Cardinals coach Arians needs to retire if his health continues to decline

After two hospital visits last season, it's time for Bruce Arians to consider retirement if he can't get better

This football season ended with a bang. The Super Bowl was arguably the best in history and now teams are looking to the future in order to improve and get to the "big game" as soon as possible.

While most teams will try to make major changes in free agency or get a top pick in the draft, the Arizona Cardinals are in a unique situation with their head coach and his health.

Despite the Cardinals’ struggles this season, they have a very good team and have almost all the pieces to make a push in the National Football Conference. They have a quarterback who was being considered for MVP two seasons ago, one of the best running backs in the league, plenty of other playmakers on both sides of the ball and a great coaching staff.

However, their head coach Bruce Arians dealt with two health issues that put him into the hospital in the past year. Before the season, he was taken in because his diverticulitis flared up, and during the season he was hospitalized because of chest pains.

“I’m sure he felt the weight of responsibility,” Arizona Republic sports columnist and ASU sports journalism professor of practice Paola Boivin said. ”For so long this has been an organization that has lost, you know decades of failure. And he came along and it really turned the way people feel about the franchise.”

Prior to Arians becoming the Cardinals head coach in 2013, the team had three straight losing seasons. The first season that Arians coached Arizona, they won 10 games, made the playoffs the next season and then went to the NFC Conference Championship game the season after.

This season was supposed to be the Cardinals’ year — but it just didn’t go their way when the team had its first-ever losing season under Arians, going 7-8-1.

With all the 21st Century factors, the stress of the job can be more consuming and detrimental than ever before.

“Between fans, the media and criticism I think it makes the job harder now,” Boivin said. “I don’t think this helps his situation at all.”

Even with all these factors, Arians appears to still love the game and coaching.

“He’s one of those guys who loves doing this,” Boivin said. “I could honestly see him doing another 10 years if health wasn’t an issue. I don’t see him riding off into the sunset anytime soon unless he has some more problems with his health.”

Health is a problem though. Perhaps these health scares will make Arians realize the situation he’s in and will motivate him do everything he can to get better. 

“Those kinds of moments make you reexamine your life and your future,” Boivin said.

However, if Arians continues to try to live the coaching lifestyle and his health issues persists, then he needs to step down for everyone’s sake.

Star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told The Arizona Republic he feels partly responsible for Arians’ poor health as he cited the team's sub par record. This is not a fear and responsibility that the players deserve to feel.

The players love him, but they can’t stand by and continue to watch him go downhill. It will hurt the team and too many players personally if they do, not to mention Arians' loving family.

Arians loves football, but he needs to remember how he and his health affect the people who love him. This game means so much to him, but he can’t lose sight of what is really important in life.


Reach the columnist at kmarlin1@asu.edu or follow @kynan_marlin on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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