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Old 11-21-2011, 05:47 AM   #1
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Default Arians not retiring type now

Arians not retiring type now
Monday, November 21, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians spent the Steelers' off weekend at his Reynolds Plantation home in Greensboro, Ga., a spectacular golfing community on Lake Oconee, about halfway between Atlanta and Augusta. At this time a year ago, he couldn't wait to retire and move there full time. In fact, after the 2010 season, he told coach Mike Tomlin he was done after 36 years in coaching. Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger quickly and quietly talked him out of quitting.

And now?

"We'll see how it goes the rest of the season, but it's looking like I'll try coaching again next year," Arians said Sunday. "These young guys have made it so much fun for me."

So have a 7-3 record and a share of first place in the AFC North Division.

Arians' offense has much to do with it. Roethlisberger is playing the best football of his career. The offensive line has stabilized after a terrible start; its five members will make their fifth consecutive start together Sunday night when the Steelers play at Kansas City. Young wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown are turning into stars. Tight end Heath Miller remains -- in Arians' words -- "the quarterback's security blanket." Rashard Mendenhall and Ike Redman are solid backs even if their numbers don't blow anyone away.

This is what Arians had in his mind for the offense all along. After the Steelers lost Oct. 2 in Houston, 17-10, in a game when Roethlisberger was sacked five times, Arians predicted his guys would regroup and be formidable. "We still can be the offense that we expect to be," he insisted.

Sunday, Arians added, "I always knew it was there. It was just a matter of keeping the faith."

Since that loss in Houston, the Steelers have gone 5-1. Other than a poor second half in a 17-13 win against Jacksonville Oct. 16, the offense has been largely outstanding. Arians has done a great job mixing things up. He has called running plays out of three-wide receiver sets and passing plays out of three-tight end sets. He has thrown to kill the clock at the end of games rather than running the ball, so great is his faith in Roethlisberger.

"There's never a doubt when I call a play that it will be successful," Arians said. "It's just a matter of us executing against the defense."

It doesn't hurt having a franchise quarterback, one of the NFL's best. In the past six games, Roethlisberger has thrown for 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He threw for 300 yards three times.

"It's his team," Arians said of Roethlisberger. "He has such a grasp of what we're doing. And he has a great rapport with the young guys."

Wallace and Brown.

"Wow! They're so talented and they really want to be good," Arians said. "Everyone knows who Mike Wallace is. But he's no longer just a deep guy. He's expanded his game. He's catching short balls and doing a lot of damage ...

"Antonio is having a fabulous season."

The two have been so good that future Hall of Famer Hines Ward has lost his starting job. Actually, Ward has fallen to No. 4 among the wide receivers, also behind Jerricho Cotchery, "a great get for us" as a free agent, Arians said. "But I wouldn't write off Hines just yet. He's still going to make some big plays for us."

The line jelled when the Steelers brought back offensive tackle Max Starks as a free agent after the Houston game. Roethlisberger, sacked 14 times in the first four games, has been given better protection despite being sacked 17 times in the past six games.

"Max and Marcus Gilbert are giving us the best tackle play we've had since I've been here," Arians said.

All of it has re-energized Arians. Last season, Roethlisberger was suspended for the first four games. Injuries ravaged the offensive line. The Steelers had two new offensive coaches -- line coach Sean Kugler and wide receivers coach Scottie Reynolds. "It was a mental grind for me," Arians said.

Tomlin told Arians to re-think his retirement decision. Roethlisberger, who also owns a home in Reynolds Plantation and lives just around the corner, came to Georgia and told Arians he couldn't bail out on the team after it lost in Super Bowl XLV to the Green Bay Packers.

"Ben kept talking about the potential of this offense with the young guys," Arians said. "What he said to me was huge."

Arians is thrilled to be back even though much work is ahead in the final six regular-season games.

"We're running the ball OK, but it's time to run it better," he said. "Not necessarily more, but better. That's something we talked about all last week."

Going into Sunday, the Steelers ranked 17th in the NFL with 109.8 rushing yards per game.

Arians said he loves the team's chances of reaching a fourth Super Bowl in seven seasons even if it has to get there as a wild card. The Baltimore Ravens, after beating the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, still control the AFC North because of their two wins against the Steelers.

"I think our team is better than it was when we won Super Bowl XL [as a wild card]," Arians said. "Our defense is just as good, and it's going to get better when guys get healthy. Offensively back then, we really only could run the ball. Ben was solid, but we had to use a lot of gimmick plays. We didn't have the depth at wide receiver that we do now.

"This team is capable of going on the road and beating you in a lot of different ways. If we have to be road warriors again, we can do it. I have no doubt about that"

To say this has been a satisfying start to the season for Arians would be an understatement. No longer is he the subject of vitriol on the talk shows. No longer is he -- in his words -- "the village idiot." Most of Steelers Nation seems pleased with what the offense is doing.

Of course, that's always subject to change. And quickly.

"Oh, I know that," Arians said, a chuckle in his voice. "I understand how that goes. But I've never backed away from it. I love having that bull's eye on my back."

Arians mentioned one of his favorite poems -- "If" by Rudyard Kipling. The way he interprets it, Kipling wrote about how stepping into the arena and trying is so much more rewarding than sitting back and just watching.

"I love being in the arena."

That's really the reason Arians is planning on coming back next season.

Competing in the NFL is intoxicating.

Golf, for him, just can't compare.

Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vibnnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan. More articles by this author
First published on November 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11325...#ixzz1eL7OSgJw
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

They need to rename a article "Arians Is Not The HIRING Type" and explain why no other team has even interviewed this idiot.

Ron Cook polishes Arians balls weekly. I dare anyone to find one negative thing cook has said about Arians
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

This guy has his mind on the moon . . .

Ben and Bruce got together and talked some more - this makes me feel sooooo much better
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

If you ever listen to Cook's radio show, he gets bent way out of shape when somebody is even remotely critical of Arians. And he has gone to great lengths in recent weeks to take stabs at the "Arian Haters" by pointing out how they have nothing to call in and beat up Arians about.

I mean, while there has been some improvement, it's not like the Steelers offense is operating at a GreenBay-like clip. They still leave waaayyyyy too many points on the field, particularly in the redzone. But, Cook conveniently left that part out. I, for one am hardly surprised. So, yeah, to say this is an unbiased piece would be a bit of a stretch. To call it a fluff piece would be an understatement.

I still want him to retire yesterday.


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Old 11-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

Yea, its funny how some pro-Arians media types always quote Bruce in saying "I knew we had a good game plan together, but the players need to execute it."

Can you say "cop out?" Yes the players need to catch the damn ball with the game on the line against a division opponent that has playoff ramifications (I'm looking at you Johnson!) But why, why, WHY do they continually omit the awful red zone efficiency and how we are unable to keep our foot on the gas. We have yet to have 1 outstanding game as an offense and completely dominate. Yes, this offense has spurts of excitement, and if you are a Steeler fan, yes, you haven't seen this many weapons with this much potential. But they are still VERY young and VERY inexperienced and do not click anywhere near the level of Rodgers and his receivers. To say this offense is as explosive as GB's offense is laughable.

The mere fact that we constantly put the onus on our defense to seal a win is 100% proof. They have no clue about how to get an insurmountable lead and keep kicking an opponent when they are down. Hmmm its 17-7 so let's throw a low percentage deep post that will most likely burn a down and boom, before we know it it is 17-14. Boom Its tied, Boom its 20-17, but oh the offense responded and tied it up whoopdee doo - when you get up by 10 to 14 points the game is nowhere near over and you should be playing like it is 0-0 all game - not like you have it won in the third quarter.

ENOUGH. They haven't won anything since Ben's improv to Tone play in XLIII. They haven't been able to click on any cylinders or look like anything to be afraid of as an offense. They have ridden on having to make huge third down conversions at the end of the game to even stay competitve. FOR ONCE, let's see the offense for what they are - competitive, exciting at times, but NOT explosive.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

Quote:
But they are still VERY young and VERY inexperienced
This might have something to do with it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

absolutely - I think the fact that our home run weapon has only been in it for 3 years is proof of the inexperience. I'd be interested in seeing the % of miscues, miss-communications, wrong-routes, missed-blocks, etc etc - it even happens with the line who until the past 3 or 4 games have had zero time to gel, and have a rookie and a 2nd year center (who while outstanding - still gets blown up on blitz plays)
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

Hopefully he'll abandon that idea like he abandons the run.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

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Originally Posted by MACH1 View Post
Hopefully he'll abandon that idea like he abandons the run.
this post is regrettable. support the team.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Arians not retiring type now

Listen - its just fun to hate Arians ok lol
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