BA = Begging for Attention?

Mitch

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Without question, Bruce Arians will go down in history as one of the greatest head coaches the Arizona Cardinals have ever had...even at this point, heading into his 5th year as head coach, with a 41-24-1 record, 2 playoff berths and a trip to the NFC Championship game, one can easily make the case that Arians is the greatest head coach the Cardinals have had in Arizona.

Arians' journey to becoming an NFL head coach has already been well-chronicled. On the brink of retirement, having been let go by the Steelers as their long-time offensive coordinator, on his way to his and his wife's retirement home in Georgia, Arians received a last-ditch phone call from Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano and immediately turned his car around and headed to Indianapolis as the Colts' new play caller on offense.

When Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia early in the season, Arians took over as interim head coach and helped to guide the Colts and rookie QB Andrew Luck to a surprising 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Arians, all the while, kept a light for Pagano and handled his responsibilities with aplomb and humble deference to his long-time friend. Ironically, after Pagano returned, Arians was hospitalized on the eve of the playoffs and could only watch the Colts lose from his hospital bed.

Nevertheless, Arians was named the NFL's Coach of the Year in 2012 for his efforts with the Colts.

Quickly, Arians was hired by the Arizona Cardinals as the new head coach in 2013. His first season got off to a somewhat slow start, but his team finished strong and one game out of the playoffs at 10-6. In his second season, Arians' squad went 11-5 and earned a wild card berth before losing to the Panthers in the wild card round. For this effort and achievement, Arians was lauded once again as NFL Coach of the Year in 2014.

Perhaps his greatest coaching performance came in 2015 when the Cardinals dethroned the Seahawks as NFC West Champions and earned the NFC's #2 seed in the playoffs with a stellar 13-3 record. After an opening round bye, despite watching Aaron Rodgers throw a successful game-tying Hail Mary before a stunned crowd in Glendale, the Cardinals replied in overtime when a scrambling Carson Palmer found a wide open Larry Fitzgerald to the far side of the field and Fitzgerald weaved through Packer defenders all the way inside the Packers' 5 yard line, and then scored the game winning TD on a shovel pass.

In the 2015 NFC Championship game at Carolina, the Cardinals imploded. Palmer turned the ball over 7 times and Cam Newton picked apart the Cardinals' defense on the ground and through the air ti the tune of 476 yards and 5 TDs. It was a humiliating 49-15 defeat for Cardinals.

All the while in 2015, the Cardinals were being filmed on nearly a daily basis for an Amazon TV series called All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals.

The most prominently highlighted figure in the series was head coach Bruce Arians. The Amazon TV crew even went as far as following Arians and his wife to their vacation home in Georgia where the Arians stories flew like pigeons releasing from a cage. Arians talked, still very emotionally and indignantly about his unmerited departure from the Steelers. He talked about his long journey from being kicked out of high school and off the football team for drinking, to playing QB at Temple, to coaching as in assistant in Alabama under Bear Bryant, to returning to Temple as a young head coach, to burning out at Temple and to arriving in the NFL with the Chiefs in 1989 as running backs coach...etc., etc. etc.

We learned about Arians' swag, his now signature Kangol hats, his power naps in an oxygen vault, his penchant for drinking bourbon, his philosophy that coaches shouldn't have to work long hours and his love of boating on his lake.

There was much anticipation for the Cardinals in the 2106 season, especially for anyone who had watched All or Nothing. And yet, 2016 was a major disappointment due to Arians' own health scares, a number of the Cardinals' self-inflicted mistakes at key situations, and a staggering number of illnesses and injuries.

Arians was ill-tempered and surly throughout the dismal 2016 season. In reacting to poorly played and coached performances, Arians was quick to blame players, a lack of leadership from veterans and younger players, NFL schedule makers and referees.

By any standards, Arians' "no risk-it, no biscuit" coaching style is brash...a Bill Parcels' type of brash. Arians is everything he says he is...his mantra is to "coach em hard and hug them later." For the most part, Arians' style seems to sit well with the players. He has a way of bonding in kindred fashion with star-crossed players like Tyrann Mathieu who have had to fight off the painful throes of drug abuse and demoralizing season-ending injuries.

Arians also has forged a bond with the Cardinals' aging superstar Larry Fitzgerald, even though Fitzgerald has not favored Arians' role for him in Arians' offense. And it would appear that at least on the surface, Arians has maintained the loyalty of some of the players he has disparaged in the press, like tackle D.J. "Knee Deep" Humphries and cornerback Justin "failure in progress" Bethel.

And now...on the eve of Arians' 5th season as head coach in Arizona, he has released a book he co-wrote with author Lars Anderson titled: The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback.

The timing of this book release raises some questions:

1. How much national and local attention does Arians feels he needs? Wasn't winning NFL Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and starring in All or Nothing in 2016 enough, at least for a while?

2. How much of Arians' success in the NFL been the result of impeccable timing---having been an assistant coach in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh when the Colts and Steelers drafted rookies Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck? Plus, what kind of a fortuitous break was it for Arians to take over for Chuck Pagano? The timing of that season not only saved Arians' career, it propelled him to his first head coaching job.

3. Does Arians have the temerity to suggest that he was one of the main reasons and the common denominator as to why Manning, Roethlisberger and Luck emerged as All-Pro caliber QBs?

4. Why did Arians choose to steal the moniker of "QB Whisperer" from his own assistant head coach, Tom Moore?

5. Does this book means that Arians is setting up 2017 as his swan song and the true All or Nothing season? Tyrann Mathieu in an interview from London today expressed his desire this season to send Arians off on a "high horse." Yet, shouldn't this season be more about trying to send sure-fire first ballot Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald off on a high horse?

6. It is sad and upsetting to learn in this book that Arians, a prostate cancer survivor, endured another cancer scare this year when he had a malignant tumor removed from one of his kidneys. Apparently, Arians knew this while he was going through his health problems late in the season. And apparently he shared his diagnosis with the Honey Badger and some of the players. But why wait until the book release to tell the Arizona fans and the NFL world?

7. What kind of QB whispering has Arians done for Carson Palmer? Sure, Palmer has put up some good numbers in Arizona and has gone 36-18-1 as a starter, but he has been turnover prone in some key games like the NFC Championship game and has not proven he can take a team all the way to the Super Bowl. His career playoffs record is 1-3 with a QB rating of 66.9, 56.8% completion percentage and a 5/7 TD/interception ratio. Compounding the matter, Palmer had to think long and hard this year about whether to return this season. Regardless, can anyone with a straight face call Carson Palmer "elite"?

8. The last questions are -- isn't there yet (hopefully) an unwritten chapter for this book? Isn't this the kind of book that is better to be released after one retires?

Whatever the answers, Bruce Arians seems to crave the attention...in fact, he seems to demand it.
 
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BigRedRage

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nothing wrong with writing a book in the offseason, especially when you have such a great story to tell.
 

Cheesebeef

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Without question, Bruce Arians will go down in history as one of the greatest head coaches the Arizona Cardinals have ever had...even at this point, heading into his 5th year as head coach, with a 41-24-1 record, 2 playoff berths and a trip to the NFC Championship game, one can easily make the case that Arians is the greatest head coach the Cardinals have had in Arizona.

Arians' journey to becoming an NFL head coach has already been well-chronicled. On the brink of retirement, having been let go by the Steelers as their long-time offensive coordinator, on his way to his and his wife's retirement home in Georgia, Arians received a last-ditch phone call from Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano and immediately turned his car around and headed to Indianapolis as the Colts' new play caller on offense.

When Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia early in the season, Arians took over as interim head coach and helped to guide the Colts and rookie QB Andrew Luck to a surprising 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Arians, all the while, kept a light for Pagano and handled his responsibilities with aplomb and humble deference to his long-time friend. Ironically, after Pagano returned, Arians was hospitalized on the eve of the playoffs and could only watch the Colts lose from his hospital bed.

Nevertheless, Arians was named the NFL's Coach of the Year in 2012 for his efforts with the Colts.

Quickly, Arians was hired by the Arizona Cardinals as the new head coach in 2013. His first season got off to a somewhat slow start, but his team finished strong and one game out of the playoffs at 10-6. In his second season, Arians' squad went 11-5 and earned a wild card berth before losing to the Panthers in the wild card round. For this effort and achievement, Arians was lauded once again as NFL Coach of the Year in 2014.

Perhaps his greatest coaching performance came in 2015 when the Cardinals dethroned the Seahawks as NFC West Champions and earned the NFC's #2 seed in the playoffs with a stellar 13-3 record. After an opening round bye, despite watching Aaron Rodgers throw a successful game-tying Hail Mary before a stunned crowd in Glendale, the Cardinals replied in overtime when a scrambling Carson Palmer found a wide open Larry Fitzgerald to the far side of the field and Fitzgerald weaved through Packer defenders all the way inside the Packers' 5 yard line, and then scored the game winning TD on a shovel pass.

In the 2015 NFC Champion ship game at Carolina, the Cardinals imploded. Palmer turned the ball over 7 times and Cam Newton picked apart the Cardinals' defense on the ground and through the air ti the tune of 476 yards and 5 TDs. It was a humiliating 49-15 defeat for Cardinals.

All the while in 2015, the Cardinals were being filmed on nearly a daily basis for a Amazon TV series called "All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals."

The most prominently highlighted figure in the series was head coach Bruce Arians. The Amazon TV crew even went as far as following Arians and his wife to their vacation home in Georgia and the Arians stories flew like pigeons being released from a cage. Arians talked, still ver emotionally and indignantly about his brisk departure from the Steelers. He talked about his long journey from being kicked out of high school and off the football team for drinking, to playing QB at Temple, to coaching as in assistant in Alabama under Bear Bryant, to returning to Temple as a young head coach, to burning out at Temple and to arriving in the NFL with the Chiefs in 1989 as running backs coach...etc., etc. etc.

We learned about Arians' swag, his now signature Kangol hats, his power naps in an oxygen vault, his penchant for drinking bourbon, his philosophy that coaches shouldn't have to work long hours and his love of boating on his lake.

There was much anticipation for the Cardinals in the 2106 season, especially for anyone who had watched All or Nothing. And yet, 2016 was a major disappointment due to Arians' own health scares, a number of boneheaded self-destructive mistakes at key situations, and a staggering number of illnesses and injuries.

Arians was ill-tempered and surly throughout the dismal 2016 season. In reacting to poorly played and coached performances, Arians was quick to blame players, a lack of leadership on the team, NFL schedule makers and referees.

By any standards, Arians' "no risk-it, no biscuit" coaching style is brash...a Bill Parcels' type of brash. Arians is everything he says he is...his mantra is to "coach em hard and hug them later." For the most part, Arians' style seems to sit well with the players. He has a way of bonding in kindred fashion with star-crossed players like Tyrann Mathieu who have had to fight off the painful throes of drug abuse and demoralizing season-ending injuries.

Arians also has forged a bond with the Cardinals' aging superstar Larry Fitzgerald, even though Fitzgerald has not favored Arians' role for him in Arians' offense. And it would appear that at least on the surface, Arians has maintained the loyalty of some of the players he has disparaged in the press, like tackle D.J. "Knee Deep" Humphries and cornerback Justin "failure in progress" Bethel.

And now...on the eve of Arians' 5th season as head coach in Arizona, he has released a book he co-wrote with author Lars Anderson titled: The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback.

The timing of this book release raises some questions:

1. How much national and local attention does Arians feels he needs? Wasn't winning NFL Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and starring in All or Nothing in 2016 enough, at least for a while?

2. How much of Arians' success in the NFL been the result of impeccable timing---having been an assistant coach in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh when the Colts and Steelers drafted rookies Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck?

3. Does Arians have the temerity to suggest that he was one of the main reasons and the common denominator as to why Manning, Roethlisberger and Luck emerged as All-Pro caliber QBs?

4. Why did Arians choose to steal the moniker of "QB Whisperer" from his own assistant head coach, Tom Moore?

5. Does this book means that Arians is setting up 2017 as his swan song and the true All or Nothing season? Tyrann Mathieu in an interview from London today expressed his desire this season to send Arians off on a "high horse." Yet, shouldn't this season be more about trying to send sure-fire first ballot Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald off on a high horse?

6. It is sad and upsetting to learn in this book that Arians, a prostate cancer survivor, endured another cancer scare this year when he had a malignant tumor removed from one of his kidneys. Apparently, Arians knew this while he was going through his health problems late in the season. And apparently he shared his diagnosis with the Honey Badger and some of the players. But why wait until the book release to tell the Arizona fans and the NFL world?

Are you serious? Maybe he didn't want to say anything during the season because it could be a HUGE distraction for the team.

7. What kind of QB whispering has Arians done for Carson Palmer? Sure, Palmer has put up some good numbers in Arizona and has gone 36-18-1 as a starter, but he has been turnover prone in some key games like the NFC Championship game and has not proven he can take a team all the way to the Super Bowl. His career playoffs record is 1-3 with a QB rating of 66.9, 56.8% completion percentage and a 5/7 TD/interception ratio. Compounding the matter, Palmer had to think long and hard this year about whether to return this season. Arians swears by Drew Stanton and yet Stanton in his 4 years in Arizona has thrown for a 51.7% rating, a 9/10 TD/int ratio and a QB rating of 46.8. The good news is Stanton has gone 6-3 as a spot starter, which is the same winning percentage (67%) as Palmer's.

Again... are you kidding? Palmer was seen as such dog-crap prior to coming here that he was traded for a 7TH ROUND PICK. He's taken that guy, a guy who in only TWO years previous in his entire career had TWO winning seasons and helped him become a guy who went 10-6, 6-0 and 13-3 before going 7-8-1 last year. Not to mention, making him an MVP candidate in 2014/2015.

8. The last question is -- isn't there yet (hopefully) an unwritten chapter for this book? Isn't this the kind of book that is better to release after one retires?

Whatever the answers, Bruce Arians seems to crave the attention...in fact, it seems he demands it.

yes... he likes attention. so what? he's got a great story to tell.
 

kerouac9

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This is such a smoking hot take. Arians is among the most charismatic coaches in the most popular league in the country. I don't think he wants to go on TV after he retires. I have no problem with him leveraging his notoriety in the gap between minicamps and training camp. Why do you?

All or Nothing was a Michael Bidwill decision. Maybe Keim and/or Arians could've vetoed it, but it was good for the brand.
 

jmt

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Granted I haven't read the book but how much of it do you think BA actually sat down to write? I don't have a problem with the timing and figure it will only help book sales if Palmer has another good year.
 

Bert

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Man that's 5 minutes of my life I'm never gonna get back. One for the ignore list. What a hot steaming pile of 'axe to grind' rubbish.

You could have saved us all a lot of time and just wrote; I hate BA, the end.
 

RugbyMuffin

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I have no issue with how Bruce Arians conducts his business. Players do not seem to mind, neither does the Cardinals organization, or the press.

I understand that some like a coach who is quiet, humble, and handles his players like fragile eggs. That is fine, but Bruce Arians is not that type of coach. Arians' success speaks for itself.

The fact he took time over the offseason to put out a book is fine with me, at least he got it done in the offseason so it is not an distraction during the season.

He does countless things in the community, has multiple charities he has started, and his current increase of attention in the news is because INSTEAD of making the 2016 about his fight with cancer and letting that be a distraction he decided to wait until his book came out, and waited to release the book in the dead of the offseason so it was not a distraction.

Personally, I do not know how much more the man could have done last season to try to keep the camera's off him and his health struggles and keep the attention on the team, but again, that is just my opinion of that situation.

He is a head coach for an NFL team, the nations most popular sport. That is going to garner attention, and personally, I do not see the man going out of his way to put himself in the press. If he enjoys that attention, or craves that attention I am fine with it. Yet, it seems to me he is a sound bite machine and the press has always loved sound bites, thus his popularity with the press (it is common to hear him talk about retiring out to a lake in the middle of no where). Heck, one could say Vince Lombardi was a person who craves attention as well, see Vince L. was another sound bit machine type coach.

Arians having a book, being in an NFL documentary, and being in the news is par for the course with many of the bigger name coaches in the NFL.

My take is, Arians is the best coach this organization has had in AZ, hands down, and his tenure here has done more to change the reputation of the Cardinals in the NFL in a positive way than anything else.

What he does with his personal time, I could care less. But, to each his own.


PS - If walking into a job where your best QB on the roster was Brian Hoyer, after John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Lindley, then the bar must be really low on what a "good situation" is.
 
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TRW

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Wow Mitch. You seem to have an axe to grind with BA. Your recent posts have been very, very pointed personal attacks on BA's character and motivation. He "stole" Tom Moore's moniker? He "Lucked" into his reputation for developing QBs? He purposely "hid" his illness from the fans and the NFL? He's an attention *****?

Did you lose money on last season, did BA kick your dog? Come on Mitch, I think you are better than this.

Love ya man but this post was very, very curious.
 

Bodha

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I dont think hes done anything wrong. Hes a good guy.


Im not a fan of the "QB Whisperer" book title nor that reputation being heaped upon him. Ive been a very long time critic that he is the Phil Jackson of "Qb developers". Not to say anything is a gimmee, but its easier to wins championships when you have the Jordan Bulls and Shaq/Kobe Lakers to lean on.

Ben, Carson, Luck, Peyton. Its like being a track coach with Usain Bolt. The athlete will make you look good.
 

kerouac9

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The other thing is that the "Quarterback Whisperer" title isn't exclusive to Tom Moore or anyone else. I ran a google search from 12/31/06 to 12/31/16 on the term, and it's been used to refer to Adam Gase, George Whitfield, Tom Herman, Mike Sanford, Hue Jackson, etc., etc.
 

RugbyMuffin

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Love ya man but this post was very, very curious.

Really?

Mitch has been very open about what he likes in an NFL coach, and what he doesn't Bruce Arians is not his cup of tea, and hasn't been for years now, at least that is what I take from it.

Nothing wrong with it either, guy is entitled to his opinion.

He is not a fan of Patrick Peterson either, FYI, and he has a disdain for Andre Ellington that may rival my past disdain for Early Doucet.

If you watch sports there is always an ax to grind some where.
 

RON_IN_OC

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The other thing is that the "Quarterback Whisperer" title isn't exclusive to Tom Moore or anyone else. I ran a google search from 12/31/06 to 12/31/16 on the term, and it's been used to refer to Adam Gase, George Whitfield, Tom Herman, Mike Sanford, Hue Jackson, etc., etc.

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Reign Blood

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If you're going to write a book you have to put yourself out there. Was watching nfl network this morning and Pow! I see BA talking about the Cards. Without BA right now there would be no hope. If that's a bad thing well then...
 

MartinD

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Let me speak on someone else's behalf and guess at his motivation 'cause that never goes wrong.

I haven't posted much but I wandered through these boards for a few years before signing up, and I didn't get the feeling that Mitch was anti-BA. He was very pro-BA at times. In 2016, Coach wasn't an All-Star. In my opinion, his ego got in the way and he stumbled a few times. He didn't get the team ready to play at the start of the season, he refused to acknowledge that some changes needed to be made after it was obvious to every other person on the planet, and a very winnable season was lost. Our QB Whisperer displayed his feet of clay.

I think Mitch grew a little disillusioned, that's all. When an athlete or coach struts as if his don't stink -- and we all smell the odor -- it's hard not to wonder why other people aren't being vocal about it. I'm disillusioned, too. I support BA, I support SK, but I'm hoping they realize what was wrong and don't repeat the same mistakes. New mistakes? That's on all of us.

On the other hand, I've worked in publishing (don't now, though) and BA didn't get to pick the release date for his book. He probably wasn't even consulted. He was likely approached by a publisher who'd already chosen the book's title, his "co-writer" probably worked from conversations and provided the spin the publisher wanted, and BA's biggest contribution will be the mandated publicity tour that follows. I don't care if his name is on the hardcover edition; I'm not going to blame him for what's between the covers.
 

RON_IN_OC

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If you're going to write a book you have to put yourself out there. Was watching nfl network this morning and Pow! I see BA talking about the Cards. Without BA right now there would be no hope. If that's a bad thing well then...

I agree...Heard BA this morning on NFL Sirius interview...he sounded very focused, IMO, on the upcoming season. I thought when they asked about Amos, his answers were plausible. He brought up the fact that ST took huge hits with injuries...and these mistakes went above and beyond the missed kicks and bad snaps/holds, which it didn't sound like he excused. He mentioned Patterson returning that kickoff in MN...and the two guys that got out of their lanes and allowed the return had just joined the team that Tuesday. Anyway, thought the entire interview was great. PS: He's not so sure Carson will hang it up after this season.
 

AZCrazy

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While Mitch's questions are worthy ones to ask, I'll still choose to look at last season as an outlier. All or Nothing wasn't his decision. The book probably wasn't either. Ghost writer says I'll ask you a few questions over some beers and tell your story, OK?

Arians is one of those larger than life characters we occasionally run across, and we're lucky to have him here coaching this team right now.
The work he's done here has merited that - look at us, acting as if the sky is falling after one .500 season. That's how far he's brought us.
 

AZ Native

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I love BA, best thing that ever happened to us. But he is not perfect. Thinking ST's.

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NeverSayDieFan

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FACT! People in the NFL (media, fans, etc.) are very much aware of the Cardinals these-days. That wasn't always the case. These are much happier times for me. I said it before. We are considered a "dark horse" and NOT a "dead horse"! I can live with that.

Have a GREAT day, everyone!

Mark :)
 
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