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Arians will return to Steelers

ESPN Radio in Pittsburgh has some explaining to do.

Bruce Arians will return as Steelers offensive coordinator after a long meeting with coach Mike Tomlin Wednesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

We trust the Post-Gazette, of course, and apologize for passing along the radio’s incorrect report Wednesday. 

The news caps a bizarre day that also included the news that Arians reportedly leaked the news of his imminent demise himself.  (Why does this happen in Pittsburgh? Remember head coach Russ Grimm?)

Offensive line coach Larry Zierlein was fired earlier Wednesday.

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38 Responses to “Arians will return to Steelers”
  1. The Coop says: Jan 6, 2010 3:58 PM

    I called Ken Laird (who broke the rumor) a hack and my post was removed.
    Sure, I said some ugly things, but I WAS RIGHT.

  2. nflqb says: Jan 6, 2010 3:58 PM

    This is great news, I could not see how you possibly fire Ariens after his offense climbs from 22nd to 7th.
    Take away the yds lost from the excessive sacks and they probably finish in the top 3.
    If the steelers defense and kr coverage played half as well as they did last yr this team is 12-4 13-3 at worst.
    the 5 4th qt leads they blew this yr resulted in a 9-7 record, they blow 5 last season and the steelers dont make the playoffs, win the sb ect…

  3. frox says: Jan 6, 2010 4:01 PM

    Unleash hell on ESPN Radio in Pittsburgh.

  4. bleedblackandgold says: Jan 6, 2010 4:05 PM

    Hopefully Tomlin set him straight on situational play calling.

  5. CD_Ridge says: Jan 6, 2010 4:06 PM

    Hopefully, Tomlin and the new OL coach can focus Arians to lean on the running game more and control the clock better. This will help the defense from being gassed in the 4th quarter of games.

  6. LC68 says: Jan 6, 2010 4:09 PM

    This is the worst news I’ve heard all day.
    Everyone talks about the 4,000 passing yds, 2 WRs with 1,000 yds, etc. Points win games, not yards. They may have been 7th in yards but they were 12th in points. I’m not saying the defense and special teams were blameless, they were subpar. Yet in plenty of the losses, they settled for FGs when inside the 10 yd line. In 2 of the losses they didn’t score a TD.
    It’s true that if the D and special teams played better they’d probably have 11 or 12 wins like last year but that doesn’t change the fact that the offense doesn’t score as much as it should.

  7. rydendonkeys says: Jan 6, 2010 4:12 PM

    lol

  8. copes cabana says: Jan 6, 2010 4:12 PM

    great. we can look forward to many more years of five wide on 3rd and 1, plenty of fieldgoals from the redzone, and no fullback. good thing we have a good punter. put anyone but a top 5 qb under him and the offense goes nowhere.

  9. stairway27 says: Jan 6, 2010 4:17 PM

    Sweet! This is a good move. Although, I must admit that during Sunday’s game at Miami, I was screaming “FIRE ARIANS!!!” after the crazy ass call that involved Holmes throwing an INT. He also needs to work on their Red Zone play calling. Other than that, I enjoyed watching the offense this season.

  10. thepittsburghkid says: Jan 6, 2010 4:18 PM

    DUMB. we couldn’t score in the red zone and his play calling was suspect at best. I admit they were explosive at times between the 20′s but a rhythm to the offense was missing. Not to mention I think we had 15 running plays and most of which started by running directly up the middle and don’t forget it only took 14 weeks before a actual screen pass was called. I understand the argument of 4,000 passing yards, 70 rec. for 3 receivers, 2 receivers over 1,000 yards, 1,000 yards rushing and a Super Bowl ring (despite him). However, this isn’t baseball and stats mean nothing. We couldn’t run or score when we had to. I get this isn’t the Steelers that run first and I’m fine with that but you have to run to take time off the clock, and keep your defense off the field (so you don’t need to onside kick).

  11. Ben Roetlisbunger says: Jan 6, 2010 4:18 PM

    The offense was good this year. O-line needs something though. Hopefully replacing Zierlein is the answer.

  12. someone_smarter_than_you says: Jan 6, 2010 4:24 PM

    nflqb says:
    January 6, 2010 3:58 PM
    This is great news, I could not see how you possibly fire Ariens after his offense climbs from 22nd to 7th.
    __________________________________
    I can’t see how you can possibly misspell Arians when it’s in bold letters at the top of the screen as you type it.
    On a serious note, when did Pittsburgh become so dysfuncional? Coaches allegedly “leaking” info about their job status before anything is official? Before you know it, Tom Cable is going to fly to Pittsburgh, knock Arians to the ground, punch him, and break his jaw. Not by force mind you, he’ll just “bump his chair” and the rest will take care of itself.

  13. SteelCurtnDee says: Jan 6, 2010 4:26 PM

    anyone who thinks arians should stay obviously didn’t watch a steelers game this year

  14. redamber says: Jan 6, 2010 4:41 PM

    The stats that mean something are the miserable 23 pts/gm avg and the 16.7 pts/gm in our losses. They better upgrade Special Teams, replace Reed, and sign a couple good corners to make up for the lack of offensive TDs next year
    FIRE ARIANS!

  15. bluestree says: Jan 6, 2010 4:47 PM

    Last year my Steeler fan friend bristled when I said it was unusual for a team to win the SB with a poor offensive line. Bad play calling may have been a product of lack of belief in the line’s ability to block. Imagine how many sacks the Steelers would have had with a “statue in the pocket” type QB. A new coach won’t help as much as some new players.

  16. NateD says: Jan 6, 2010 4:47 PM

    Im sort of torn on this. I stated on a previous post I wanted him gone because of how poor his situational play calling is. BUT, the more you think about the affects of having a new OC and the time it takes to: 1st find the right guy, 2nd implement a brand new offense, 3rd make sure everyones on the same page, 4th execute the plays, etc. the more it makes sense to bring him back for 1 more year and make some other adjustments (i.e. oline coach, special teams coach, db coach).
    Dont get me wrong, Im on my last leash with BA as hes so inconsistent I cant take it. Some games this year (Chargers, Denver, Packers) he was a genious with mixing it up, confusing the d, and moving the ball at will. Then other games (Cleveland, Ravens, Cinci, Oakland, KC, etc) his play calling consisted of WTF the entire time!
    However, if you noticed, he does call a better game when the pressure mounts. I think that is a good sign that he’ll improve and become more consistent next year. He knows we need to pound the ball more, convert the 3rd and shorts, and score 6, not 3. These were basically the only flaws and can be corrected. If they’re not, then he better go into the witness protection program because the yinzers will hunt him and his family down and ruin their lives until he quits.

  17. 69ers says: Jan 6, 2010 4:53 PM

    Ken Laird should be fired.

  18. Tomthebombtracy says: Jan 6, 2010 5:11 PM

    The Steelers blew an amazing amount of fourth quarter leads. Time after time they gave up the critical third (and long, sometimes). How do you blame the OC for this? Also, how do you blame the OC when the QB had the option (and used it quite a bit) to change the play at the line??? The first time ever 4,000 passer, first time ever 2, 1,000 yard receivers, the most catches by a tight end, a 1,000 yard runner…..these seem hollow when the team finishes 9-7. But it is also clearly not the reason they finished 9-7.

  19. efangule says: Jan 6, 2010 5:25 PM

    At least PFT apologized for their poor reporting..
    Can’t say many other places would do the same.

  20. Deb says: Jan 6, 2010 5:28 PM

    Gregg, you didn’t seriously just ask what’s going on with the media in Pitt, did you? Um, the same thing going on worldwide. Tweeters, bloggers (w/all due respect), and fools passing on every rumor they hear or dream up and “news” organizations rumming with them as though they’re fact. The new yellow journalism.
    Enough of that.
    I’d tend to believe the Post-Gazette as well. I can live with Arians as long as changes are made. He did some positive things–just as simplifying the playbook from the monstrosity Cowher had allowed it to become. If we address the issues at o-line and return to the running game, which we did well in his first season w/Tomlin, we’ll automatically have a better offensive game. Ben and Tomlin are comfortable with him, and that’s important. He can be creative when he chooses to be.
    But I never never never want to see another series like the last he ran in the first matchup against Cincy this year. Never. That was ridiculous. If that happens again, he won’t be fired. He’ll be run out of town chased by a tar-and-feather-wielding mob.

  21. Raw Deal says: Jan 6, 2010 5:31 PM

    And then there’s the ol’ “Terry Bradshaw Is Dead” media leak… Oh wait, that was you!

  22. svenhoek says: Jan 6, 2010 5:42 PM

    Stats dont lie.
    We increased our offensive production by 1000 yards. 2 1000 yard receivers and a 1k back.
    3 more TDs then last year.
    Something is wrong with that.

  23. Deb says: Jan 6, 2010 5:52 PM

    ROFL …. I see I wrote that news organizations are “rumming” with rumors. Well, maybe that’s part of the problem, too. ;-)

  24. ZombieRevolution says: Jan 6, 2010 6:29 PM

    Greg- Terry Bradshaw for you on line one, it wants to remind you of something PFT did in the past and something about glass houses…

  25. stnmmc says: Jan 6, 2010 7:42 PM

    To be fair to BA, it still comes down to players making plays.
    While at times his play calls were suspect, at best, recalling the Cleveland game I can’t remember a single O player who looked like they wanted to be there. It was not like he sprung the gameplan on them at the last minute. Yes it was a Thurs game, but they still prepared.
    As a unit this year the O showed up some days, and not others. Specifically it looked like they had a hard time motivating themselves when facing a “weaker” team.

  26. SuzyKolberIsAwesome says: Jan 6, 2010 7:42 PM

    I think Tomlin wanted to UNLEASH HELL, he just didn’t know WHO to unleash it on

  27. praveen says: Jan 6, 2010 7:49 PM

    This is ridiculous bringing him back. Yardage isnt points. Here is some food for thought. The 2009 Steelers offense faced worse defenses than the 2008 Steelers did. The 2009 Steelers had a more experienced healthy RB than the 2008 version. The 2009 OL was more experienced than the 2008 and was relatively stable. Also, the 2009 Steelers knew they could not be casual like the 2008 Steelers offense becuase they didnt have a great defense to buy them time to win the game. So you would expect the 2009 Steelers to really amass a lot more points. But what did they do? Just amass a lot more yards. Point production is about the same especially when you consider 2009 Steelers offense gave up some costly turnovers.
    Here are some more reasons to fire Arians
    1) The idiot thinks Spaeth is best used as a blocking TE.
    2) It took the moron 3 games to realize Frank Summers can’t cut it as a FB.
    3) The Cleveland game. 3rd and2 empty set is reason alone to fire the imbecile.
    4) The KC 3rd and 7 play where he tried to run Mewelde on a poorly designed play to the outside.
    5) The failure to adapt to the opposing defense or take into account the conditions on the field or the form of the QB. Wisenhunt, contrary to popular opinion, let Ben pass a lot in first halves of playoff games in the run up to SB XL. Arians, should have ran more in the Cleveland game when it was clear the passing game was horrible for many reasons.
    6) 3rd Quarter offense is terrible. They probably gave up more points via turnovers than they scored. That shows me Arians does bad half time adjustments.

  28. rollingsteel says: Jan 6, 2010 7:51 PM

    I hope the post gazette is wrong. The guy IS a DECENT OC, but lacks the smarts to be GOOD. He is horrible in the clutch. And makes bad decisions on the goal line and 3rd and short.

  29. tleg81 says: Jan 6, 2010 8:03 PM

    Terrible!!! Tomlin is showing that he is a pushover and does not have the balls to fire or overturn the OC….
    I have said it before and will say it again. The Offense was better because of Mendenhall, Wallace, and the development of Ben R.
    The passing plays that were called would have resulted is SHIT if we did not have a beast of a QB that makes plays after they break down.
    At least 50% of the passing yardage was after the “called” play broke down. Arians is a moron and his job is saved because of his QB!
    Stop giving Arians credit for the offenses success this year. It goes to Big Ben, Mendenhall, Holmes, Heath, and Ward being able to improvize after the play that was called DID NOT WORK!! Just look at redzone efficiency, when scheme and play-calling is essential in scoring TDs. They SUCK in the redzone…I wonder why??? The reason is because there is less field to imrovise after a play breaks down….The play calling sucked…..and sucked bad…..how are you 30th in the league with all the talent we have???? I know and so do all of you…..Crappy play calling

  30. praveen says: Jan 6, 2010 8:08 PM

    This is ridiculous bringing him back. Yardage isnt points. Here is some food for thought. The 2009 Steelers offense faced worse defenses than the 2008 Steelers did. The 2009 Steelers had a more experienced healthy RB than the 2008 version. The 2009 OL was more experienced than the 2008 and was relatively stable. Also, the 2009 Steelers knew they could not be casual like the 2008 Steelers offense becuase they didnt have a great defense to buy them time to win the game. So you would expect the 2009 Steelers to really amass a lot more points. But what did they do? Just amass a lot more yards. Point production is about the same especially when you consider 2009 Steelers offense gave up some costly turnovers.
    Here are some more reasons to fire Arians
    1) The idiot thinks Spaeth is best used as a blocking TE.
    2) It took the moron 3 games to realize Frank Summers can’t cut it as a FB.
    3) The Cleveland game. 3rd and2 empty set is reason alone to fire the imbecile.
    4) The KC 3rd and 7 play where he tried to run Mewelde on a poorly designed play to the outside.
    5) The failure to adapt to the opposing defense or take into account the conditions on the field or the form of the QB. Wisenhunt, contrary to popular opinion, let Ben pass a lot in first halves of playoff games in the run up to SB XL. Arians, should have ran more in the Cleveland game when it was clear the passing game was horrible for many reasons.
    6) 3rd Quarter offense is terrible. They probably gave up more points via turnovers than they scored. That shows me Arians does bad half time adjustments.

  31. SixburghSteelers says: Jan 6, 2010 8:51 PM

    At least they fired the right guy (OL coach)
    Now, can we please draft the right guys…hint, hint, OL

  32. Klytus says: Jan 6, 2010 9:12 PM

    As a Steelers fan, there were times this season that I wanted to shoot Bruce Arians. “After a lengthy meeting …” Sounds like some issues were settled at that meeting. Hopefully.
    I just have to trust Coach Tomlin’s judgement that this will all work out this year. Keep the faith.
    GO STEELERS!

  33. Vicente Bastardo says: Jan 6, 2010 10:49 PM

    Last year when all the Fire Bruce Arians jabber started I was somewhat against it. This year I was on the bandwagon the entire season. Whoever said “you clearly haven’t watched a Steelers game if you want to keep Arians” is EXACTLY right. Some of his playcalling was worse than a 3 year old hitting buttons on an Xbox. The empty set on 3rd and 1 has already been beaten to death.
    If this guy doesn’t pound the damn rock then work in the play action to perfection by the 3rd quarter of week 2 Tomlin might have a mutiny from the fans.

  34. Tpr Gil says: Jan 7, 2010 1:40 AM

    Ariens can score. But there is more to a football game than scoring. He has NO feel for time management. how many times have the steelers run it down the field and score in 2 minutes and left plenty of time for the other team to score? He should be fired. Gone… kicked to the curb… shown the door… etc, etc, etc.

  35. Tpr Gil says: Jan 7, 2010 1:43 AM

    Ariens can score. But there is more to a football game than scoring. He has NO feel for time management. how many times have the steelers run it down the field and score in 2 minutes and left plenty of time for the other team to score? He should be fired. Gone… kicked to the curb… shown the door… etc, etc, etc.

  36. SemiSpook says: Jan 7, 2010 8:16 AM

    I, too, am sick of the shotgun/open set calls on 3rd and short. Got way too aggravated watching the Cleveland game after seeing decent work by Mendenhall to set up those 3rd and short plays, only to see them pissed away by Ben taking sacks when he didn’t need to.
    That first game against Baltimore should have been a W, as well. As you saw, once Dixon was playing to his strengths, they were able to make some plays. Whatever adjustments Bruce made diminished those rather quickly.
    Early in this last game against Miami, it was an open set/5 wide on FIRST DOWN out of the gate! Are you kidding me? I do that if I’m playing Madden, not with actual live players!

  37. praveen says: Jan 7, 2010 9:45 AM

    The team finished 9-7 is not as decent as one thinks. Even with a mediocre defense that was very good early on but terrible in 4th Qs, this offense faced enough bad defenses to put the game away by the 3rd Q . 9-7 with such a powderpuff schedule is like 6-10 in a normal year.
    You cannot expect a premium defense to bail out the offense every year. This was the year with such a soft schedule where each unit should have bailed out the other unit, if needed. Of course, the defense didn’t. But the defense has done enough good work over the years. This was the year where the offense needed to lead instead of merely doing just enough and expecting the defense to do its own. All the young stars are on offense.
    Take the KC game. Steelers scored a grand total of 21 points after 3 Qs. But they gave up two turnovers, one being a near pick 6. The fact that they still had a lead was because of the defense until that point which gave up a TD on one turnover, but made up for it by limiting the near pick 6 to a FG. Another TD by KC came via a return. But Ben threw for 400 yards in the game. If you go by yardage, wow, the Steelers offense was super. But if you go by what happened, the Steelers offense sucked because they scored only 24 in the game while giving up 10 points on turnovers against a bad defense.
    Cleveland game: They scored only single digits. Right there, that is cause for a lot of firings on the offensive staff.
    Oakland game: As wretched as the defense was in the 4th Q and should be blamed for the loss, the offense was pretty bad in the first 3 Qs.
    Cinci games: The offense stunk up the joint in both games in the second halves. Yes, the defense choked in the 4th Q in the first Cinci game, but the offense choked for most of the second half in both games.

  38. NateD says: Jan 7, 2010 12:11 PM

    @ semispook
    That open set 5 wide on first down led to a 60 yard touchdown pass. Cant really complain about that.
    @praveen
    I completely agree with your reasoning defending the defense this year and was just as furious as you are with BA for all those games mentioned.
    But, here is the thing. Whatever way you want to look at it, the offense wasnt bad this year. Did they have their let downs during situational football moments? Absolutely. Does every team in the NFL? Absolutely. No OC gets it right every game except for the Colts, and the Saints were close. The opposing team is collecting a pay check also, so to say a man should be fired because of poor play calling for 1 game (Cleveland) is a little much as no coordinator in this league would have a job longer than a year.
    Think of how much effort and time it would take to bring in a whole new system. Then think about how little effort and time they need to put in to just correct their mistakes of 3rd and short, and red zone offense. Which one is easier and puts the Steelers in a better position offensively next season?

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