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Arians promises disciplined, physical, fast team

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Arians promises disciplined, physical, fast team

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) After nearly 38 years in the business, at age 60, Bruce Arians finally is an NFL head coach.

And he's made it clear that he's ready to run with it.

Arians was introduced as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, promising to build a team that's ``smart, disciplined, fast and physical - accountable, no excuses.''

The man who went 9-3 as interim coach in Indianapolis after Chuck Pagano left to be treated for leukemia choked up when he talked about his family, saying of his wife ``this is our 15th move.''

And Arians moved quickly, saying he wants a staff assembled by Sunday. He parted ways with popular Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who in a matter of hours was named to the same position in Cleveland.

Arians will call the offensive plays himself, although he will bring in someone with the title of offensive coordinator.

He said he proved to himself last year that he can be a successful head coach.

``And it was fun,'' Arians said. ``I got a taste of the blood.''

His offense, he said, will be as aggressive as he is. He believes that teams can turn their fortunes around in a hurry.

``I'm a straight shooter,'' Arians said. ``I don't come home with any bullets left in the gun. I think players respect honest and discipline, and we're going to work hard. They're going to be accountable, not to me, to each other. It's not my football team. Our players will decide how good they are. It's their football team. If they want to win, we'll win. I'll show them the way. I'm no magic man. I've never tried to be.

``I'll give them the plan, execute the plan with passion and energy and Cardinals will be Cardinals - disciplined, fast, physical football.''

He wouldn't confirm reports that Todd Bowles, still under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, would be his defensive coordinator in Arizona, but he certainly spoke highly of him.

``Obviously, he's very dear to me,'' Arians said. ``He was one of my captains at Temple (where Arians was head coach for five years). He's got a bunch of Super Bowl rings as a player and he's a hell of a football coach. That's all I can say.''

Arians' long history in the sport - he coached for Bear Bryant, for heaven's sake - has made him appreciate finally getting a head coaching job, although his stint in place of Pagano taught him once and for all ``that I can do it.''

``I didn't know if it would ever happen, and I was fine without it,'' he said. ``It's been just a great journey, the relationships I've built over the years.''

Pagano said the Cardinals are getting ``a great coach but a better man.''

Arians famously left the light on in Pagano's office while the coach battled leukemia, and said he wept in his car when Pagano returned to work on Christmas Eve and, when he went home for the night, turned the light out.

``What he did in my absence was truly remarkable. I am forever in debt to Bruce,'' Pagano said. ``He is and always will be a great friend and I wish him nothing but the best as he begins this new chapter in his life.''

Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said he spoke with ``close to 10 candidates,'' a group that included Horton.

But Bidwill said he knew halfway through dinner with Arians on Wednesday night that this was the right man for the job.

``He does have a different vibe,'' Bidwill said. ``... I had heard so many great things about him. The million-dollar question here is can a guy go from coordinator to head coach. I think he answered it in Indianapolis. Then I got a chance to visit with him and get to know him. There was just no question that he's going to be a great head coach and I'm looking forward to working with him.''

Arians has emphasized the importance of building a close working relationship with his quarterback, a group that for him included a young Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger ("my other son,'' Arians said) and last year Andrew Luck.

In Arizona, the search will be on for a quarterback, be it someone already on the roster, such as Kevin Kolb, or a person Arians repeatedly refers to as ``behind Door No. 2.''

The Cardinals ranked last in the NFL in offense. Kolb was 4-2 as a starter but went down in Week 6 with a season-ending rib injury. Three other quarterbacks started as Arizona lost 10 of 11 to finish 5-11.

If Kolb returns, he probably will have to rework his contract that's due to give him $9 million, plus a $2 million roster bonus, in the coming year.

``I've seen Kevin. He can spin it,'' Arians said. ``He's had his moments, and he's had some not-so-good moments, but he's also had the crap knocked out of him a few times.''

Such as being sacked 17 times over two consecutive games.

``That's one thing I know is he's tough,'' Arians said. ``He's proven that he's tough and that's a huge part of grit.''

Arians thanked the Rooney family for his eight years in Pittsburgh, a tenure during which he won two Super Bowl rings, the last one in the Steelers' win over Arizona in 2009.

``A short time ago, this organization was 37 seconds away from the Super Bowl trophy,'' Arians said. ``I just happened to be calling plays on the other side, got real lucky, too. That's the excitement that we want to bring back. That's our goal and our only goal.''

When he parted ways with the Steelers after the 2011 season, he was supposedly in retirement. That lasted for about a week, until Pagano called, clearing the way for a remarkable season that paved the way for Arians' journey to the desert.

``I'm a lifer,'' Arians said. ``I embrace this challenge. I can't wait to get started. We're going to have a great coaching staff, and we're going to have a great team.''

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

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With another low shot total for Otto Porter, Coach Brooks says Porter needs to do more to help himself

After a night in which Otto Porter Jr. only took nine total shots, just two of them in the second half, many questions from Wizards reporters in the postgame locker room centered on how the team can get him more involved. This came on the heels of a seven-shot, zero-three outing for Porter against the Heat on Thursday and a preseason in which getting him more attempts was a persistent storyline.

It sounds like some are tired of talking about it. Point guard John Wall, who is part of the equation as the team's main distributor and highest usage player, put it in relatively strong terms.

"This will be the last time I talk about Otto Porter getting threes," Wall said. 

Wall went on to explain how it's a combination of defenses taking away the three-point line for Porter and the flow of the game creating better shots for others. It's a common explanation Wall has given on the matter in recent weeks, and it's understandable.

Head coach Scott Brooks has admitted his own role in Porter not getting enough shots, how more plays could be called for the small forward. But after the loss to Toronto, one in which Porter played just south of 25 minutes, he was a bit more blunt in his assessment.

Brooks believes Porter can be doing a lot more to help himself.

"Gotta get yourself open," Brooks said. 

When asked about Porter playing fewer minutes than usual, Brooks went on about the need for guys to play hard. That warranted a follow-up, as it seemed Brooks was questioning Porter's hustle.

Brooks explained what he meant by that in detail.

"You've got to move. You've got to set yourself up. You've got to run the floor. We got a fast point guard. I don’t know if you guys know that but he’s fast and if our wings aren’t running, what good is it when you’re going to have a one-man break? What makes teams play with pace is guys running." 

"I love Otto. You guys know that. But he has to play faster. He has to. Physically, he’s not going to jump over anybody and dunk over everybody, but he has to get himself into position. He’s a big-time player for us. He’s a glue guy. He makes winning basketball plays. He gets in plays but he has to do that consistently for us. He can’t do it for a half. He has to do it for the entire game. The guy can do it. I’ve seen it. He didn’t do it tonight but he’s going to bounce back. He didn’t do it the first two games but he’s going to bounce back and do it. And we need it.”

Porter, 25, was the Wizards' most efficient player last season, but averaged only 11.5 shots per game. With one of the best three-point shots in the NBA, the numbers suggest he should have a larger role.

The Wizards insist they are trying to get him more involved. In their eyes, it's time for Porter to do his part.

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Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Bradley Beal honored to pass Gilbert Arenas on all-time three-pointer list

Saturday night produced a link between some of the best players in recent Wizards/Bullets franchise history.

With a fourth-quarter three, Bradley Beal surpassed Gilbert Arenas on the franchise list for career triples

Beal, an All-Star last season, has already established himself as one of the best to play for Washington in decades. Afterwards, he paid homage to the man whose record he broke.

"I was always a fan of Gil. He was Agent Zero," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. 

"I loved everything about him; his confidence, his swagger on the floor. Granted, everyone talks about his off-the-court stuff, but what he did on the court is just untouchable. It's untouchable. He's a legend, for sure. Part of me wishes I could have played with him and just learned from him in a lot of ways. That's an accomplishment for me. I'm happy I was able to surpass it because he is a legend, in my opinion anyway."

Arenas' tenure with the Wizards was epic for its highs and lows. At his peak, he was arguably the most dangerous scorer in the NBA. But his downfall both on the court and off has left him as a notorious figure in the game's recent history.

John Wall, who has assisted on many of Beal's three-pointers, played with Arenas back in the 2010-11 season as a rookie. He is happy for his current teammate, who now has a distinct place in the team's history books.

"He's probably the best shooter I've ever played with in my eyes, so it's great to see him accomplish that," Wall said. "He's going to keep setting the bar higher and higher."

Beal passed Arenas in just the second game of his seventh NBA season. He's only 25 years old, so odds are he will keep adding to his franchise record for many years to come.

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