A year ago, former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians stepped in for ailing head coach Chuck Pagano and helped turn the Indianapolis Colts from the worst team in the NFL in 2011 to a playoff team in 2012. He earned the NFL Coach of the Year Award in the process.
Now in Arizona, he's taken the Cardinals -- 5-11 a year ago -- and turned them into a 7-4 team going into their game in Philadelphia. They have won four in a row, are in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot and Arians is lining himself up to become an answer to a trivia question:
Who is the only coach to win back-to-back Associated Press coach of the year honors, but with different teams?
The New York Times this week was the latest to raise the possibility of Arians going back-to-back.
For the record: The only coach to win the award in consecutive years is Don Shula (1967-68) -- both seasons with the Baltimore Colts.
Shutting out the noise
Struggling Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, who returns to the starting lineup today vs. Jacksonville, knows the fans are booing him. He insists, though, he has shut out all the negativity. "(I've) gotten rid of Twitter and all that junk," he told the Akron Beacon-Journal. "I don't need 5-year-old kids telling me how to play the quarterback position."
Safe and sound
Among the hits San Francisco's defense administered to Robert Griffin III Monday night in its 27-6 win against the Redskins was a kick to the groin. Afterward, Griffin said it was no big deal. "There will be a Griffin IV," he told the Washington Post. "There will be."
Jonathan Martin's season is officially over. The Miami Dolphins put the troubled offensive tackle on the reserve/non-football illness list Saturday, freeing up his roster spot so safety D.J. Campbell could be promoted from the team's practice squad.
Don't box him in
For three months, pundits have attempted to label the offense former college coach Chip Kelly has installed in Philadelphia. A zone-read offense? A read-option offense? A West Coast offense? Kelly this week poked a little fun at those who would put him in some sort of box on a grid. "We run the See Coast offense," Kelly joked. "If we see something and we like it ... we're going to run it."
Seattle receiver Percy Harvin is listed as doubtful for the Seahawks' game Monday vs. New Orleans because of lingering soreness in his surgically repaired right hip. ... The Lions' 40-10 rout of Green Bay Thursday was their first win on Thanksgiving Day since 2003. ... Wide receiver Michael Crabtree is expected to play for the first time today since Achilles tendon surgery six months ago. ... Linebacker Tamba Hali (ankle) is also expected back for the Chiefs' AFC West showdown with Denver. ... With three receptions for 53 yards Thursday, Dallas tight end Jason Witten added to his all-time Thanksgiving-best totals. He has 65 receptions for 732 yards -- most of any receiver on the holiday since 1960.