Bruce Arians: 'When I talk to you, it can be ugly, but...'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday July 03, 2016

Bruce Arians is going to use colorful language when he’s criticizing a player, but he wants you to know: It’s not personal.

This weekend, Amazon released its 8-part documentary on the 2015 Arizona Cardinals, titled “All or Nothing.” Training camps for 2016 are coming up. At his first team meeting last summer, Arians told the team there’s no moral victories. There’s only one goal.

“Every year in the NFL, it’s a new team,” Arians said. “As far as goals go, we have one: Putting a f****** ring on our finger. Not a Super Bowl. A Super Bowl ring. You go to win the b****. Last year, this football team was sitting at 9-1, playing for the West championship. Didn’t get it done. No f****** excuses. Didn’t get it done.”

Arians has been on both sides of that in the Super Bowl, and that’s influenced what he tells his guys.

“The first meeting of every year, you try to build a pyramid of attaining goals to the top. Once you get a ring, you realize there’s only one goal and one successful season,” he said. “That’s the only prize that’s worth it. I’ve had the confetti fall on somebody else, and I’ve had it fall on me, and it’s a whole lot better feeling when it’s on your head.”

The episode also featured one of Arians’ self-described pet peeves: Someone taking his parking spot. It happened twice in two days, so Arians told the team, “Don’t park in the b****, or I’ll tow your ass.”

The colorful language of part of who Arians is, and that tough love is a message to new players. It’s tough, but it’s love.

“All you new guys, when I’m talking to you, a lot of times, it’s ugly,” Arians said. “But I’m not talking about you personally. I’m talking about your football. If your football sucks, I’m going to tell you your football sucks. I like you as a guy. Smoke (receiver John Brown) thought his middle name was ‘motherf*****’ last year, alright? Then he got to be ‘Smoke,’ because he started doing his shit right. It’s easy. Everybody cool?”

The first episode of the series is available to watch for free here.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to