Bruce Arians is adjusting to the nuances of being a game analyst for the NFL ON CBS.
For instance, the former Arizona Cardinals coach likes to think of himself as "a storyteller." However, there isn't much time to tell stories in a fast-paced NFL telecast where a 15-second sound bite can seem like an eternity.
"You have to get in and get out quickly and talk about what's happening," Arians said.
Then there is the issue with the ear piece Arians wears. He still is getting used to the fact that there is considerable communication occurring between the booth and the production truck while he is on the air.
"The hardest thing is to not answer when (the producer) asks me a question in my ear while I'm talking," Arians said. "Finally, he said, 'Just don't answer the question.'"
It is all part of the transition that Arians is making this year. After more than 40 years as a college and NFL coach, he decided to call it a career following the 2017 season, stepping down as coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Always quotable and colorful, he quickly landed with CBS, teaming with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green for game coverage. The crew will be in London Sunday for the Tennessee Titans-Los Angeles Chargers game.
Working the first part of the season for CBS only has served to confirm to Arians, 66, that he made the right choice in retiring as a coach.
"While I miss the players and coaches, I don't miss coaching," Arians said. "I knew it was time when I made the announcement. When the season started and I didn't experience (any withdrawal from coaching), then I really knew it was time. That has been the easy part. Broadcasting has given me a new career."
Arians says it is important for him to remain connected to the game. He really enjoys getting to sit in on pregame production meetings with coaches and players.
"It's fun to get to see a different side of coaches and getting to talk to players I didn't know," Arians said.
Arians also is enjoying the perspective of seeing the game from up high in the booth as opposed to being on the sidelines. It allows him to see the plays develop in a different way.
Arians insists he isn't having any trouble critiquing players, some of whom played for him, and many coaches who are former colleagues and close friends. Last week, he called the Indianapolis Colts-New York Jets game. That meant he had to review the play of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who was a rookie when Arians was with the Colts in 2012, and Jets coach Todd Bowles, who was Arians' defensive coordinator in Arizona.
"You have to be honest with everyone and try to keep your feelings out of it as much as possible," Arians said. "I'm sure (his feelings) leaked in a bit with Todd Bowles and Andrew Luck last week. But you have to analyze the game as it happens and not about who's doing it."
The coach, though, still is in Arians. He admits that there are things that drive him crazy, such as missed tackles. However, he knows he has to be controlled in his comments.
"I just can't blurt out, 'What was he thinking there?'" Arians said. "Like last week, Indianapolis dropped so many passes early on. You have to say it, but you don't want to beat a dead horse."
After teaching the game for so many years, Arians is getting broadcast lessons from Gumbel. As an offensive coach, he shares a similar chemistry with Green, a former quarterback.
"We both like to go for it on fourth down," Arians said.
One thing that hasn't changed for Arians is his choice of hats. He still wears his signature houndstooth drivers cap on telecasts. The Arizona Cardinals version he wore as coach, along with other merchandise, can be purchased on his website, Ariansfamilyfoundation.org. All proceeds go to CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates that help children navigate the foster care system.
London-bound: The NFL GameDay Morning crew will have a dramatic change in venue and assignment on Oct. 28. Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci, Kurt Warner and Michael Irvin will make the jump from the NFL Network's Los Angeles studios to the field at London's Wembley Stadium to call the Week 8 matchup between the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The game is the final of the NFL's three 2018 London games, kicking off at 9:30 a.m ET and airing exclusively on NFL Network.
"NFL GameDay Morning has some of the most knowledgeable voices covering the NFL, and their chemistry resonates with fans every Sunday," said Mark Quenzel, NFL senior vice president of programming and production. "Bringing this team, their experience and unique perspective together for a live national game telecast between Jacksonville and Philadelphia in London was an opportunity we wanted to take advantage of."
Eisen will handle play-by-play duties on a NFL regular season game for the first time in his 24-year broadcasting career. He has previously called a live game telecast of the Senior Bowl for NFL Network.
"After a decade-and-a-half of planting new broadcast flags for the NFL Network, this one may be the most thrilling of all," Eisen said. "I can't wait to get to Wembley to start the call so I'm going to use this press release to remind everyone that the yellow line is unofficial."