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Steelers coordinator Arians might not return to team

Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Arians AP

Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going to be happy with a bit of breaking news in Pittsburgh.

Two weeks after Big Ben gave the organization a pre-emptive warning about possibly changing offensive coordinators, there is a report that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians may not be back with the team.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Arians’ status with the team is uncertain. Arians’ contract is up; it’s unclear if the Steelers don’t want Arians back or whether Arians is considering retirement. The latter seems more likely.

We’ve been down a similar road with Arians before. In January of 2010, there was an incorrect radio report that Arians was fired after the season.  Arians also thought about retiring after last season because of health problems.

Club president Art Rooney said Tuesday that a few Steelers coaches are considering retirement, but didn’t say which coaches.

The Steelers transitioned to more of a pass-based offense this season, but they were inconsistent as a unit. They finished 21st in team scoring and gave up a ton of sacks. Pittsburgh’s lack of forced turnovers on defense didn’t help.

Arians has been the team’s offensive coordinator for five years. Coach Mike Tomlin told Arians last week he’d be back with the team and said publicly he expected Arians to return.

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57 Responses to “Steelers coordinator Arians might not return to team”
  1. cardmagnet says: Jan 18, 2012 8:54 PM

    This is good news, even though most will refuse to believe that. The Steelers offense was great for part of the season, until teams adapted to shut down the track meet style offense. Roethlisberger isn’t a good pass first QB. He needs a running attack to support him. Nothing to be ashamed of, it just better compliments his skillset.

  2. avianflew says: Jan 18, 2012 8:54 PM

    cue the offers from other NFL teams wanting Arians…

    *crickets chirping*

  3. commandercornpone says: Jan 18, 2012 8:57 PM

    ben is so needy.

  4. breastsmoosh says: Jan 18, 2012 8:59 PM

    Who?

  5. ravenmaniacisback says: Jan 18, 2012 9:02 PM

    Too bad the one that should retire is not…..LeBeau….

  6. wadecounty93 says: Jan 18, 2012 9:03 PM

    Those Steelers sure are getting old.
    Ask Tebow!

  7. ravenator says: Jan 18, 2012 9:06 PM

    Defense gets Tebow’d and Arians gets the axe, nicely done.

  8. steeltuff says: Jan 18, 2012 9:06 PM

    Good riddance.

  9. worldwidebleater says: Jan 18, 2012 9:08 PM

    Roethlisberger threatened to take Rooney to the men’s room if Arians was fired.

  10. jtm12180 says: Jan 18, 2012 9:10 PM

    Hey Ben, from a Steelers fan, get the **** over it!

  11. cornellsteelers says: Jan 18, 2012 9:12 PM

    Please let this be true.

  12. fittytuckin says: Jan 18, 2012 9:13 PM

    Big Rape doesn’t want to break up the Arian Brotherhood.

  13. caseyanthonymunoz says: Jan 18, 2012 9:14 PM

    Why is so much attention being paid to a number 5 seed that got bounced in the first round? Save the cyberspace for teams that matter.

  14. bodhizuffa88 says: Jan 18, 2012 9:23 PM

    This is the best news ever. Please no more Arians. I’m sure he’s a great guy, but he’s demonstrated that he doesn’t have the chops to lead an elite offense. With the talent they have, they should easily be scoring 30 points a game. Arians’ lack of talent was highlighted this season when Ben’s mobility was limited. Please, Mike Tomlin, do what needs to be done. Steeler Nation is behind this, trust me.

  15. habsman says: Jan 18, 2012 9:26 PM

    An angry Ben, is a dangerous Ben.

  16. freedomispopular says: Jan 18, 2012 9:31 PM

    They’ve done well with him, but many times his playcalling is seriously suspect.

  17. southcakpanther says: Jan 18, 2012 9:35 PM

    Maybe they should look for a new D coordinator as well after they made Tebow look like Dan Fouts.

  18. Sam Von Schamm says: Jan 18, 2012 9:39 PM

    The Steelers won two SBowls with less-than-average talent on the O-line, so I couldn’t care less who the OC is. They need to draft linemen, then sell the team to someone who isn’t laughably cheap or afraid of snagging a quality free agent or two. I love the stability the organization has enjoyed over the years, and with new ownership that stability might go flying out the window. I’d love to take the chance however, since the Rooneys have never understood that you have to spend money to make money.

    Until Ben was drafted, they essentially said to Cowher “You’ve got a great D and a nice running game. Your QB can throw if he *has* to.” So we put up with Brister (pre-Cowher), O’Donnell, Miller, Maddox, etc, all because the Rooneys are too damn cheap to spend more than they need to.

    Look at our joke of a stadium. It’s a set of oversized high school bleachers which allow the sound the sound to bleed out through the corners and onto the river, thus guaranteeing that we won’t have much of a home field advantage as far as noise is concerned for 40 freaking years. It’s as though they said to the architect (probably George Costanza) “Use as little material as possible; just make sure it’ll hold lots of people, and that they have a nice view of downtown. And don’t forget the vulgar, cartoonish, massive ketchup bottles as well.”

    Anyway, we don’t need the best OT on the market. Jeff Hartings isn’t going anywhere near the HOFame but he was a perfect C for our needs. We can add guys like him any time we please.Draft linemen, rent a tackle or a guard for a few years, and lock up the WR’s for as long as possible. Now that most teams play a 3-4, transition to a 4-3 when Hampton is done, if he isn’t already.

    Do the Giants need to prove for another few years that the best way to slow down a killer QB is with guys rushing up the middle?OLB’s take too long to get around the end, given that the fast-release QB’s can release the ball in just over two seconds. The Steelers popularized the 3-4 zone blitz, but the tweener LB/DE’s we used to draft in round three are now first-round material. Time to move on…or back to the 4-3.

  19. mvpolamalu says: Jan 18, 2012 9:41 PM

    If only the pats didnt swipe mcdaniels… Awful head coach, good offensive coordinatr

  20. earthtopft says: Jan 18, 2012 9:41 PM

    Bruce wants to retire before he is too old, beat up, lame, and crippled, to enjoy life. Like Roethlisberger is.

  21. 2difshoe says: Jan 18, 2012 9:47 PM

    Ben, go take a motorcycle ride and cool off a bit.
    Then after, stop off at a club and grab a cold beer, and a young lady.

  22. roastbeefsandwich says: Jan 18, 2012 9:50 PM

    Why does everyone say they’re a run first team? They haven’t ranked in the top 10 for rushing in years. Meanwhile, Ben has passed for plenty of yards during that time. His yards per attempt are a respectable 8.0 over the course of his career. Everyone acts like he has a WR corp like the Saints or the Packers.

    He’s not a rookie QB anymore, people. Ben has become an important staple to the team because of his arm.

  23. 6ball says: Jan 18, 2012 10:13 PM

    .

    @mvpolamalu

    “It’s a shame the Patriots signed McDaniels”

    Probably why the signing was announced right after the Pitt-Den game. I doubt the Patriots wanted him to hit the open market.

    .

  24. cup1981 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:25 PM

    *kneeling down Tebow-style*

    Oh please, baby Jesus, let this be true. Us Steeler fans cannot withstand yet another season of Bruce Arians’s terrible offensive playcalling. The guy is a worthless coordinator that has his playcalling bassackwards. When something is working, he turns away from it, when somethign isn’t working, he forces it.

    Like that G..D… bubble and WR screen. Dude, it works ONLY when the defense plays off the receivers. Loosen ‘em up a little, then play it. Or his obsession with forcing the long ball. Ugh, these long plays consist of 2 to 3 dummy routes and Wallace or Brown streaking down the sidelines. Defenses caught on!!!!

    Plus, learn when to run the ball and when not to. DO NOT run the ball on 3rd and 8, pass the effing thing you nimrod. You are NOT going to trick a defense with that stupid sprint draw on 3rd and 8. Just stop it.

    I say again, please baby Jesus, let this be true!!!!!

  25. rmc1995 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:27 PM

    Ben’s lack of talent was highlighted by his lack of mobility. Without his ability to extend the play and find a receiver crossing the field or sneaking behind the defense, he can’t make enough plays to carry an offense. The defense can’t keep bailing Roethlisberger out. Ben’s selfishness is exposed. Arians made the Steelers a pass first team after 2008 to satisfying Roethlisberger’s delusion he is an elite QB. His insistence to play hurt to prove he was tough downright doomed the Steelers.

  26. steelpenguin71 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:35 PM

    HATERS with a keyboard, you just have to laugh.

    The ravens, their murderer linebacker (funny how that’s is forgotten) their crybaby coach, and weak ass QB will be watching the Superbowl on tv just like after they’re last AFC championship game against who?)

    Stick to commenting on articles about your own sorry ass team. TJ gave you the win, TB won’t

  27. mthoover says: Jan 18, 2012 10:37 PM

    Todd Haley will be all over this like a Pioli wiretap.

  28. brewcitybummer says: Jan 18, 2012 10:38 PM

    Sam von schamm:
    What are you talking about? The steelers spend every off-season renegotiating contracts so they can stay under cap. Nobody spends more than the steelers because its not possible. They spend the Max every year.

  29. stampnhawk says: Jan 18, 2012 10:53 PM

    Arians probably knows too many of Ben’s “transgressions” off the field and/or babies him on the field.

    So in addition to losing that confident in an OC, there’s then worry that some of those stories will leak out, and, the new guy won’t coddle Ben the way he’s used to on the field with the playbook and play calls.

  30. bigblaw says: Jan 18, 2012 11:02 PM

    BA is not very good But to say Ben sucks or the Rooneys are cheap? Your an idiot…I after ALL THESE YEARS am glad we REWARDED players for Past deeds ….I am sorry for Woodson , Lloyd, Webster ,lake and Merriweather and Nickerson etc etc who were NOT. Now we have to be smarter We are The Steelers. Remember we sucked for a long time. Now “some” view us as the Yankees or something….and yes as a grandson of US Steel and proud owner of years of memories and tattoo’s I said “US” ! That’s what makes us Steeler nation and You a fan !

  31. paulieorkid says: Jan 18, 2012 11:07 PM

    Most of my brothers (and sisters) in Steeler Nation abhor Arians, and consider him incompetent.

    These people are misguided in their opinions, but they’ll hear none of it.

    This is wayyy too involved to develop here and at to oversimplify this greatly for brevity – look at the teams that have won Super Bowls in the last decade.

    Packers won 1
    Saints won 1
    Patriots won 3
    Steelers won 2
    Colts won 1

    Eight of those Super Bowls won — and nearly all of them had a very potent and prominent highly featured passing offense.

    In short, times have changed, the rules have changed, the athletes have changed. It’s not 37 anymore. It’s not 1967 anymore. It’s not 1977 either. We’re in the 21st century – and rules were changed repeatedly to create the game we now have, and abort the game your grandfather watched.

    Big fan of Arians – and it’s lame to hear so much of Steeler Nation erroneously place blame his way. Ben gets it. The rest of the Steeler players, coaching and management do too —- but Joe Lunchpail who’s 5’9″ and a flabby 205 pounds and never played a down of big time football bitterly resents Arians.

  32. cobrala2 says: Jan 18, 2012 11:18 PM

    If I were Art, I’d make sure I have security escort me to the bathroom until Ben cools off.

  33. bigbabies says: Jan 18, 2012 11:18 PM

    Sam Von Schamm,

    You need to pay attention. The reason the Steelers do not spend big in Free Agency is because they draft their talent. They are over the allotted cap amount every year end because of that. We do not need other teams throw a way’s. We own more Super Bowl trophies than any one because of the Rooney’s. I hope they keep the tradition going forever.

  34. maddogwhite says: Jan 18, 2012 11:27 PM

    Hallelujah! This guy shoulda been bounced YEARS ago. He’s going to get Big Ben killed if he stays much longer. Seriously, the words “Max Protect” are not in his vocabulary.

    The NFL needs the Steelers to back in the Super Bowl, otherwise they might be stuck with the ONLY NFL TEAM WITH MALE CHEERLEADERS:

    “Brawn Behind The Beauty: Male Ravens Cheerleaders Of NFL’s Only Co-Ed Squad”

    Aren’t they sweet????

  35. bigblaw says: Jan 18, 2012 11:30 PM

    @paulieokid. Agree 110%. But…..this new football kinda sucks Like a video game

  36. PCa Survivor says: Jan 18, 2012 11:33 PM

    Reading the comments here one might actually believe that it was Ben’s ego and not the retirement of Jerome Bettis or the wheels falling off Willie Parker which has kept the Steelers out of the top ten in rushing. They were in the top ten from 2004-2007, Ben’s first four seasons. Just like the tired debate of a 4-3 vs 3-4, it’s not the scheme as much as the players. You win with the talent you have and I just haven’t seen a Bus ready to come into the game since 36 retired.

  37. reason35 says: Jan 19, 2012 12:31 AM

    Anyone who gets on here and tries to second-guess playcalling pretty much loses any credibility to talk about ANYTHING. Nobody watching a game on TV or at the stadium has any clue how the flow of the game – packages, personnel, tendencies etc. – influences playcalling.

    However, what we CAN see is the results. The numbers speak for themselves. The Steelers were 21st in PPG, and as most Steelers fans know who watch them every week, they struggle in the Red Zone. That came back to cost them their season this year against Denver. Whether that’s Ben or Arians, who knows, but its a serious problem. They haven’t been in the top half in RZ production since 2008, and that’s a problem that ultimately SHOULD get Arians fired because the buck stops with him. They need a fresh outlook, when the metric continues to go down then the trend is obvious – get a fresh perspective.

  38. Sam Von Schamm says: Jan 19, 2012 12:58 AM

    Brewcitybummer, you wrote: “Nobody spends more than the steelers because its not possible. They spend the Max every year.”

    The cap in 2011 was $120M.
    The Steelers spent $118.8M.

    The cap in 2009 was $123M.
    The Steelers spent $119.3M.

    The cap in 2007 was $109M.
    The Steelers spent 106.2M.

    The cap in 2006 was $102M.
    The Steelers spent $94M.

    The cap in 2005 was $85.5M.
    The Steelers spent $84.8M.

    The cap in 2003 was $75M.
    The Steelers spent $63.5M.

    The cap in 2000 was $62.1M.
    The Steelers spent $58.4M.

    They could have spent more in 7 of the last 12 years. I suspect the 90’s are even uglier but it’s tougher to find and I’m already bored.

  39. sojumaster says: Jan 19, 2012 1:17 AM

    Arians needs to go. He is one of the most predictable OCs in the NFL, with little to no creativity. How can we have such huge offensive threats and talents in the WR core and still manage to score only 21 points a game?

    Arians does not use a 2-back system; does not believe in using our FullBack; does not use quick slants up the middle. When he does something creative and it works, that play is retired from the playbook.

    Big Ben does not realize that he calls a better game than Arians when it comes down to it. I do not understand Ben’s need to have Arians around. A perfect example of this poor play calling by Arians was in the playoff game against the ravens last year. 3rd and 19 in the 4th Quarter. Arians called for a 15 Yard in pattern, Ben changed the call in the huddle and told receivers, just streak and look for the ball. Antonio Brown catches the ball (via the side of his helmet) and goes for 23 yards for the 1st.

    The offense might be producing some big numbers, but it is in spite of Arians. Give us a REAL OC, and those numbers will astronomical!!

  40. waccoforflacco says: Jan 19, 2012 1:17 AM

    Steeler Nation should go after Cam Cameron BIG TIME…now there’s a play calling genius.

    The Raven Nation

  41. segagenesiss says: Jan 19, 2012 1:23 AM

    Anything that will get the Steelers back to the Superbowl next year, I’m all over it!

  42. cup1981 says: Jan 19, 2012 2:09 AM

    Hey paulieorkid –

    Check when the Steelers move the ball the best… I will give you a sec………. It’s when Ben calls the plays from the no huddle. Eliminate BA from teh equation and suddenly the offense starts moving!

    BA is a good play creater and a GREAT positions coach. He is one of the worst playcallers in the game, however.

    Go watch game tape and see how many times per game he calls a WR screen. I guarantee it average at 6 times per game.

    Give a playcaller like Mike Martz the lineup the Steelers have and they would put the “Greatest Show on Turf” to shame. The Steelers have the best skilled position players on offense in the NFL. Where they really suck is at teh offensive line and playcalling, why else would they rank in teh middle of the pack??

  43. winningiteveryyear says: Jan 19, 2012 2:45 AM

    Fix the OL before you start shredding the OC. Arians isn’t the worst OC in the world, give him another year with a stronger OL. Stronger OL will give him a chance to open up the play book maybe a little more. Yes it’s a pass first league and you need to score quickly but you do need the running game also. It keeps defenses honest and we have been one of the best over a number of years. We will be there next season as we always are. I have followed the steelers from the UK for the last 28 years and they will sort it out as they always do. My concern also is Ben himself, he isn’t getting any younger and the fact they clearly didn’t trust Charlie or Dennis to fill in for 3-4 games when he was clearly incapable of playing speaks volumes to me about their QB depth.

  44. tatum064 says: Jan 19, 2012 4:26 AM

    They could have spent more in 7 of the last 12 years. I suspect the 90′s are even uglier but it’s tougher to find and I’m already bored.
    =============================

    No, were bored from hearing excuses of a QB who throws wobblers drop 300 on you and execute a walk-off TD throw.

    Enough, already. Its a great team, whose run has ended.

    On to the next team. Dynasties are boring, anyway. The underdog and upset is what always sells to the people. Thats what America is about. Dynasty itself is a word stemming from Royalty and a Monarchy we fought a revolution to be free from. Everyone has a chance in America, and ANY team can win….On Any Given Sunday.

    AMEN.

  45. sudz28 says: Jan 19, 2012 6:00 AM

    Certainly SOMETHING has to change for the Steelers offensively… Ben is constantly getting sacked and they’ve had a bottom-half-of-the-league rushing game for the past several years. Personnel have been moved in and out and around, but the one constant has been Bruce Arians. I think it’s time to move on from him, to pretty much anyone but Cam Cameron.

  46. steelerssmack4u says: Jan 19, 2012 6:20 AM

    Tom Clements, Packers QB coach, would be the ideal fit as OC for the Steelers. Tom has worked with Ben when he was QB coach under Bill Cowher. Aaron Rogers give credit to Tom for a lot of his success.

  47. jackybadass says: Jan 19, 2012 6:58 AM

    this is a 500 team if i ever saw one. its the ravens world now. get use to it ketchup losers!

  48. ravenmaniacisback says: Jan 19, 2012 7:05 AM

    @steelpenguin…..have a great offseason thinking about how you were beat by TEBOW! Then think about how great TEBOW looked against the Patriots…..you must be proud…..

  49. mataug says: Jan 19, 2012 7:42 AM

    Peyton Manning’s first QB coach ?

  50. steeelfann says: Jan 19, 2012 8:11 AM

    To me, Arians, like many coaches has called some great games and some really bad games that have kept other teams in the game.

    My 3 huge beefs with him:
    1. Wildcard Playoffs vs Denver 11 days ago: Steelers are tied with Broncos. Steelers are moving down the field easily, Broncos defense seems to have no anwers.
    Big Ben very sharp second half. Ball on Broncos 40, plenty of time left, maybe over a minute and it is first down. You are at mile high, so kicking is a good thing. They already are at about a 57 yard attempt. You would think they keep moving ball to set up medium to short field goal and go home. Three things you don’t want: Turnover (obviously), Sack or Penalty. So you really don’t want Ben back their in pocket just looking around, because of sack tendencies. You want quick hitters. What does Steeler offense do? 1st play, Ben throws to end zone trying to hit the double covered Wallace. Bad.. Second play Ben is just sitting back looking and gets sacked. OT folks and Broncs pull it out. Thank you Bruce Arians. The Broncos could not stop your short to medium game, nor the run, but you keep the deep stuff that is totally unneeded.

    Problem 2: Arians has the imagination of a soap dish in the Red Zone, esp close in. This is why the Steelers do poorly here. Here is the typical play call, which you may see on any dirt field in our great country. 4-5 wide, Ben fades back and looks for someone. That is the offense down there. No movement hardly, no play action to hold someone for a sec. Nothing. Must be tough for opposing coordinators to plan for.

    Problem 3: Arians does not throw near the screen passes that he should or could. When Barry Foster played, they had routine screens called every game and he was incredible at it. It breaks up the play calling, generally safe, generally good yards. Arians treats them like bed lice.

    He does some good things. He has a lousy offensive line to work with. But I have found him to be very inconsistent. The Steelers talent level at the skill positions is huge but often times it has been lessened due to the offensive strategy. When he calls a great game, it is wonderful. But too many times, game plans are not very good.

  51. sojumaster says: Jan 19, 2012 8:51 AM

    paulieorkid says:Jan 18, 2012 11:07 PM

    Most of my brothers (and sisters) in Steeler Nation abhor Arians, and consider him incompetent.

    ————————–

    You’re the ONLY one I know that considers Arians competent.

    The team wins and does well in spite of Arians. It is not ONLY the Steelers Nation that considers him less than competent, ESPN and Sports illustrated have written articles about his lack of creativity and his predictability.

    I have no where the near the expertise nor the knowledge of a professional coordinator in the NFL, but when I can sit and watch a game and predict with 90%+ accuracy of the next play, (not just simply stating it is going to be pass or run, but actually calling the play), then I know that the defensive coordinator on the opposing side is doing even a better job. If we won 1 SB and 2 appearances since Arians took the helm as OC, with such predictability, imagine how good we can be if we had an offensive coordinator that can be creative, unpredictable and fully use ALL of our talents.

  52. steelerfanjo says: Jan 19, 2012 8:53 AM

    If Arians leaves, Steelers will win next 3 Super Bowls. Remember this post. He is worthless.

  53. paulieorkid says: Jan 19, 2012 9:01 AM

    cup1981,

    We certainly agree on one thing – that is basically irrefutable: our OL, aside from Pouncey, has reeeeeally struggled for a long time.

    All good guys who play hard – but the strong/aggressive ones lack technical skills (e.g., Kemo is nasty, and can move bodies – but gets off balance a lot and whiffs too much),

    And the ones with a little more on the ball from a technical standpoint tend to be get overmatched physically (e.g., this one applies to Starks for example, as big as he is).

    And some are challenged (by NFL OL standards) in nearly all key facets of OL play.

    Like all those guys – but their ineffectiveness in a number of ways, compromises our play at QB/WR/RB right down the line. And they’re not helping our offensive skill players stay healthy either.

    My belief is our OL is the primary root cause to the issues we see on Sundays. And it seems like we lose nearly every single game when Pouncey is out.

    [Another factor that hurt us: the insaaaaane handling of Ben and Pouncey's injuries. That was astonishing ... and not in a good way.]

    Anyway, OL screams as the top need in this year’s draft — we’ll see how it goes.

  54. steeleriron says: Jan 19, 2012 10:01 AM

    Couldn’t agree more with steelerfanjo….Arians MUST go…part-time poet!!

  55. themanchine says: Jan 19, 2012 10:41 AM

    Here come Hue Jackson & Michael Bush.
    With Mendenhall’s knee injury Bush gives them the opportunity to get the Bettis-style power running game back in Pitt which would perfectly compliment their explosive passing game.
    Hue Jackson would be perfect for for that offense. Just draft some OL.

  56. matpoh says: Jan 19, 2012 11:10 AM

    Ring…Ring….Ring.

    Hello, this is Mike Martz…..

  57. MichaelEdits says: Jan 19, 2012 1:26 PM

    Club president Art Rooney said Tuesday that a few Steelers coaches are considering retirement, but didn’t say which coaches. No problem. I’ll just ask Rob Lowe.

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