After a dismal season in 2011, the Indianapolis Colts decided it was time to clean house and rebuild their organization and team. As the Colts entered a new era, CEO and owner Jim Irsay instated Ryan Grigson as general manager. Shortly after, Irsay and Grigson invited Bruce Arians back to Indianapolis to become the Colts’ offensive coordinator. Despite intense analysis and doubt from media and fans, Irsay’s plan fared better than expected. The Colts’ inspirational season earned Arians a nomination for the NFL Honors Coach of the Year.
Arians stepped up to fill in for the Colts’ head coach following Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis. With a great deal of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, Arians was the perfect man to lead the young team this season. Both Irsay and Grigson had complete faith in Arians’ abilities. Arians proved his relevancy in the league as he led the Colts to a 11-5 finish and securing the team a spot in the playoffs.
Arians’ importance to the team’s success proved invaluable when he was hospitalized prior to the Colts’ Wildcard match up against the Baltimore Ravens. That day, the Colts were defeated by the Ravens, 24-9. Although many factors contributed to the Colts’ loss, it certainly did not help that the man who had been calling plays all season was not on the sidelines during their most important game of the season.
Following the regular season and his release from the hospital, Arians began interviewing for several head coaching positions around the league. Among other suitors, the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles wanted to talk with the shining star. In the end, the Arizona Cardinals signed Arians as their head coach going forward.
Although Indianapolis will miss him, the Colts wish Arians well. He helped his team achieve something no one, besides themselves, believed they could do. Moreover, the young rebuilding team earned a confidence in themselves that cannot be broken.
With Arians’ leadership and skills, the Colts created a story that will be remembered for a lifetime. For this, it is likely the Colts will hold Coach Arians close in their hearts. It is no wonder that he has earned a spot with Jim Harbaugh, who happens to find himself coaching a Super Bowl contender this year. Arians proved to be a valuable asset to any football team this season.
The NFL Honors Award Show will be held in New Orleans the night before the Super Bowl. Fans can find out if Arians win by tuning into CBS at 9 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. Reggie Wayne is also nominated for 2012 Best Play of the Year. Votes are being accepted at the NFL Honors website.