Former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has confirmed that the “retirement” the team announced last week was actually a departure forced by the team. And he says Ben Roethlisberger is not pleased.
Arians says Steelers owner Art Rooney II didn’t offer him a contract for the 2012 season and wouldn’t tell him why.
“I can’t answer that question,” Arians told the York Daily Record. “Only the people there can. That’s the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don’t have any regrets.”
Arians and Roethlisberger have always had a strong coach-player relationship, and they’re friends and neighbors. Arians said Roethlisberger is upset that someone new will be coming in to run the offense.
“He’s not happy, but that’s part of the business,” Arians said. “He is happy for me. He lives around the corner and we’ll still see each other a lot. The phone is always there when he needs me.”
But Arians says he has no hard feelings, and he’ll have warm memories of head coach Mike Tomlin, who reportedly wanted Arians to stay but was overruled by Rooney.
“My door is always open to him. I respect him a ton,” Arians said. “I enjoyed our relationship and learned a lot. It was great watching him grow and working with him.”
Arians just wishes he could have worked with Tomlin a little longer.