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Wearing a Super Bowl ring from his days in Pittsburgh prominently on his right hand, he said his stint as head coach in Indy taught him that being a head coach is “not as hard as it’s supposed to be.”

“It’s really not,” Arians said. “I think it’s all about building relationships. Coaching is all about relationships. As long as it’s built on trust, loyalty, and respect, anything is possible.”

When the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Thursday, Arizona’s job was the only one still open.

Arians was wide receivers coach in Pittsburgh and he succeeded Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator there. He was Steelers offensive coordinator when Pittsburgh beat Whisenhunt’s Cardinals in the 2009 Super Bowl. Arians left the Steelers to become Pagano’s offensive coordinator last year, taking over as interim coach when Pagano left for treatment for leukemia.

“It has been an unbelievable 12 months for me personally,” Arians said.

McCoy was among those interviewed by Cardinals President Michael Bidwill. Other known Arizona candidates were Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

Horton has a year left on his contract and his future with the organization was in question.

Asked Thursday afternoon if he would keep Horton as defensive coordinator if he got the Arizona job, Arians declined to discuss the prospect.

“Right now it’s way too early in the process,” Arians said. “Obviously, I know Ray. I’ve got a history with Ray. But all those things would be way down the road. Guys are under contract. You can’t really comment on staff members at this point in time.”

Horton was defensive backs coach with the Steelers when Arians was offensive coordinator there.

The Cardinals had the worst offense in the NFL, and Arians downplayed any similarities to his offensive scheme and the one used by Whisenhunt. He said that after Whisenhunt left the Steelers for Arizona, he and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sat down and simplified the playbook.

Arians said his offense has some similarities, but many differences from the one implemented by Whisenhunt.

Arians emphasized the importance of building a close relationship with the quarterback.

“As a head coach or an offensive coordinator, you’re tied to that guy,” Arians said. “Your future is him. You better realize that, and you better have a heck of a strong relationship so that when it’s really tough in the game, he’s telling you what he’s seeing, not what he thinks you might want to hear.”

Quarterback is a major problem for Arizona. The only one of the four who got a start in the Cardinals‘ 5-11 season that had any success was Kevin Kolb, and he went down with a rib injury in Week 6 and never returned.

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