Bruce Arians calls Cardinals offense 'putrid'

Not even a Bruce Arians offense can overcome a porous O-line. (USATSI)

Bruce Arians didn't need to say it -- anyone with at least one good eye can see that the Cardinals' offense is a train wreck -- but the first-year coach coach was asked about it. So he dutifully obliged.

"It was putrid," he said, via the team's web site. “I haven’t seen it take this long ever."

Arizona is coming off a 13-10 win over Tampa Bay, and that was sparked by a fourth-quarter Patrick Peterson interception.

Some of the putridity has to do with players learning a new scheme, while some of it is a function of an offensive line incapable of blocking anybody.

We don't bring this up as a criticism so much as to suggest that maybe an offense's success is based on more than the guy calling the plays. This fact seems to be lost on those Steelers fans who want offensive coordinator Todd Haley -- who, it turns out, replaced Arians prior to the 2012 season -- run out of town. This has been an ongoing conversation pretty much since Haley was hired.

Of course, revisionist historians will point to those halcyon days when Arians had quarterback Ben Roethlisberger maximizing his talents in an explosive downfield passing offense.

The part these folks conveniently leave out: Arians' offense routinely set Roethlisberger up to take a beating, or that Haley had a lot of success for the first half of the 2012 season, right up until Big Ben was injured.

As it stands, both the Cardinals and Steelers' offenses are horrible and the reasons are varied. Arians and Haley bear some responsibility, but it's hard to overlook the lack of talent at key positions, particularly along both offensive lines.

“It’s part of growing as a unit. A new system, new players, there’s not a lot of continuity, really anywhere."

That was Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer, but it just as easily could have been any Pittsburgh player.

The point: One person can't fix the Steelers. Same holds for the Cardinals. Both teams have so many holes that not even the mythical Arians offense can overcome them.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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