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Old 01-07-2010, 05:31 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default We still have Arians to kick around

We still have Arians to kick around
http://community.post-gazette.com/bl...k/default.aspx
By Bob Smizik | Thursday, 12:15 a.m.

Hereís the good news, Steeler Nation: Youíll have Bruce Arians to kick around for at least one more season.

The much-criticized offensive coordinator had a long meeting with Mike Tomlin yesterday and came out of it with his job. Whether he came out of it with his same offensive philosophy is something we might not know until next season.

Itís unlikely Tomlin will address what transpired in this meeting or what changes, if any, will be made in the Steelers offensive philosophy. NFL teams arenít normally given to presenting such explanations.

But my guess of what happened in that meeting is Tomlin told Arians heíd like to see more of a commitment tBruce Arianso the running game, more of a balance to the offense. Iím not suggesting he told Arians to revamp his offense. That would be foolish. But I think Arians was told to possibly consider using a fullback more often and to definitely consider the fact that Rashard Mendenhall showed in his second season that he can be a star.

Whether Arians was close to losing his job or not is something we might never know. Such secrets seldom become public.

I applaud the decision to keep Arians, who angered fans and some media members with his pass-first offense, empty-set backfields and red-zone failures. He wasnít the perfect coordinator, but he was far from the worst.

Thatís what people too often donít get. Sometimes the man you fire might turn out to be better than the man you hire. So if you have someone who is doing a good job -- and I believe Arians was doing a good job -- you keep him and make changes.

The facts are these:

* The Steelers were third in the AFC in yards gained, fifth in passing, 12th rushing and sixth in points.

* Ben Roethlisberger set a Steelers record by passing for 4,328 yards. He yards per game total of 289 were second in the AFC, ahead of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. His passer rating was second best to Philip Rivers.

* In Mendenhallís first full season, he ran for 1,108 yards, not bad for a guy who opened the season on the bench

* For the first time in team history, there were two 1,000-yard receivers -- Santonio Holmes (1,248) and Hines Ward (1,167).

* Heath Miller set a Steelers record for receptions by a tight end with 76.

Itís true, all that yardage could have produced more points. That it did not, is not totally the fault of Arians any more than all the yardage chalked up is solely responsible to his wisdom.

The Steelers showed this year that the Arians offense can produce yards. With that behind them (hopefully), maybe next year they can take the offense a step further, be more successful in red zone and produce points commensurate with those yards.

That doesnít mean the pass-first offense should be abandoned. Roethlisberger is a superstar. You donít relegate superstars to handing off the ball.

The Steelers will look somewhat different next year but play mostly the same. And thatís as it should be. This offense showed it can move the ball. It needs to be able to finish off drives. That doesnít involved blowing up the offense. It means making some changes.

Tomlin is smart enough to figure that out and Arians is smart enough to implement it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

2009 Steelers.....4,148 yards passing, 1,793 yards rushing, 368 points scored ........Record 9-7

2002 Browns.....3,665 yards passing, 1,615 yards rushing, 344 points scored..........Record 9-7

I thought I had seen this movie somewhere before.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

Pretty good comparison El-Gonzo. I decided to see what type of efficiency our offense was able to generate for this year and compared to the 2002 Browns as well as the AFC Playoff teams. For efficiency, I decided to use Points/Yard. Basically, how many points did the team generate for each offensive yard gained (it's a fraction, but the results tell the story):

Team Points/Yard
2009 Chargers .076
2009 Colts .071
2009 Patricheats .066
2009 Ravens .066
2009 Jets .065
2002 Browns .065
2009 Steelers .062
2009 Bungles .059

I'm not an Arians hater, but it does frost my ass when I see 3 pass plays inside the 10 yard line. Maybe Arians only called the plays that gave them the best opportunities (since we had issues running inside the 10). If that's the case, the FO fired the right guy. But having said this, if I were Tomlin I would show this to Arians and tell him if this doesn't improve next season I'd make him an offer he can't refuse.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

It just reminds me so much of that Cleveland team with Holcombe throwing the ball around to Northcutt, Johnson, Davis, Morgan and not establishing the run without a FB. The team could produce offensively, but could not hold onto a lead with a clock eating drive or keep the chains moving on the ground.

When you watch that AFC Wildcard game again, if Northcutt catches a key 3rd down pass late in the game....the Browns can close it out. But, catching footballs in cold winter weather isnt as easy as september or as easy as running the ball.

I thought the loss to Cleveland this year was fittingly ironic, since the same inability to run the ball the Browns had in 2002, was the same the Steelers showed on that night in Cleveland.......but I must be the only one that remembers that.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

Over/Under?

30 more Arians threads this week
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

I'll take the under......HTG will merge some at #29.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

I wouldn't want to enter next season without someone firmly ensconced to kick around.

BA has earned that mantle and wears it well.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I thought the loss to Cleveland this year was fittingly ironic, since the same inability to run the ball the Browns had in 2002, was the same the Steelers showed on that night in Cleveland.......but I must be the only one that remembers that.
No, I remember that game well. Northcutt ran an out pattern and had an easy catch go right through his fingers (but as you said, nothing is easy in the cold). In fact, I told my girlfriend (now wife) the Steelers should run a draw ... which is what they did and scored the winning TD. That was back when we could run it in from the 2 yard line.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

BA didnot get a new contract so i would think MT layed out what he wants and BA agreeded . Will see next season
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: We still have Arians to kick around

I wouldn't want to enter next season without someone firmly ensconced to kick around.

BA has earned that mantle and wears it well.
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