Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has been hired as the Arizona Cardinals' new head coach, the team announced Thursday, shortly after two sources told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport about the deal.
The Cardinals said Arians received a contract for four years, with a team option for a fifth year.
"I never thought it was going to come," Arians said, according to the Cardinals' official website. "I appreciate it so much. I will give it every single thing I have. The passion and energy I bring to this is something I love to do.
"The more I got to meet with everyone here, the more I got excited for the opportunity," Arians added. "I knew it was the right fit for me."
Arians became a 2012 NFL Coach of the Year candidate while he filled in for Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who missed most of the season to undergo leukemia treatment. The Colts went 9-3 with Arians holding the title of interim coach, and quarterback Andrew Luck developed into a rookie of the year candidate. Indianapolis had the NFL's 10th-ranked offense with rookies playing at quarterback, running back, tight end and wide receiver, not to mention its banged-up offensive line.
The Cardinals are the last of eight NFL teams to fill their head coach opening. They fired Ken Whisenhunt, a former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator, to hire another former Steelers offensive coordinator. Arians described the difference between the two Thursday, when he met with the media after interviewing for the Cardinals job, which he wanted.
"I have a pretty good job sitting back in Indianapolis," Arians said, according to The Arizona Republic. "Do I want to be a head coach? Definitely. But just to be one? No."
Arians added that he had a pretty good feeling about the Cardinals, but his success will be tied to the quarterback, where he has had success with Luck and Ben Roethlisberger. Arizona has talent on defense and at the offensive skill positions. The offensive line needs some work, but the combination of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley combined to throw 10 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. None of the three completed 60 percent of his passes.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.