Blog Entry

Arians retired after not getting new contract

Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:17 pm
Yes, Bruce Arians retired but only after Pittsburgh didn't offer him a new contract. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

First, there was speculation that Bruce Arians might not return as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. Then the word on the street was that he would retire. A day later, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that he would've been fired if he didn't leave.

Today, we finally hear from Arians, who spoke to the York Daily Record (Pa.) about his final days with the organization. He said he retired when he "wasn't offered a contract." After that, "it was an easy decision for me."

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Arians added that team president Art Rooney II didn't give him a reason. "I can't answer that question," he said. "Only the people there can. That's the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don't have any regrets."

Arians was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, head coach Mike Tomlin's first year with the Steelers. In four of five seasons, Pittsburgh was a top-10 offense, according to Football Outsiders (and the only year they weren't, 2008, they won the Super Bowl). Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flourished under Arians, but the Steelers got away from what they had previously been known for: running the ball.

Last week, Rooney was asked if he wanted Arians back in 2012.

“Well, that’s really Mike (Tomlin's) decision," he told KDKA's Bob Pompeani. "I mean, and that’s the process Mike’s involved in right now is talking to all of the coaches about where they are and where they are with their contracts, so I think that’s something – I’ll leave it to those guys to kind of work out where we’re going on that front.”

Rooney was also asked about the perception that Roethlisberger and Arians' had more a "father-son relationship instead of a boss-employer relationship." (No idea why this matters but apparently it does.)

“Well, I think first you have to look at the success that they’ve had," he said. "With Bruce and Ben, we’ve had a pretty good run here, so I’m not sure that I would complain too much about what the relationship has been and it’s been a productive one and that’s the key part of the puzzle.”

It was Roethlisberger who helped save Arians' job several years ago when there were first discussions of letting him ago. Big Ben reportedly tried again this time with no success.

"He's not happy," Arians said, "but that's part of the business."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac wrote over the weekend that the decision to part ways with Arians seemed to come from Rooney, and Tomlin told Arians several times that he wanted him back in 2012.

Arians told the Daily Record that he has already been contacted by five or six teams but didn't go into specifics.

The most obvious choice? Steelers West: the Arizona Cardinals. Rapid Reporter Craig Morton writes that "Arians does have Steelers ties to multiple Cards coaches (including Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm, Ray Horton and former Steelers player-turned-assistant Deshea Townsend). Arizona has a vacant QBs coach position."

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Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:56 am

Arians retired after not getting new contract

Did the Steelers even run a Play action pass (PAP) play all year?  I don't remember too many.  We preferred to be predictable and wait until the last second to snap the ball everytime so the defense could easily get a jump on the rush on every play.  A good OC would have stopped Ben from doing that.

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:53 am

Arians retired after not getting new contract

When you have a top of the line QB, a pretty good (not great) set of running backs and the WR corps (great) that the Steelers had, you have to finish higher than 21st (I could be off by a couple) in offense in the league.  Arians didn't.   His 'prevent offense' that he would put our team in to (much like the second quarter of most games this year, but especially the Denver game), would hurt us every time.  Our offense was never able to put anyone away.  We always played to the level of our competition, which is why we were in so many close games againts teams that we should have crushed.  I say good riddens to Arians and I hope that he stays away from the Steelers instead of becoming a bitter nuisance, like he is apparently trying to be.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:40 am

Arians retired after not getting new contract

I am glad Bruce Arians is no longer the OC in Pittsburgh. He became too arrogant with the success the tean was having in the passing game. When a running play was the better option, he would continue to throw,throw and throw. Ben like the fact that Arians allowd him to throw more and run less. Ben is not an elite thrower, but more of an elite manager of the game. We are a better team when we run more than we pass. My other argument with Arians was those ridiculous wide receiver screens. It became apparent, throughout the the league, when the Steelers stacked the 4-receivers set on the right side, it was a WR screen. Suggs had an INT in Pittsburgh just by standing at the line of scrimmage and getting in the passing lane and Ben threw it right at him. Others teams like Den( playoffs), Cle, SF,Cincy and the rest started attacking the WR's in this set. A good OC is not only about designing plays but calling the right plays at the right time. Arians was getting very predictable each week and Tomlin made the right the decision to can him. The next OC need to develope the running game and keep Brees wanna-be Ben on a short leash.

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:18 pm

Arians retired after not getting new contract's much more than that. For the type of defense the Steelers employ, they need an offensive mindset to protect the defense.
They need to be much better in the red-zone, and much more consistant moving the ball and controlling the TOP. They also have to re-establish a bruising running game that can run downhill in the late stages of the game. That will open up the PAP game, and then allow games to be put away early.

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: January 24, 2012 5:57 pm

Arians retired after not getting new contract

Interesting.  They seem pretty succesful on offense, but I guess they want to go back to the ground pounding ways of the Steelers past.  

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