
2 days ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals on the field before the game against the Seattl...
Tyler Drake

The 5: Familiar faces Arizona Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury will see in 2022

Not only will Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury take on his former head coach in 2022, he'll also face former players, teammates and colleagues.
2 days ago
Cincinnati DL Myjai Sanders (21) during a college football game between the Tulsa Golden Hurricane ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals sign rookie OLB Myjai Sanders to a 4-year deal

The Arizona Cardinals signed rookie outside linebacker Myjai Sanders to a four-year deal on Wednesday morning.
3 days ago
Former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians on CBS gig: ‘I really couldn’t be me’