TEMPE, Ariz. – When an Arizona Cardinals’ offensive play goes awry – or is executed to perfection – there’s no one for head coach Bruce Arians to blame or give credit to.
He calls all the offensive plays.
Arians is one of 10 head coaches around the league who are responsible for calling their team's offensive or defensive plays now that Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy relinquished the Packers’ offensive play calling responsibilities.
Of those 10, eight call offensive plays and two – Buffalo’s Rex Ryan and Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer – call defensive plays.
Arians happens to be the only head coach who calls his own plays to have made the playoffs last season. Arizona’s offense was ranked 24th in the league, but it was also battered by injuries at quarterback, running back and tight end.
Despite being in the bottom 10 in eight offensive categories, the Cardinals were among the league’s best in sacks allowed, turnovers committed, fumbles and fumbles lost. The teams whose head coaches call their offense found varied success: New Orleans was ranked No. 1 in offense last season while Tennessee was 29th.
Former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt directed the Titans’ offense to 26 touchdowns last season – one less than Arizona.
Regardless of what the stats say, the Cardinals keep on winning.