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Bruce Arians Returns "Full Go"

Posted Nov 23, 2016

Head coach back on the field for Cardinals, not worried about health

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians (left) talks with tight ends coach Rick Christophel during practice Wednesday.

Bruce Arians was at practice Wednesday as expected, “full go” as he proclaimed right after it was over.

That was about as far as the Cardinals’ coach wanted to get into the subject of his health, after a stay in the hospital Sunday night – his second hospital stint in four months.

He called the situation “precautionary” and reiterated what he had said in a brief video Tuesday that he wouldn’t try and dial back anything because the “worst thing you can do is hold your emotions inside.”

And he was plain in his explanation of why it was important for him to get back to work quickly.

“Because that’s what I do,” Arians said with a chuckle. “That’s what I do.”

The Cardinals will have their coach going forward. There had been little doubt of it even Monday, when players were told Arians would be fine. That held up Tuesday when Arians was taking part in the regular gameplanning for the week and then again Wednesday as on the field work began.

“He’s as tough as they come,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “He’s as tough as any player in that locker room. Whatever happened happened, he got it checked out, he looks great as you can see.

“Thankfully it was on an off day, and thankfully he’s fine,” Palmer added. “There’s no difference from the Bruce today than the Bruce last Wednesday.”

The 64-year-old Arians didn’t address his long-term future at all, although there are zero indications he has any thought other than coaching going forward. There is little question NFL head coach is one of the more stressful jobs regardless of age.

Arians spent some time in the hospital in August because of what turned out to be diverticulitis, an infection of the colon. He had a health scare in 2013, missing the Colts’ playoff game as their offensive coordinator because of an ear infection. He is a survivor of prostate cancer. He also suffered health issues during his head coaching stint at Temple from 1983-1988, but Arians has said that came about because he did not delegate enough work. That is not a problem during his current head coaching job.

“I’m glad that Bruce is OK,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said. “He’s a terrific competitor as a coach, so I’m glad to see that he’s doing fine. We all recognize it’s a really stressful job, and it does take balance. We don’t always do a good job of handling that balance. But, at the end of it, you just try to do the best that you can, knowing that you’re trying to manage yourself so you’re at your best for the team.”

Asked about Larry Fitzgerald’s comment this week that the players felt they had contributed to Arians’ stress by playing poorly, Arians said “I’m glad he feels that way” – but then talked about the poor play causing defeats.

For the coach, it was clear he wanted his team worried not of his stress level but the effect it has on the won-loss record.

“You get frustrated because you’re out here to win,” Arians said. “We’re not out here to play .500 ball.”

The Cardinals need to win Sunday just to get back to .500, and to keep slim playoff hopes alive. They feel better with their coach at the helm.

“We’re grateful to have him back,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “Hopefully we can use it as motivation to get a win and take some of the stress off.”

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