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Arizona Cardinals' Bruce Arians wins Coach of the Year

PHOENIX -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was announced as the 2014 Coach of the Year at NFL Honors on Saturday.

Two years after winning the same award with the Indianapolis Colts, Arians was recognized for guiding his team to the league's best record through Thanksgiving despite the loss of his franchise quarterback, his backup quarterback and a handful of valuable starters on defense.

He is the 11th coach to capture the award twice.

Competing in the NFL's toughest division, Arians has produced back-to-back double-digit victories in his first two years with the Cardinals. Don Coryell (1974 to 1976) is the only other coach in the franchise's 94-year history to accomplish that feat.

It's a tribute to Arians that the Cardinals are truly a team, playing for each other, while feeding off their head coach's steely confidence.

The early-December win in St. Louis provided a glimpse of Arians' style. He swaggered to the post-game podium, credited his players with a "great team victory" and napalmed the skeptics.

"I love it when nobody says you have a chance to win. There is an 11-3 team and a team that is always 8-8," Arians said. "You figure it out."

Even more than his team's "never give up" attitude, Arians has impressed us with his aggressive play-calling and game management. He's an excellent strategist as well as a charismatic leader.

Credit general manager Steve Keim for inspiring devotion and intensity from his players.

"He has such a unique gift of MF-ing them during the week and getting them to play hard for him on Sunday," Keim told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver during the season. "He works them and works them and breaks them down, and yet the players genuinely love him. It's an art form. I've never seen anything like it."

For a more in-depth account of Arians' "artistic genius" that has driven the franchise's resurgence, check out Silver's fascinating "The Cardinal Rule" profile.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews Super Bowl XLIX and gives our picks for the big game. Watch the entire show (and Wess eat his softball pants) on NFL NOW.

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