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Old 09-09-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure
Friday, September 10, 2010
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians: "I love the pressure. I love that bull's-eye on my back. I love having the responsibility in my hands."

There are a lot of ways the Steelers can beat the Atlanta Falcons Sunday. Dennis Dixon could play lights out. Rashard Mendenhall could run for 150 yards and three touchdowns. The defense could pitch a shutout. Troy Polamalu could return an interception for a score. But there's only one way the Steelers can lose. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians screws things up by calling a rotten game.

That's the perception of many around town, isn't it?

"I've heard that," Arians said after practice Thursday.

You should have seen the man laugh. I'd like to say it was a belly laugh, but Arians doesn't have nearly the belly he did last season. He lost 35 pounds over the summer on a diet. His critics -- and they are many -- have a lot less of him to kick around.

That won't stop 'em, of course. Not that Arians cares. He learned a long time ago that scrutiny and criticism go with his job because everyone truly believes they can call the plays better than the offensive coordinator. He pays no attention to it. Certainly, he has paid no attention to it since the spring of 2007 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a prostatectomy.

It's amazing how being a cancer survivor changes a person's perspective about what's really important in life.

No doubt it helped Arians get through a tough season in '09. The Steelers' offense was prolific at times. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 4,328 yards. Wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward had 1,000-yard years. Tight end Heath Miller had 76 catches. Mendenhall ran for 1,108 yards. But, too often, the offense had a hard time running the ball in short-yardage situations, especially near the goal line. It didn't do enough to help the defense protect five fourth-quarter leads.

There was widespread speculation Arians would pay the price with his job after the Steelers finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

"You don't like hearing it," Arians said of an ESPN1250 radio report Jan. 5 that he was going to be fired, "especially when you feel like you did a pretty good job. I felt fine about [his job status], but you don't know for sure. Sometimes when there's smoke, there's fire ... "

Asked about the report in March, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, "I don't know where it came from." For his part, Steelers president Art Rooney II told Bouchette that he didn't go to Tomlin to ask for Arians' job only to be talked out of the firing by Tomlin. "I never went to Mike and said we have to fire Bruce." All were vehement that any lobbying for Arians that Roethlisberger might have done had nothing to do with Arians being back. "It's really a joke," Tomlin said. Added Arians, "If they're going to fire you, they're going to fire you."

This much I know for sure:

I'm glad the Steelers didn't fire Arians. That wouldn't have been just an injustice, it would have been flat-out wrong. The team won the Super Bowl after the '08 season with him as coordinator. Roethlisberger loves playing for him. I sense that all of his guys do.

Now, it's a new season. You know what that means. Starting Sunday, all eyes will be on the Steelers' offense. All eyes will be on Arians' play-calling.

Bring on the scrutiny, the man said.

"I can't wait to get started. I'm really eager to see what we can do. This is a really good football team here."

Even with Dixon, who has gone from third-team quarterback to starter because of Roethlisberger's four-game NFL-mandated suspension and Byron Leftwich's knee injury?

"Dennis is going to be fine," Arians said. "It's a night-and-day difference where he is now as opposed to the Baltimore game" last season when Dixon made his first and only NFL start.

The circumstances are different as well.

"We didn't have a reliable backup at that point last season," Arians said. "It was like, 'Dennis, don't run. Throw the ball away if you have to. You can't get hurt.' Now we have Charlie Batch backing him up. We don't have to be afraid to let Dennis play."

Arians is expected to try to ease the pressure on Dixon by calling Mendenhall's number often. One change Rooney II did ask Tomlin to make after last season was to run the ball better. Not more, necessarily. Just better.

In other words, convert those third-and-1s and fourth-and-1s.

"There's no better feeling than handing the ball off and kicking [butt]," Arians said, clearly on board with that plan. "It's a bad feeling when you have to be tricky on third-and-1 ...

"I love to run the ball. That sets up what I love to do the most. Throw it deep."

Arians won't care what the Steelers' run-pass ratio is Sunday as long as they win. Nor will Rooney II or Tomlin.

Now Arians' critics ...

I think back to something Arians said during Super Bowl week after that '08 season.

"I could have stayed a quarterbacks coach or a wide receivers coach. I could have stayed out of the limelight. But that's not me. I love the pressure. I love that bull's-eye on my back. I love having the responsibility in my hands."

Scrutiny?

Really, bring it on.

The man can handle it.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10253...#ixzz0z687pcKH
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

i didn't read it yet but

fire arians.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

I love this quote:

"I love to run the ball. That sets up what I love to do the most. Throw it deep."

because the deep pass is my favorite too. This is why it took several years for Ward to become one of my favorites. I was always excited to see who would be across from him...the guy who could catch the deep ball...now it's Wallace and I like him slightly better than Ward.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

Arians thinks he a "pretty good job last year"!!! After losing to the Bengals twice, after the Cleveland disaster, after admitting he got carried away with passing and he thinks he did a pretty good job!

Arians has learned nothing. All he wants to do is throw deep, throw deep, throw deep.

Nor do I buy the whole cancer sob story, pity poor Bruce that the clown writer Cook needless inserted into the article. It doesn't cut any ice with me. I too am a cancer survivor. In last three months I was diagnosed and had a radical nefrectory for renal cell carcinoma. A condition that is far more lethal than prostate cancer. If my cancer comes back, and it has a 21% chance of doing so, then my mean time of survival is only 25 months.

Cook, an obvious Arians lover, has reached a new low with pity poor Bruce he's a cancer survivor so he cant be criticized schtick.

Truly pathetic writing.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

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Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
i didn't read it yet but

fire arians.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

Look at the big brain on Bruce!

Let's see how talented a coordinator Arians is without #7 to improvise after the play collapses

Belichick got a lot smarter when he got to coach Brady as his QB and Shanahan got a lot dumber after Elway retired.

In his other column in the P-G today Cook predicts a 7-9 record this season
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10253/1086305-66.stm
I guess Cook would predict a 5-11 record if Bruce was not the O-coordinator

If this season crashes and burns (my prediction is an 8-8 record after a 1-3 start) the one upside will be Tomlin throwing Arians over the side in January as Tomlin starts trying to save his own neck
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

The reason BR7 has to improvise is because our line is average. Yes i understand he sometimes holds on to the ball longer but overall our line play dictates his actions.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

I have made it known that I am not a Arians fan and have been on the "Fire Arians" bandwagon the last two years, but I want to see what he can do without Ben the first four games. If its business as usual I'll be calling for his head
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Look at the big brain on Bruce!

Let's see how talented a coordinator Arians is without #7 to improvise after the play collapses

Belichick got a lot smarter when he got to coach Brady as his QB and Shanahan got a lot dumber after Elway retired.

In his other column in the P-G today Cook predicts a 7-9 record this season
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10253/1086305-66.stm
I guess Cook would predict a 5-11 record if Bruce was not the O-coordinator

If this season crashes and burns (my prediction is an 8-8 record after a 1-3 start) the one upside will be Tomlin throwing Arians over the side in January as Tomlin starts trying to save his own neck
All coaches success is predicated on their players. Walsh/Montana Shula/Griese/Csonka. Shula/Marino. Jimmy Johnson/Aikman. Bellicheat/Brady. Noll/Bradshaw (how was chuck post Bradshaw?). Bud Grant/Tarkenton. Holmgren/Favre. I mean it goes hand and hand.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers' Arians loves the pressure

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The reason BR7 has to improvise is because our line is average. Yes i understand he sometimes holds on to the ball longer but overall our line play dictates his actions.
Agreed the line is mediocre, but when Arians starts puffing about the great stats the offense puts up it is not due to his pass happy schemes but the ability of #7 to keep the play alive

By way of illustration - Steelers get the ball back with 2 minutes to go in the second Bengals game last November and the play calling is limited to chucking the ball deep several times

Needing a touchdown to win, the Steelers began their final drive at their 33 with 1:50 remaining -- a situation in which Ben Roethlisberger has usually excelled. But, instead of picking his way downfield, Roethlisberger misfired on deep passes on second and third down and the drive ended with four consecutive incompletions. "We were just trying to get the ball down the field deeper because we needed chunks," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "We didn't protect very well. We had to go a long way. We couldn't nickel-and-dime our way down there with that amount of time."


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09320/1013806-66.stm

No explanation by Bruce as to how going 90 yards with intermediate "nickel and dime" pass routes had managed to work in February 2009. Had getting "chunks" of yardage been the plan with 2 minutes to go in SB XLIIII, the winning drive would never have occurred.

Arians explanation for everything, going back to at least the Denver game in 2007 when he came out throwing against one of the worst run defenses in the league and spent the next week casting blame elsewhere for that brain cramp, is that when something works it is due to his superior intellect and when it fails it is because the brilliant plan was not properly implemented by the players
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