As the Steelers' offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians has a Super Bowl ring and many, many critics. Some of those run the football team, and while they have not come down on Arians publicly, they have issued some marching orders.
President Art Rooney already has said he wants the team to run more consistently in 2010 than it did in 2009, and coach Mike Tomlin said this week he agrees with that assessment.
"It's a mentality," Tomlin said. "We've got to commit to doing it. Yes, ultimately when the ball's inside the white lines and we're playing football it's about execution. But it's also about planning, it's about preparation. It's a commitment, one that we're willing to continue to turn stones over to make sure that we're doing our very best to make sure we're great in those areas."
Arians stunned and upset fans and some in the organization alike when he arrogantly announced during the 2009 season that there was no fullback in his offense, never has been and never will be.
His tune may already have changed. Tomlin said there will be one on the roster "if it's available, particularly at this time of year when you have an expanded roster."
"I think you try to find as many guys with skills sets as you possibly can in an effort to put together a roster that's comprised of the best 53 men. So we're looking for guys that are not similar to guys that we have. Not only at that position but others. It's critical to having an improvement mentality."
Reminded what Arians said last season, Tomlin replied that, "When he made that comment, we didn't have the traditional fullback in the offense."
Of course, Arians said he has "never" had a fullback in his offense. It was he who orchestrated the departure of pure blocking fullback Dan Kreider in 2008 after reducing his use in 2007, Arians' first year as coordinator.
"If we run across one that's capable," Tomlin said as to whether they will use one in 2010. "Everything that we do offensively, defensively and special teams is geared toward accentuating the skill set of the people we have. If we don't have that guy we're not going to put a square peg in a round hole."
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