The brilliant and unusual career of Bruce Arians has come to an end.
The Arizona Cardinals coach announced his retirement from coaching during a tearful, emotional news conference Monday.
"The tears you see are really tears of joy, peace," Arians said. "I'll miss the players. I'll miss coming out of the locker room, hearing the national anthem because it still gets me ...
"I probably truly didn't know until that kick [Sunday] went through that I was going to retire. I know everybody speculated for months ... you now have the story. Like I said, it's been an unbelievable journey."
Fresh off a disappointing, injury-riddled campaign in Arizona, Arians leaves the team with a 49-30-1 mark after a five-year run that included a pair of playoff appearances. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Cardinals have put in a request to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for their coaching vacancy.
Waiting longer than most for a head-coaching opportunity, Arians turned heads in 2012 when he stepped in for ailing Colts coach Chuck Pagano, guiding the team to nine wins and three losses and earning Coach of the Year honors. Two years later, Arians nabbed that award again in Arizona.
A fountain of wit and pro-football knowledge, Arians battled health issues over the past two seasons, a factor that clearly played into his decision to walk away.
He was always more than just a coach. In a league where coach-speak dominates, Arians was a comprehensive breath of fresh air. Unafraid to drop verbal bombs and sailor's language on reporters, he also rivaled Bill Belichick when it came to espousing knowledge on the game we love.