Bruce Arians is no longer the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. His 12-game tenure ended the moment Chuck Pagano walked into his Monday press conference and announced, with applause, that he is back as the head coach after a 12 week leave of absence to battle leukemia. Arians now fades back into his singular role as offensive coordinator, but that doesn't mean he will stay there when the season ends.
From looking at the landscape, it's possible that eight NFL franchises will have head coaching vacancies this offseason. Arians, who sharpened his resume in Pittsburgh as the Super Bowl-winning O.C. of Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense, will likely get a few phone calls from general managers and owners looking to fill coaching spots.
And if the calls come, Arians will listen, or so he told Zack Gelb of WHIP in Philadelphia:
"I want to make sure they have a chance to win and see what the situation is, what city it is in. But definitely would listen, yes."
Now, for those of you freaking out that Arians might bolt the Colts and Andrew Luck just one year into his tenure as O.C., coach offered this:
"We’ll listen to see if it’s right for me and my family. I’m not just gonna run away to be a head coach, I’m not gonna do that."
Teams like the Chiefs and the Browns are likely to have head coaching vacancies. Arians worked as an assistant in both places. The Eagles are also likely to fire Andy Reid. Philadelphia is well known to Arians. He was the head coach of Temple from 1983-1988.
Another team to consider is the Chargers. Norv Turner is on the outs there, and Chuck Pagano's brother, John, is the defensive coordinator there. Arians might find that destination attractive, and perhaps his offensive system would help Philip Rivers, who has been a train wreck at quarterback this year.
Personally, I think he'll stay in Indianapolis. He loves the franchise, and has a close bond with Pagano, Andrew Luck, Jim Irsay, and several players.