For the Bears, it ranks as one of the great might-have-been’s, behind perhaps only the late Jim Finks’ near-miss effort at hiring Bill Walsh to coach the Bears.
Bruce Arians was on the Bears’ list of semifinalists for the coaching vacancy left by Lovie Smith’s firing in 2013. Arians was then on the list of three finalists, losing out ultimately to Marc Trestman despite the strong recommendation of then-defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli (whom the Bears then lost because of that incident).
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All old news at this point, but Arians went instead to coach the Arizona Cardinals, coach them to 10-6 and 11-5 seasons and the playoffs last year. If there were hard feelings – and why should there be, at least on Arians’ part – they’re not apparent.
“They were the first ones to put paperwork [for permission to interview] in for me so that was the first interview I gave,” Arians said on Wednesday. “I felt very comfortable; I thought it was a great organization, Phil [Emery] and all the guys there, Mr. [George] McCaskey - they were great. It was a day I felt went very well and they made a decision and I went on with it.”
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As far as things ultimately working out for the best, at least for him?
“There's no doubt,” Arians said. “Things always do.”