Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/18/13

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 06: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals have filled the NFL’s final head coaching vacancy by hiring Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. Cardinals’ front office confirmed the hiring in a release Thursday night, saying Arians received a four-year contract with a club option for a fifth year. The 60-year-old longtime assistant went 9-3 as Indianapolis Colts’ interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia last season. Arians arrived in Arizona on Wednesday night, had dinner with top team officials, then interviewed on Thursday and met with reporters to indicate his job interest. He was offered and accepted the job Thursday night. Arians also was a finalist for the Chicago job that went to Marc Trestman. Arians was the sixth known candidate interviewed to replace Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired after six seasons. Whisenhunt was introduced on Thursday as the offensive coordinator for new head coach Mike McCoy in San Diego. The Cardinals said Arians would be introduced as coach at a 3 p.m. EST news conference on Friday. Arizona posted a photo of Arians getting a congratulatory call from wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is vacationing in Belize and undoubtedly will welcome anyone who can do something to revive a dreadful offense. In his meeting with reporters earlier Thursday, before he was hired, Arians said his stint as Pagano’s replacement “answered all questions I ever had” about whether he could succeed as an NFL coach. “I hope it answered all the questions everybody else has had for all these years,” he said. It apparently did for the Cardinals, who lost 10 of 11 this season to finish 5-11 for the second time in three years. Arians said there are young coaches for teams still in the playoffs that will be denied a chance to be a head coach now because of their teams’ success. “Maybe I was a victim of that a couple of times,” he said. “Hey, I’ll take the Super Bowl ring and look back later. You can’t worry about why you never got one or why have you got one this time. I’m just happy it happened, and I look forward to seeing what’s made of it and what turns out.” Arians has been a football coach since his days as a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech in 1975 and he was the head coach at Temple for five seasons. Most importantly, he has been an NFL assistant for 20 years. Wearing a Super Bowl ring from his days in Pittsburgh prominently on his right hand, he said his stint as head coach in Indianapolis taught him that being a head coach is “not as hard as it’s supposed to be.” “It’s really not,” Arians said. “I think it’s all about building relationships. Coaching is all about relationships. As long as it’s built on trust, loyalty, and respect, anything is possible.” When the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Thursday, Arizona’s job was the only one still open. Arians was wide receivers coach in Pittsburgh and he succeeded Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator there. He was the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator when Mike Tomlin‘s team beat Whisenhunt’s Cardinals in the 2009 Super Bowl. Arians left the team to become Pagano’s offensive coordinator last year, taking over as interim coach when Pagano left for treatment for leukemia. “It has been an unbelievable 12 months for me personally,” Arians said. McCoy was among those interviewed by Cardinals president Michael Bidwill. Other known Arizona candidates were Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Horton has a year left on his contract and his future with the organization was in question. Asked Thursday afternoon if he would keep Horton as defensive coordinator if he got the Arizona job, Arians declined to discuss the prospect. “Right now it’s way too early in the process,” Arians said. “Obviously, I know Ray. I’ve got a history with Ray. But all those things would be way down the road. Guys are under contract. You can’t really comment on staff members at this point in time.” Horton was defensive backs coach with the Steelers when Arians was offensive coordinator there. The Cardinals had the worst offense in the NFL, and Arians downplayed any similarities to his offensive scheme and the one used by Whisenhunt. He said that after Whisenhunt left the Steelers for Arizona, he and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat down and simplified the playbook. Arians said his offense has some similarities, but many differences from the one implemented by Whisenhunt. He then emphasized the importance of building a close relationship with the quarterback. “As a head coach or an offensive coordinator, you’re tied to that guy,” Arians said. “Your future is him. You better realize that, and you better have a heck of a strong relationship so that when it’s really tough in the game, he’s telling you what he’s seeing, not what he thinks you might want to hear.” Quarterback is a major problem for Arizona. The only one of the four who got a start in the Cardinals’ 5-11 season that had any success was Kevin Kolb, and he went down with a rib injury in Week 6 and never returned. Arians said the Cardinals must either improve what they have at the position or find a new one behind what he called “Door No. 2.” He said he would call the plays as head coach “until I can find someone who is going to do it better than me. I haven’t found him yet.” Photo via Facebook/Indianapolis Colts
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Report: Pacers, Lakers Discussing Roy Hibbert Trade

Watch: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Green Bay Packers’ player charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

Tennis: How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

Damian Lillard is the Blazers’ new franchise player

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.