|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 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. CBSSports.com 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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