Bruce Arians wins coach of the year award

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians won the Coach of the Year Award for the second time in three seasons.

Symphony Hall l Phoenix, AZ l January 31, 2015

Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians

AP Coach of the Year

(opening statement) “It was a great honor. To be able to accept this award here in town, for the Arizona Cardinals organization. There is no such thing for me as a one person award in such a team sport. It starts with (Arizona President) Michael Bidwill, (Arizona General Manager) Steve Keim, all the injuries we had, we had to have somebody that is giving us players, and Steve is the best in the business that I’ve ever been around, and I just watched one going to the Hall of Fame that I love, Bill Polian. Congratulations to him and Jerome (Bettis). Jerome is extremely special to me. A great coaching staff, obviously Todd (Bowles) getting assistant coach of the year. I wouldn’t be head coach of the year if it wasn’t for him and the job he did. I was so happy that we started that award, and he got it for the first time, and now he’s going to do a great job for the Jets. A coaching staff that works tirelessly, and more than anything, our players. They were able to be resilient. Every injury that occurred, they looked at the next man’s opportunity. That makes my job extremely easy. I’ll accept it on behalf of the Arizona Cardinals.”

(on being the first coach to win the award twice in three years and do it with two different teams) “Yeah, you usually don’t get to practice coach, you know (laughing). I got to practice coach for a year while Chuck (Pagano) was getting well, and that was such a surreal year. I never felt like I was ever the head coach, and I wasn’t. I was just sitting in a seat for a while while he got healthy. To be able to do it with our coaching staff and our organization and knowing where we came from, again, I just can’t thank the players enough.”

(on if he will cherish this one more) “I don’t think there is any doubt. There is no doubt. That other was just magical, that season. This was one that you never got bored because you had to come to work every Monday and start all over again.”

(on what it was like having the players he had that still bought in after everything the they went through) “Every year we start with the same speech. Trust, loyalty, respect. We have a 90-man roster, and we’re not the team until we cut all the guys and get down to 53, but the first thing I tell them is the most valuable player on the team is not starting. The most valuable player on the team is the guy who has to step in and the level of expectation is not changing, so you’re going to have to step up and play at that level, and our guys buy in. They really have bought in.”

(on how much of a role he had to play with the amount of injuries) “Like I said, it starts in the spring and it starts with a true belief this is the process that we’re going to go through because they’re going to happen. Injuries are going to happen, and you can never allow anything to be an excuse. We just don’t allow that to happen.”

(on the possibility of playing in their hometown Super Bowl this year) “Yeah, that’s the tough part. We were sitting there at 9-1 and thought really strongly that we were going to be here and play in our hometown Super Bowl. We just didn’t play well enough. There are no excuses on injuries. We just didn’t play well enough in the playoffs.”

(on what having players in the Pro Bowl, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald winning an award and former assistant head coach Todd Bowles winning an award says about the direction in which the franchise is headed) “Well, it makes you extremely proud. I think Michael has done just a fabulous job of leading this thing and giving us all an opportunity. When your players are receiving awards, and like you said, the Pro Bowl guys and getting their recognition. I took all those names off IR and I put them back on the depth chart and I quit saying ‘what if.’ I said what can it be next year, and I can’t wait to get started.”

(on if he saw it coming) “No. I don’t think you ever look ahead and see things like this coming. It’s all up to you guys to decide those things, and like I said, I’m very humbled to accept it on behalf of the Cardinals.”

(on what he will be doing one day from today in San Francisco) “Playing. We’re dressing in their locker room. You can write it down today.”

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