(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
So far, I like Bruce Arians. I like him a lot. I like his personality. I like the offense he is installing. Most of all, I like the fact that Arians is able to be frank and honest about his players with the media [emphasis mine].
Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Tuesday that, in the first practice after his new team shellacked the Rams, 38-3, the players were a little too smitten with the outcome of Sunday’s exhibition.
"I thought we were very lackluster in practice today, especially the rookies," Arians said, in comments distributed by the team. "I think they read the paper, fiddled-farted around out here, had a really poor practice. Eventually, I thought they came out and practiced real well. But mostly, the rookies, especially the receivers had a very poor day. We can’t be up and down with those guys. You’ve got to come out and practice every single day and not live on your laurels. You won’t have laurels very long."
Take a moment to appreciate this. As fans, we never, EVER heard this type of honestly from the previous coaching regime. In fact, for those of you who don't know, assistant coaches under Jim Caldwell, Tony Dungy, and Jim Mora were flat out forbidden to talk to media. If they did, they were at risk of being fired.
The new regime in Indy allowing assistant coaches, specifically the coordinators, to talk after practices has worked out well.— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) August 15, 2012
Dungy wanted the coordinators to talk when he was in Indy in order to help their chances to become head coaches and follow same path he did.— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) August 15, 2012
But as much as Dungy wanted the coordinators to be out front and talking, higher powers put a big kibosh on those ideas.— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) August 15, 2012
The dictatorial hand of Bill Polian was a major reason why quality assistant coaches didn't find Indianapolis an attractive organization to work for. Guys like Howard Mudd "retired," and then unretired a year later when offered a job by another franchise.
Back to Arians, at his post-practice pow-wow with the media, he tossed out a few more gems worth mentioning. When asked about the Darren Evans fumble in the preseason game, and how Evans was allowed to stay in the game after the fumble and score a touchdown, Arians replied:
He's lucky we got it back or he wouldn't be in there anymore. Ain't no "bouncin' back" from fumbles. We're just lucky we got it back. We can't give the football up.
When asked what the runningbacks have to do to separate themselves from the pack:
Four yards or more. Don't be dancing around trying to make long runs. Get positive yardage. Block linebackers and safeties in pass protection. Play all-around football.
When asked about the play of Chandler Harnish against the Rams:
Nice job. He bounced back from a real poor week of practice. I was really happy to see the look in his eye on the field.
Kind of neat, right? Simple, honest answers to questions about his players. No dancing around. No stupid catch phrases. Just a coach talking football.