Bruce Arians was formally introduced as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals at a press conference Friday. He replaces Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after the Cardinals went 5-11 this past season.
At the press conference, team president Michael Bidwell said he was looking for three things in a head coach: Leadership, accountability and performance. He apparently found all three in Arians, saying that it became very clear to him that "Bruce Arians needs to be the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals."
Arians, 60, told media about how he had considered retirement after being let go as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2011-12 season. His wife and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau both helped convince him to keep coaching, however. After acting as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts for 12 games last season, Arians said that he learned that "I can do it," adding, "I got a taste for blood."
"When you're a lifer you're a lifer, and I'm a lifer," Arians said. "I can't wait to get started."
First order of business: Putting together a new staff. Arians said that he would like to have his coaches in place by this Sunday. One person who won't be joining the new staff is the Cardinals' 2012 defensive coordinator, Ray Horton. Arizona's front office had been insistent with coaching candidates that Horton be retained, but Arians explained that "it needed to be a football team that was directed by me."
Arians also explained that he would be handling offensive playcalling on gamedays "until we find someone better," and that the offense would look to create balance while also relying on big plays off of play action.
"We have six home runs on the play sheet every week, and we're not leaving any bullets unused," Arians said.
As for the defense, Arians emphasized the need to be aggressive, athletic and to run multiple schemes. He admitted that in an improving division against the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, winning won't be easy. At the very least, however, the Cardinals will take care of business on their home turf.
"Nobody's going to beat us here." Arians said. "That's eight wins."