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Old 01-21-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony
Saturday, January 22, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11022/1119967-66.stm

Bruce Arians is one hell of an offensive coordinator.

Now that I have your attention, let me back up that statement. No, wait. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wants to do it. He's aware of the ridiculous anti-Arians sentiment around town. He can't understand it, either.

"He gets way, way too much blame and criticism," Roethlisberger told the national media this week. "It's kind of unfortunate because he's so good. If you ask the players, we know. If you ask someone that knows the game of football, you'll know how good he is and what he's done for the offense and what he brings."

In the interest of full disclosure, Roethlisberger has more than a player-coach relationship with Arians. He described him as "a father figure," which made Arians laugh. "I'd rather him say I'm the favorite uncle he likes to drink with." The two are close. You might have heard something in March about Roethlisberger owning a place in Georgia. Arians has one nearby. They play golf often.

"I can talk to him about anything," Roethlisberger said.

It wasn't always that way

"In the beginning, he didn't like me much and I didn't think all that much of him, either," Arians said, fairly giggling. They came to the Steelers in 2004, Roethlisberger as a No. 1 draft choice and Arians as wide receivers coach. Arians became offensive coordinator in '07 after Ken Whisenhunt left for the head job with the Arizona Cardinals.

"I don't think Ben liked me because I had coached Peyton," Arians said of the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning, generally regarded as the hardest-working quarterback in the NFL. "I wanted to see him study harder. I wanted his work ethic to catch up with his passion for the game and all that talent he has."

Well, guess what?

"He's done everything and more that I've asked of him," Arians said of Roethlisberger. "I'm as proud of him as you can be of a person who's not your son or daughter."

Their success together has been extraordinary. The Steelers went to the playoffs in '07 and won the Super Bowl in '08. They missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record last season despite having a 4,300-yard quarterback, a 1,000-yard rusher, two 1,000-yard wide receivers and a tight end who caught a franchise-record 76 passes. And this season? Maybe you have read something about the AFC championship game against the New York Jets Sunday night at Heinz Field.

The Steelers lost to the Jets, 22-17, at home Dec. 19. The offense produced 378 yards, ran for the most yards (147) against the Jets this season and had a 2 1/2-minute edge in possession time. "We just didn't score enough points," Arians said. "We also gave up two points."

That blasted safety.

Jets linebacker Jason Taylor tackled running back Mewelde Moore in the end zone on a first-and-10 play from the Steelers 3, bumping the Jets' lead to 22-17 with 2:38 left. Arians was excoriated around town for calling that trap play, which had left guard Chris Kemoeatu pulling to his right to lead Moore off right tackle. Taylor sliced through the gap vacated by Kemoeatu before left tackle Jonathan Scott could cut him off.

"Their guy jumped the cadence and made a great play," Roethlisberger said. "It was a great call. If we get the play off, it's out to at least the 10."

"I didn't beat myself up over that one," Arians said. "It's one of our best plays. It would have picked up a solid eight to 15 yards."

Even after the safety, Arians was confident. Roethlisberger, you know? The Steelers got the ball back at their 8 with 2:08 left. "I looked Ben in the eye and told him, 'Let's go get 'em in the end like we always do.' We should have, too."

Roethlisberger led the Steelers to the Jets 10 and had two shots in the end zone to win the game. On the first, backup tight end Matt Spaeth dropped what should have been the winning touchdown pass.

Now, the Steelers get a second crack at the Jets. Arians went overboard this week praising Jets coach Rex Ryan, calling him "the best [defensive mind] in the business. He amazes me the way he keeps coming up with new stuff." He went overboard praising the Jets defense, saying, "It's just like playing Baltimore's defense only they're better because of their cornerbacks."

Don't be fooled.

You know Arians loves his chances with Roethlisberger.

At the team hotel tonight, the two will go over the game plan one final time. Out of the 70 or so pass plays, Roethlisberger will pick his 15 favorites. He'll do the same for all possible third-down situations.

"I lose a lot of the plays I like when we do that," Arians said, grinning.

"That's what's so great about working with B.A.," Roethlisberger said. "If I tell him I hate a play, he won't call it. He doesn't have an ego that way. He doesn't ever say, 'We're going to do it my way.' It's the same way with the receivers. If one of them comes to him and says, 'I can beat my guy on this play,' he'll call it. He has enough faith in his players to do that. He's a players' guy."

Said Arians: "I'd be pretty stupid to call a play my quarterback hates. I'm not trying to impress anybody out there. I'm just trying to help us win the game."

That's why Arians is able to shrug off the criticism. He knows an awful lot of people think they can call plays better than he does. That goes with his job. He takes no offense.

It's not praise and pats on the back that Arians will remember when he leaves football, anyway. It's the wins and the championships and the relationships with the players.

Especially the relationships.

"We haven't lost too many together," Arians said of Roethlisberger.

I don't expect 'em to lose Sunday night, either.
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11022...#ixzz1BjqUWnzw
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

Quote:
"He gets way, way too much blame and criticism,"
No, I think he gets what he earns

Quote:
. "It's kind of unfortunate because he's so good.
Hell, Even I could be 'so good' coaching Peyton, But we all remember what a great job he did in cleveland, and coaching up their string of QB greats before comming to Pittsburgh.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

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Originally Posted by dcbng View Post
No, I think he gets what he earns

Hell, Even I could be 'so good' coaching Peyton, But we all remember what a great job he did in cleveland, and coaching up their string of QB greats before comming to Pittsburgh.
You are preaching to choir with me my friend and I'm sure Fire Arians will also agree.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:41 PM   #4
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Cool Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

Damnit.

Now I like Bruce Arians again.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

It's kinda weird how our offense is so explosive yet we still cannot score points? Who else can you blame but the OC?
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

ive been hard on arians, but i have also been fair.

the rooneys chose to keep him for his final year. mike tomlin stuck his neck out for him and abviously convinced them he (and bruce, ben, et al0 could make it work.

i accepted that and said this is a "make or break" season for the o-coord.

i think he made it. the run game has been more effective and efficient. the steelers ran 4X vs the ravens on 5 consecutive plays from the 5 yard line for a touchdown in a dominant opening drive last week. havent seen that in years.

the o-line has just about been in shambles, but the FO and coaches knew pouncey was the right pick and firing zeirlein as opposed to arians would make improvements.

sean kugler has proved as much.

the special teams hasnt contributed in losing straignt games.

bens interceptions and sacks are down.

art rooney said he wanted to see the rookies play more and brown and sanders are lighting it up and pouncey is going to the pro bowl.

i honestly thought arians was going to be too stubborn. he has proved otherwise. i'd say him and tomlin passed the test.

in the name of continuity, i am thinking arians is offered a contract when this season expires.

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

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Originally Posted by MikeHaullace View Post
Damnit.

Now I like Bruce Arians again.

I would have to say he is still a douche.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

Bruce A. Has done a very good job. Like anyone he has missed the mark sometimes but overall I think he works well as the OC and has done a fine job with the offense and sometimes get's blamed when things don't go as expected.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

I will say that he seems to be on a two or three game tear, which is a marathon for him. I hope he keeps it up at least two more.

Even so, no one can tell me there aren't some real head-scratcher series thrown in almost every single game. The All-Gadget-Play Series seems to come out every game lately. And the only person still fooled by the bubble screen is Arians himself. He needs to move on from it.

Finally, I don't think anyone really knows if the positive changes are coming from Bruce or away from him. In other words, is Ben calling more of the offense himself? Some of the recent stories would suggest it. I have long thought that Arians would do quite well just prepping the offense and leaving the play-calling to someone else. We'll see.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:51 AM   #10
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Cool Re: Cook: Roethlisberger, Arians come down in 2-part harmony

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Originally Posted by Wallace17 View Post
I would have to say he is still a douche.
As long as the offense continues to make plays when it has to make plays, I'm fine with the kat running that show. I can't dislike a man that's part of a team playing for a conference title. Bad juju.
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