View Full Version : Bruce Arians new OC - Grimm to leave

01-23-2007, 12:10 AM
Good News...and bad news.

By Ed Bouchette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It took little time for the new, young Steelers coach to allay fears that he would slash everything on a team one year removed from a Super Bowl championship -- from their defense to the psyche of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Mike Tomlin, formally introduced as the Steelers' third head coach in 38 years, went to work quickly on his staff, hiring both coordinators. He confirmed that Dick LeBeau will remain as his defensive coordinator, and he promoted Bruce Arians from coaching the wide receivers to his offensive coordinator.

Tomlin, 34, has plenty more work to do, and he'll begin today in Mobile, Ala., where he will join what's left of Bill Cowher's old staff for Senior Bowl practices, scouting college players.

One coach who won't return was the runner-up to Tomlin in the 16-day search for Cowher's replacement. Russ Grimm, the team's assistant head coach and offensive line coach, will be granted a release from his contract with the Steelers at his request. Grimm could join new Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona, but also could entertain other offers.

Grimm was considered a front-runner at one point during the coaching search, and club president Art Rooney II acknowledged yesterday that Tomlin at first was not high on their list of candidates.

"I think it's fair to say Mike was in that category in terms of our initial discussion," Art Rooney said. "He was probably a long shot when we began the discussions."

Dan Rooney, the team's chairman, denied a report that the Steelers offered Grimm the job on Saturday. He said that never happened, and he took umbrage with those who claimed Grimm accepted their offer, only to learn on Sunday that the Rooneys had changed their minds and reneged. Grimm did not return messages left on his cell phone.

Art Rooney also denied that anyone from the NFL commissioner's office or the NFL Players Association pressured the Steelers to hire Tomlin.

"No, there absolutely was no pressure like that. We knew we were going to comply with the Rooney Rule from day one in terms of our initial list. It was just a question at that point of picking who we thought would be the best coach."

The league's Rooney Rule requires each team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one minority coach, but the decision to hire a coach is left entirely up to the team's owners. It was named as such because Dan Rooney suggested the rule that was adopted by the NFL in December 2002.

The Steelers decided late last week they would choose their coach over the weekend, Art Rooney said. That eliminated the third finalist, Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, whose team won the NFC championship Sunday.

Tomlin had gone from long shot to 50-50 bet. The more the Rooneys and Colbert talked to him, the less of a long shot he became.

"The main thing you think about is, when this guy is standing up in front of your team, is he going to be able to get his message across?" Art Rooney said. "I think that, more than one thing, maybe is what convinced us that this is the guy."

Tomlin addressed a packed Steelers press room, attended by nearly 100 members of the media, with a mix of determination, vibrancy and humor.

"We intend to make no bold predictions about what we're going to do," Tomlin said. "What we are going to do is promise to have a first-class, blue collar work ethic in how we approach our business."

Both Tomlin and Art Rooney acknowledged they considered the 2007 Steelers will be a candidate again for the Super Bowl.

By keeping LeBeau as his coordinator, Tomlin indicated that the Steelers likely will stay with their 3-4 scheme in 2007, but they also could switch between a 3-4 and a 4-3, as some NFL teams do now. Art Rooney revealed there were long discussions about that defense before Tomlin was hired, and that it could evolve into a 4-3, although it would take a few years for them to do so as they acquire the different personnel to fit such a scheme.

Rooney suggested to Tomlin that he consider keeping some of Cowher's staff because he considered it a good one, but that the choices are up to the new head coach.

"Continuity is a factor," Tomlin said of his new staff. "It's not the only factor. We're looking for good men who happen to be good coaches."

Arians, 54, was Cleveland's offensive coordinator for three seasons before he joined the Steelers' staff in 2004. He also coached the Colts quarterbacks and was an offensive coach for two other NFL teams and three colleges, in addition to his job as head coach of Temple for six seasons in the 1980s.

He will lend some continuity to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and could be the only offensive coach to return.

"He's a franchise quarterback," Tomlin said. "Like any other position and any other player on this team, we need to be fundamentalists in how we approach our business. We need to be students of the game.

"I look forward to working with Ben in that regard. I'm excited about having an opportunity to work with a young man who is talented, who has also had some of the life experiences of being a professional athlete that he has had. He's a world champion."

Tomlin first visited Pittsburgh when he was 12 years old to play a midget football game.

"I rode the inclines and those things," said Tomlin, a Hampton, Va., native. "Some of my roommates from college were Pittsburgh guys -- Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon -- so I know quite a bit about the attitude of people from the city and the great deal of pride that they have from being from here. I look forward to learning more."

As for what he knows about his new football team, Tomlin said:

"They are physically and mentally tough. They have a reputation for being that. Got some quality players; their resumes speak for themselves. And I'm sure the recent Super Bowl success and failure that followed will make them a hungry group of men."

01-23-2007, 12:20 AM
Sounds perfect. :sign01:

01-23-2007, 01:19 AM
Sucks to see Grimm leave, but I can't say i'm surprised. I hope he finds success elsewhere...except when he coaches against us.

Steel Pit
01-23-2007, 01:27 AM
It sure does "Suck" to see Grimm leave. I mean he did so much for the organization. PLEASE! Who gives a hoot about Grimm leaving? :wave:

During the interview process Grimm was quoted as saying "that he was going to stay with the Steelers whether he got the head coach position or not." Liar! Go to your room and pout MISTER!

01-23-2007, 01:36 AM
It sure does "Suck" to see Grimm leave. I mean he did so much for the organization. PLEASE! Who gives a hoot about Grimm leaving?

hoot, hoot , hoot, hoot - I give a hoot. :party: :tt02:

01-23-2007, 02:02 AM
that of course would be great. Hey Ben. Come here. Now you will learn how to work REAL hard son!

01-23-2007, 02:11 AM
It sure does "Suck" to see Grimm leave. I mean he did so much for the organization. PLEASE! Who gives a hoot about Grimm leaving? :wave:

During the interview process Grimm was quoted as saying "that he was going to stay with the Steelers whether he got the head coach position or not." Liar! Go to your room and pout MISTER!

Do you really believe it was at his request? I don't. I'd guess that Tomlin & the Steelers decided who would stay and who would be fired. Than out of respect they gave Grimm the option of resigning to save face. That being said I don't give a hoot. See ya Russ, by the way great job with the O-line last year!

01-23-2007, 06:54 AM
I'm happy to see that Arians was promoted to OC - good move Coach Tomlin! :thumbsup:
I am sorry to see Russ go - he was, after all, a part of our wild ride into SBXL last season and had been with the Steelers for 5 years. I appreciate his accomplishments with the black and gold and wish him only the best! Good luck Russ! :cheers:

01-23-2007, 09:44 AM
i really didn't see the fruits of grimm's labor enough to justify him staying. i didn't want him as our HC at all. look at the group of, what, 5 or 6 guys he was in charge of this year. did they really do all that well? they sucked for a good portion of the games. ballgames are won and lost on the line of scrimmage...when your o-line takes 2 steps back at the snap they give the QB less than 2 secs to make a play. that's not good coaching in my mind.

01-23-2007, 09:53 AM
all this love that's given to grimm...let me ask this: why did our offensive line suck so bad this year?

i mean, i like grimm and all, but roethlisberger was getting killed. yes, we ran the ball very well, but it's not like we're losing this "must have" coach. i felt the o-line could have had a better year and i hold grimm partly responsible for that.

trust me, if grimm had overwhelmed the rooney's he'd be the head coach today. he either didn't or he wanted them to unload the vault for him. i'll miss grimm, but i'm not willing to say that he's the greatest o-line coach out there.

01-23-2007, 10:36 AM
all this love that's given to grimm...ask this: why did our offensive line suck so bad this year? roethlisberger was getting killed. I felt the o-line could have had a better year and i hold grimm partly responsible for that.

trust me, if grimm had overwhelmed the rooney's he'd be the head coach today. i'll miss grimm, but i'm not willing to say that he's the greatest o-line coach out there.

Agreed, I just keep looking to the two games with the Ravens. The team didn't look any better prepared the second time we played, and that cost us the playoffs in the end.

I believe Coach Tomlin would have beat out the Whiz also. IMO

01-23-2007, 10:36 AM
I am glad to see Arians promoted,lets all hope he does well and stays a while.

While I am sad to see Grimm leave, I must say I am not surprised. I think the Steelers wanted someone young who can re-invigorate this team and has a better chance of staying in a long tenure as head coach. I wish Grimm luck in whatever he does, unless his team is playing the Pittsburgh Steelers...then I wish his team to play like poo that day.

01-23-2007, 11:08 AM
I am glad to see him go. He did nothing last year but get Ben killed on the field.. and the halftime adjustments he made..........oh wait he didnt make any, b/c ben got killed in the second half of the games too!!

Please go coach the Redskins so I can watch Romo light you up!!!

01-23-2007, 03:22 PM
Liked Russ but can understand not retaining him. Arians should do ok. We can only wait and see. Grimm will probably end up with Whiz.

01-23-2007, 03:32 PM
This from the Post-Gazette:

Grimm to join Arizona Cardinals staff

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Russ Grimm, who came in second for the Steelers head coaching job Sunday that went to Mike Tomlin, was named assistant head coach and offensive line coach of the Arizona Cardinals today.

Grimm, 47, held both of those titles with the Steelers. The job reunites him with new Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, the Steelers offensive coordinator who had been considered among the leading candidates to replace Bill Cowher here, along with Grimm. The Steelers released Grimm from his contract with them after he requested it.

01-24-2007, 10:07 PM
Another article on the subject:

Steelers coaching staff: Tomlin tabs Arians as his offensive coordinator

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MOBILE, Ala. -- One day after taking in all the pomp and circumstance that surrounded his appointment as Bill Cowher's successor, Mike Tomlin rolled up his sleeves and went to work as the new coach of the Steelers.
A day that began with several meetings and hirings at the team's South Side facility ended nearly 1,000 miles away with more meetings and more hirings, including the people who will run his offense and defense.
Tomlin and director of football operations Kevin Colbert flew to Mobile, Ala., via private jet yesterday to scout college players preparing for the Senior Bowl and to meet with the coaches who remain from Cowher's staff. His first objective was to tell Dick LeBeau, the defensive coordinator the past three seasons, he would be retained to run the Steelers' defense, a move Tomlin confirmed during the news conference Monday announcing his hiring.
Then, he told Bruce Arians, the team's wide receivers coach, he will be promoted to offensive coordinator -- a position Arians, 54, once held with the Cleveland Browns. Arians will replace Ken Whisenhunt, who became head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
"Being back in the saddle and calling plays again is where I want to be," Arians said. "We got a good offensive football team and I want to maintain it and maybe make it a little better."
Arians will have at least one other member of the offensive staff to work with -- tight ends coach James Daniel, who is also expected to be retained.
But it is LeBeau, 69, who will have very little disruption to the defensive staff. Tomlin is expected to retain all the defensive coaches from Cowher's staff, including both secondary coaches, Darren Perry and Ray Horton, a surprising development for a coach who employed a different defensive scheme with the Minnesota Vikings. All the coaches from Cowher's staff had at least one year remaining on their contracts.
Earlier, Tomlin was at the team's complex on the South Side and retained another holdover from Cowher's staff -- conditioning coordinator Chet Fuhrman, who also had a year remaining on his contract.
Tomlin needs several other assistant coaches and already has discussed the openings with potential candidates. He has talked to former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Anderson about becoming the team's quarterback coach, apparently replacing Mark Whipple.
Anderson, the Bengals' all-time leading passer, has been an assistant coach the past four seasons in Jacksonville, the past three as the Jaguars' quarterbacks coach. Anderson was the Bengals' offensive coordinator at a time when LeBeau was their defensive coordinator and head coach.
Also, Larry Zierlein, an assistant offensive line coach with the Buffalo Bills, is a possibility to replace Russ Grimm, who asked the Steelers to release him from his contract after he lost out to Tomlin to become the new head coach. Grimm joined the Arizona Cardinals yesterday as offensive line coach/assistant head coach -- the same title he had with the Steelers -- and will be reunited with Whisenhunt.
Zierlein was the offensive line coach at the University of Cincinnati (1997-2000) when Tomlin was the Bearcats' secondary coach and also was the Browns' offensive line coach in 2001-04 when Arians was the offensive coordinator. Arians has been the Steelers' wide receivers coach since he was fired as the Browns' offensive coordinator in 2003. He was also an offensive coordinator at Alabama and Mississippi State, in addition to being head coach at Temple University.

Does anybody else scratch there head on the hiring of Zierlein? He was a coach for the Browns OL? Did he see how bad the Browns OL has been?