The Arizona Cardinals were the last of eight teams to make a head coaching change on Thursday, as they chose Bruce Arians to be their head man.
Arians signs a four-year deal with Arizona, with an option for a fifth.
Arians spent this past season as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. Arians was also the interim head coach for the team while head coach Chuck Pagano underwent treatment for leukemia.
The Cardinals did an exhaustive search for their man before deciding on Arians.
The team interviewed five different candidates: defensive coordinator Ray Horton, new Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Arians.
Before joining the Colts, Arians spent the previous eight seasons (2004-2011) in the Steelers organization, the last five as their offensive coordinator.
In Pittsburgh, Arians had a big hand in the development of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl (26 years, 336 days).
Arians enjoyed much success during his time with the Steelers, as they won three AFC North titles, two AFC Championships and Super Bowl XLIII.
Arians has 20 years of NFL coaching experience. He was an assistant coach for five different teams (Indianapolis: 2012; 1998-2000, Pittsburgh: 2004-11, Cleveland: 2001-03, New Orleans: 1996, and Kansas City: 1989-92).
Even though this is Arians’ first NFL head coaching job, he does have head coaching experience: the college kind. He was the Temple Owls head coach from 1983-88.
Temple was 21-39 under Arians’ leadership.
Speaking of Horton, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Mike Silver, Horton has been relieved of his duties as Cardinals defensive coordinator, and will be replaced with former Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Bowles was promoted to the position after Juan Castillo was fired. Under Bowles, the Eagles defense gave up almost 32 points per game, and went 1-9 after Bowles’ was appointed to the position.
It’s been a tumultuous season for the Cardinals to say the least.
The offense struggled to gain footing all year, injuries crippled that side of the ball, they had a nine-game losing streak and Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves were both fired.
There’s always a light at the end of a long and dark tunnel, and it seems like the Cardinals are heading toward that light now that two of their biggest holes – general manager and head coach – have been filled.