Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement from that position Jan. 1, but NFL viewers may see even more of him this year. Per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, Arians is interested in TV or radio work, but is especially interested on the TV side.
He’s already interviewed with Fox and NFL Network, has a second interview lined up with Fox, and is planning to interview with CBS. He told Weinfuss he’s interested in working in the media to stay connected to football:
“I want to be part of the game,” Arians said. “When you’re doing games, you do a lot of traveling — good, bad, indifferent. You’re in the locker room, you’re doing production meetings with players and coaches. In a studio, you get a broader perspective, maybe you can tell more stories. I’m probably a better storyteller.”
Arians has been intrigued with working in television ever since a brief stint calling the first Pennsylvania high school football championships in 1988 with former Philadelphia sportscaster Al Meltzer after Arians was fired from Temple.
“I loved it,” Arians said. “I went down and moms are crying, and I’m interviewing the moms on the field. I said, ‘You guys get paid to do this s—? This is fun.’ It’s always been in the back of my mind.”
That’s interesting, as Arians’ relationship with the media hasn’t always been great. While he’s been open, interesting and quotable on series like Amazon’s All or Nothing, he’s had some more combative exchanges as well, such as calling reports he planned to retire “fake news” in December. (And maybe they were and he hadn’t made up his mind at the precise moment, but that outcome still wound up coming true.)
But he told Weinfuss “The media has a job to do — good, bad or indifferent,” so he seems to understand that role a bit.
Arians could be an interesting figure as an analyst, and the job could make some sense for him. He’s done an impressive job as the Cardinals’ coach, and has given plenty of notable quotes along the way. He even said he’d be interested in ESPN’s Monday Night Football vacancy if they wanted him, and there is a possibility they might go for a coach instead of a former player or current analyst.
After all, that’s what ESPN did with Jon Gruden. (And an advantage with hiring the 65-year-old Arians is that he seems less likely to leave broadcasting to go coach again than a younger hire might.)
Heading to MNF seems like a bit of a long shot right now, but you never know. It does look like those other networks have more firm interest in Arians, though, so maybe they’re more likely landing spots. At any rate, it seems there’s a good chance we’ll see him on NFL broadcasts again this year. Just in the studio or the booth rather than on the sidelines.