Yesterday, conflicting reports surfaced that the Arizona Cardinals and their head coach, Bruce Arians would part on Monday. With the Raiders, fresh off an embarrassing 19-10 loss to the Eagles, questions abound. Now, no one is saying Reggie McKenzie will fire Jack Del Rio. Although many prefer that, eating the contract looks difficult. In that case, seeing Arians as an offensive coordinator may not be that far-fetched.
Before he arrived in Pittsburgh, Arians worked a miracle in Cleveland. In 2002, he guided Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb to the playoffs. While serving as their offensive coordinator, Arians constructed his scheme to fit the talent. Naturally, in Pittsburgh, working with a young Roethlisberger, more of the same followed. Under Arians’ aggressive play calling, Pittsburgh average 7.1 yards per attempt, on the way to a Super Bowl victory. Stops in Indy and a five-year stint in Arizona give Arians the resume.
Arians is so confident is his ability to construct an offense, he actually wrote a book, The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback. Arians details his process as part scripted but mostly aggressive. As seen by his Cardinals teams, Arians loves to take vertical shots, at least a half-dozen times per game. Imagine Derek Carr, blessed with the green light to stretch defenses. Instead of one or two shots, five or six passes that test’s the stability of secondaries.
Additionally, Arians would bring a fierce north-south run game to Oakland. In turn, his philosophies sync with Del Rio and Tice, who would prefer bashing opponents into submission. Teams would actually need to show Carr respect, instead of daring him to throw more than 10 yards.
During his career, Arians imparted his knowledge of Roethlisberger, Luck, and Palmer. Derek Carr still has not found that. While many say that Bill Musgrave served in that role. People conveniently forget that Musgrave could border on the conservative as well. Arians is a phenomenal playcaller, couple with the type of voice that a quarterback needs. After his stay in Oakland, Carson Palmer appeared finished. Yet, with Arians, Palmer racked up three 4,000-yard season and 7.5 yards per pass attempt.
Arians appears firm enough to command respect. There is no buddy-buddy with him. The quarterback has his job and will do it. Derek Carr needs that strong approach, where he knows his role and will work.
Del Rio Freedom
In essence, with a coordinator of Arians’ stature, Jack del Rio can mainly focus on operating as head coach. For the first time, in what seems like forever, the Raiders would employ two strong coordinators. Ideally, Del Rio would serve as the CEO, have final say on the overall, but would avoid Xs and Os.
Immediately, three downsides exist for the Raiders, if they pursued Arians
- Jack del Rio made his living firing assistants. Would he can Arians, if he felt threatened by a more successful coach on the payroll? Honestly, if Del Rio hired Arians, he’d be hiring his own replacement, if anything happened to his job.
- At age 65, Arians continues to battle health problems. He survived prostate cancer. In addition, doctors treated him for kidney cancer earlier this season. Would the Raiders hire a coordinator with health issues?
By some strange circumstance, if the Raiders hired Bruce Arians to run their offense, the team immediately improves. If they do not, hiring a coach in his mold would quickly rebuild Derek Carr’s fractured confidence. Due to his aforementioned health problems, Arians serving as an associate head coach, up in the booth could also beneift the Raiders. Just think what he could bring out of Carr, if he did this for Kelly Holcomb.