TEMPE, Ariz. -- The idea for Bruce Arians’ book, “The Quarterback Whisperer,” was hatched long before he was the Arizona Cardinals' head coach. And before he was the Indianapolis Colts' offensive coordinator. And before he was fired by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Seven years ago, Arians’ longtime friend Mike Fetchko, whom Arians met while coaching at Temple in the 1980s, suggested the idea for a book as a way for Arians to compile a career's worth of stories in one place.
And that was before Arians was “re-fired” by the Steelers in early 2012, hired by the Colts soon after, took over as Indianapolis' interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia during the 2012 season and hired by the Cardinals for his first head-coaching job at age 60 in 2013.
“He’s been after me, bugging me for like seven years,” Arians said of Fetchko.
Then, two years ago, the book was put into motion when Arians met author Lars Anderson. Together they wrote “The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback” over a bevy of conversations and cocktails. Arians called the process of writing his first book an “easy collaboration, once I got to know him.”
Arians has read the final product twice, he told ESPN. And he’s satisfied with how it turned out.
“I’m happy with it,” Arians said. “Yeah, I’m happy with it. There’s a lot of stories that could’ve been put in. We couldn’t get them all in, especially a bunch of the Temple stories.
“Maybe another time.”
Arians isn’t a big reader, but he didn’t mind opening up about his private life and coaching career. He told stories about getting expelled from high school; drinking paint; proposing to his wife, Christine; hitchhiking; and having a gun pulled on him while he tended bar in college.
“I don’t care,” Arians said about opening his life to the public. “People see you all the time.”
Not being an avid reader didn’t affect how Arians approached the book, he said.
“It was really easy,” Arians said. “It was basically having cocktails and telling stories, and writing and rewriting and taking care of it.”
A large portion of the book was spent on quarterbacking: how to develop them; how to learn to be one; and stories about the great ones that Arians coached.
But Arians doesn’t know if his book will become a bible of sorts to quarterbacks of any age, considering he has coached four of the best of this era: Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “You never know when you do those things. I just had fun doing it.”