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Players Ready For New Coach

Posted Jan 18, 2013

Cardinals look forward to seeing what life with Arians is like

LaRon Byrd (17), Andre Roberts (12) and Larry Fitzgerald (11) were among the players who commented on the Bruce Arians hire.

Before the news broke that Bruce Arians would be the Cardinals next head coach, LaRon Byrd’s phone buzzed.

It was Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, a fellow former Miami Hurricane, giving Byrd a hard time for stealing his former offensive coordinator and interim head coach.

“You’re going to love him,” Wayne texted Byrd. “He’s a great coach and he knows what he’s doing.”

With the news official by time players arrived in the locker room for treatment Friday morning, the Cardinals were expressing their excitement about having Arians as their new coach through Twitter, the Internet and in person.

“I think everybody’s excited,” quarterback Ryan Lindley said. “Obviously, the next step is getting back in the facility and getting with him and see what’s going on.”

Although Arians’ background was relatively unknown to most of the team save for him helping Pittsburgh win two Super Bowls, the Cardinals were keenly aware of the quick success he had with a young roster in Indianapolis.

And they’re expecting nothing less this season.

“It’s good because I’m a young guy so hopefully everything plays out,” said Byrd, who will be entering his second season. “It’s a new look. It’s a new year. It’s time to start fresh. We have a new face of the organization now, we just got to work for him.”

Receiver Andre Roberts and quarterback John Skelton took to Twitter to welcome Arians.

And after welcoming Arians with a congratulatory phone call from Belize Thursday night, receiver Larry Fitzgerald posted a note on his website.

“In my nine seasons here, we have struggled, we have prospered and struggled again, which is part of the competitiveness that parity has brought to the NFL landscape,” Fitzgerald wrote. “I welcome new head coach Bruce Arians, whose long-term success with many programs on the collegiate and professional levels speaks for itself. I am excited by his leadership qualities, offensive creativity, and the respect my peers from Indianapolis and Pittsburgh hold for him. I look forward to working with Coach Arians in order to understand his plan and do what’s asked of me to get back on the winning track.”

Arians spoke with a handful of players between accepting the job Thursday night and his press conference Friday morning. One phone conversation was with cornerback Patrick Peterson, who is preparing for the Pro Bowl.

“He’s excited, and I’m excited,” Arians said. “I just told him to make sure he doesn’t get injured over there in Hawaii. I’m happy for him to be representing us in the Pro Bowl. Obviously, he’s a dynamic player and I can’t wait to get working with him.”

Back in Indianapolis, Arians’ former players shared their disappointment in losing Arians on Twitter but all of them seemed genuinely excited to see him become a head coach.

“Gonna miss ole BA. Cardinals are getting a quality coach,” tweeted running back Vick Ballard.

“AZ: u guys will love #BABadAssBruceArians! He will make u run thru a wall,then cuss the wall out for scuffing your shows lol congrats coach!,” Robert Mathis tweeted.

“Damn I hate to see my guy BA go but it's well deserved, and couldn't have happened to a better man...Congrats BA!!” Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman tweeted.

As the tweets kept pouring in from the Colts, Arians hiring was making national news.

After watching Arians’ press conference, NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly said one thing was clear.

“What you see is what you get,” Casserly said. “He’s straight to the point, blunt speaking, not going to waste a lot of words. You’re going to know where you stand every minute you’re around him.”

Over the last two days Arians talked about his ability to turn teams into playoff contenders in two seasons. Last year, he bucked that trend and revived a dismal Colts team in just one year.

Part of that success came at the feet of Ballard, a rookie running back, which impressed Cards running back Ryan Williams.

“At the time, I didn’t really know who was running it but now that I know it’s him and he’s coming here, it’s impressive,” Williams said. “It’s exciting because we have the players to be successful here, too.”

Regardless of if takes one year or two, the Cardinals are looking forward to seeing what Arians can do with them.

“Any time someone comes in and they have that quick of a turnaround or success, you can’t help but be excited and look forward to having that same kind of turnaround and success for us offensively,” center Lyle Sendlein said.

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