Kirby Wilson was in line to be next offensive coordinator


We told you last night that Bruce Arians may not return to the Steelers as offensive coordinator.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette now writes it appears Arians is on his way out, one way or another. It raises the question: Who will replace him?

Bouchette sadly reports that running backs coach Kirby Wilson was in line to replace Arians. Wilson is still in critical condition after having burns sustained to over 45% of his body. He will require multiple operations in the future. We hope Wilson can make it back to the sidelines someday, but his football future will not be a focus as he starts his long road to recovery.

In the same article, Bouchette wonders if Arians’ removal was ultimately a decision made by the Rooney family and not Mike Tomlin. There is no logical replacement for Arians on the staff, so the team may have to hire outside the organization.

18 responses to “Kirby Wilson was in line to be next offensive coordinator

  1. They won’t make a push for a “big” name coordinator like Todd Haley, but I feel like Haley could either be a slam dunk for Pittsburgh’s offense or a complete disaster. And I base that assessment on absolutely nothing. Promoting from within will be tough if Wilson isn’t able to go.

  2. Oh, well if a local writer says “it appears Arians is on his way out”, then it must be true.


  3. You do NOT want Haley as your offensive coordinator unless he’s calling the head coaches offensive system like he did in Arizona. otherwise, you’ll be stuck with an outdated philosophy on offense based on the Giants of the 1980s. Haley is a Parcells guy, not a Belichick or Whisenhunt guy.
    He ran off KCs last 2 good coordinators in Gailey (who wanted to get with the times and spread the field to attack the defense) and Weis, who called a better game than Haley could ever dream of.

  4. I don’t care if they replace him with Ron Erhardt’s corpse, just happy to say goodbye to 15 WR screens a game.

  5. As a Steelers fan, I can honestly say that they could pull plays out of a hat, and not do worse than Arians!

    That being said, it was reported 2 or 3 years ago that Arians was being fired, only to have the reporter retract his story 2 days later.

    Ben loves him, for what ever reason, so until I see something from the Steelers saying he won’t be back, I won’t believe it.

  6. I think Arians was hired to stop the exodus of our coaching staff every year. Whether it was Chan Gailey, Ken Whisenhunt, …and the list goes on. With that being said, I would like to see someone from the Belicheck tree of coaches.

  7. Why even writing about the Steelers?
    They are irrelevent, old, and will not sniff the Super Bowl for at least a decade.

    My gosh they got TEBOWNED for crying out loud!!!!

  8. Big Ben loves Arians because Arians refuses to hold him accountable for his mistakes and his contributions to being sacked as well as Arians’ support of a pass first offense, which any QB would love.

    Steelers have to stop throwing so many WR screens and commit to the run more and get back to better game management.

    What people forget is the defense, being up tempo itself, can’t stay on the field for thirty or more minutes a game. I think the change in offensive philosophy is tiring them out which is contributing, in part, to recent lapses late in games. Troy talked about this two years ago.

    Nothing happens in isolation on a football team. Success in one area begets success in another. If the offense can’t score and sustain drives, the defense can’t perform to its level either. And Arians has more than proven he can create the occasional splash play (due to Big Ben’s play) but he hasn’t been able to create a high scoring offense even with loads of talent the last few years. He is dreadful inside the 20, unimaginative and fixated on the passing game which isn’t nearly as good as he or big Ben thinks it is.

  9. Despite his long time connection to Pittsburgh, I doubt Todd Hlaey would be brought in because he just doesn’t seem like Steelers material. He doesn’t play well with others, he struggles to keep his cool under pressure, and he made serious allegations against his former employer through the press just this week.

    Regardless of what happens, Roethlisberger needs to remember there is no “I” in team. Three super bowls, two Lombardis and lots of on-filed magic will not change the way the Rooney family does business. They will make the decisions that are in the best long term interests of the team. Period. As others have pointed out, Ben is about to turn 30 and cannot continue to take as many sacks if he wants to play past 32. Additionally, the entire team – offense and (aging) defense – will only get better with a stronger running game. Arians is clearly not the man to fix that.

    [Insert ax grinding with Arians here:]
    Let’s face it, the Steelers won SB43 because Ben called the 2-minute offense and made plays running around and James Harrison made the greatest play in Super Bowl history (yes, it was). It wasn’t because Arians was dialing up the right plays.

    In SB45, Arians had no business calling that deep sideline pass while backed up on the 2-yard line that led to the pick-6 that was the difference in the game (Ben should have called an audible). Later, all he could do was call the same counter-right play over and over which Clay Matthews, Jr. finally blew up because he saw the same play coming again. Unfortunately, Ben chose poorly in that 2-minute offense when he couldn’t take his eyes off of Wallace. Ward was hot at that point and he was open with plenty of room to run.

  10. The Steelers will do what they always do, make a great hire, have a successful draft, and win 10 or more games again next season.


  11. Every once in a while, Arians put together a gem of a game plan.

    But Pittsburgh has suffered in the red zone ever since he’s been the coordinator.

    A lot of that can be attributed to a bad offensive line, but sometimes the play calling is mind-boggling.

    In 2008, the Steelers offense was miserable mostly because of injuries to the o-line. But in the final 2 minutes of the game, Ben ran the no-huddle and the Steelers moved the ball.

    They had something like 8 game-winning or game-tying drives that season and it was because Ben was calling the plays at the line, instead of Arians.

    That pretty much says it all.

  12. Bruce Arians introduced Pig Ben Rottenberger to Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee near Milledgeville, GA (aka “Millie”). He needs to take Pig Ben Rottenberger with him when he leaves the team, too.

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