Bruce Arians announced Jan. 1 that he would retire as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, but he broke the news to his players the previous night – and no one leaked it. No one said a thing.
There’s a reason for that.
“(It shows) how much respect and how much we cherish our friendship and our connectives with BA, to be able to hold secrets,” Cardinals running back David Johnson said on The DA Show. “In this day and age, there’s no such thing as secrets. Everything gets leaked. So with him having to say that and trusting us – the players and the coaching staff – to keep that secret until he announced it himself was just to showcase how much we respect him.”
Arians, 65, coached the Cardinals from 2013-17. They went 34-14 from 2013-15, made the playoffs twice, and reached the AFC Championship in 2015.
Arians became emotional during his retirement announcement. So did his players.
“Oh, of course,” Johnson said. “Everyone was emotional. Everyone was thinking about how impactful BA is – BA was – to them, not just as a player, but as a person. It’s very tough to see a coach like that go for sure.”
Johnson, a third-round pick in 2015, loved Arians because he was genuine and real.
“He’s not going to sugarcoat it,” Johnson said. “Coaches, NFL, media knows that. The refs know it. He’s not going to sugarcoat anything. He’s going to let you have it. I think that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve grown to learn about him. When I mess up, he’s going to let me have it, especially as a rookie. I had a lot of mistakes. He was the guy who was on me making sure I was doing everything right and that’s what I feel like has helped improve my playing ability and (getting) better as a player on the field.”