(CBS) Among their many missteps the last decade, none may haunt the Bears quite like letting Bruce Arians leave Halas Hall.
Arians interviewed with the Bears’ brass in January 2013 after general manager Phil Emery elected to fire coach Lovie Smith. Weeks shy of being named NFL Coach of the Year after a successful stint as the Colts’ interim head coach, Arians seemed to be the front-runner for the Bears. Instead, they allowed him to leave and hired Marc Trestman instead.
Trestman was fired after two tumultuous seasons, while Arians has found success with the Cardinals and was named NFL Coach of the Year again in 2014.
“I thought the interview was fantastic,” Arians recalled of his visit with the Bears in an interview with the Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score. “I really was waiting for a call to tell me I had the job. Now, every time I look at the Weather Channel, I’m glad I didn’t. Especially in January.”
Arians is 50-25 as an NFL head coach, including 41-22 with the Cardinals. His team has reached the playoff twice in four seasons. Trestman went 13-19 with the Bears and was fired after the 2014 season after losing the locker room in Chicago. He is now coach of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
The Bears are now coached by John Fox, who’s 9-23 in two seasons. The organization has gone 22-42 since passing on Arians in 2013.
Arians now has a book out entitled “The Quarterback Whisperer,” which documents his work as a coach and the details behind his success in developing quarterbacks. If he had coached the Bears, Arians would’ve worked with quarterback Jay Cutler, who retired from football after last season.
Instead, Cutler never fully clicked with Trestman — ultimately being benched by him in the final weeks of the 2014 season — and was released by the regime of Fox and Ryan Pace.
“I really enjoyed my visit with Jay,” Arians said. “We talked for about an hour during my interview. I really liked what he was all about as a guy. I thought he was really anxious to become good again — not that he never was. I thought those pieces were there.”
The Bears now have veteran Mike Glennon as their new starting quarterback, with No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky waiting in the wings.
It will be the task of Fox to sort through Glennon’s position and Trubisky’s development.
“You just coach them both and play the best one,” Arians said. “Coach them both and whichever one takes the lead, let them take the lead until the young one overtakes him — or if (Trubisky) overtakes (Glennon) overall.
“You got to do what’s best for your football team. I have high regards for Mike Glennon and Mitchell. I think they’re really good players. They can fix their room for sure.
“You got a guy who’s capable of leading teams, and (if) the other guy is the superstar you hope he is, it’ll take a little time because of the system change. And you got a chance to win.”
Listen to Arians’ full interview below.