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6. Bruce Arians/Arizona

Predecessor: Ken Whisenhunt

Others interviewed: The most intriguing candidate was Horton, whose work over the past two seasons helped Arizona field a standout defense. But when Steve Keim was promoted to general manager, he opted to head in another direction.

Why Arians?: Arians’ knockout work in place of the ailing Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis earned him 2012 NFL Coach of the Year honors. Arians has a track record of success working with quarterbacks. Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger are his prized pupils.

Biggest philosophical change: Arians likes to pass as much as Whisenhunt did, but there will likely be better balance in Arizona’s offensive attack. One of the reasons for Whisenhunt’s demise was the failure to develop a running game that took pressure off what proved a revolving door of quarterbacks. Todd Bowles, who inherited a 4-3 scheme when promoted to defensive coordinator in Philadelphia during the 2012 season, will be returning to his 3-4 background as Horton’s replacement.

Most pressing task: Arians and Keim have to rebuild the NFL’s 32nd-ranked offense. With the exception of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, there are personnel deficiencies across the board from quarterback on down. On the bright side, Arians helped the Colts rebound from having the league’s worst record in 2011 to reaching the playoffs last season. The defense also is returning largely intact.

Outlook: Keim’s decision to bypass Horton was curious. The same could be said of new Chargers general manager Tom Telesco’s hiring of McCoy – someone he has never worked with before – instead of Arians, who was with him in Indianapolis in 2012.

(AP Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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