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Old 01-31-2012, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old
http://www.timesonline.com/columnist...9bb30f31a.html
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:35 am

By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | 0 comments

Twenty-two days ago when Mike Tomlin predicted change, he didn't imagine the chaos he's already encountered in the Steelers' off-season.

He needs to find a new offensive coordinator to replace Bruce Arians.

On Monday, he had to persuade linebackers coach Keith Butler to turn down the chance to become defensive coordinator in Indianapolis.

He may have to find a new running backs coach to replace Kirby Wilson.

He must also deal with disgruntled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Last week while in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, Roethlisberger said he was so upset over the way Arians was pushed out that he demands a meeting with team president Art Rooney II.

"When I get back, I'm going to go up to Mr. Rooney's office and ask him what he wants from me, what he wants from this offense, because I think that's a viable question for him," Roethlisberger told Shawn McCullough, a reporter for the Radio Pennsylvania Network.

No doubt, Roethlisberger will soon meet with Rooney. As the highest-paid player in franchise history, he's earned the right to meet with the boss. But nothing significant will come from that meeting.

Arians is gone. He's now the new O.C. in Indianapolis. And even though he's the most important player on offense, Roethlisberger will have little to no say on who Tomlin hires to replace Arians.

In the last week or so, Rooney II has been ripped by some in the media for his role in Arians' dismissal. He's been accused of meddling. He's also been accused of wanting an offense geared more toward the run.

That's total nonsense on both counts.

Even if it was Rooney II's call to part ways with Arians, that's his right. He's the CEO. And by no means is he a meddler. This is the first time in a long time that Steeler management has asked a coach to make changes to his staff. It is believed that the last time it happened in Pittsburgh was 1988 during the Chuck Noll regime.

And don't believe for a moment that Rooney II doesn't want the offense to center on Roethlisberger.

When asked about the star power at quarterback for both Super Bowl teams - Tom Brady for the Patriots and Eli Manning for the Giants -- Rooney II said that "We're looking for our quarterback having that same kind of production."

As far as Roethlisberger being upset with Arians' demise in Pittsburgh and the direction the offense will take starting in 2012, too bad. He'll get over it. He'll get plenty of chances to throw the ball regardless of who's calling the plays.

Two weeks ago, I suggested that QB coach Randy Fichtner will be promoted to offensive coordinator. That still could happen although Tomlin has expressed interest in former Chiefs coach Todd Haley.

On Monday, Butler signed a new contract that figures to keep him in Pittsburgh long enough to succeed Dick LeBeau. Butler, 55, will someday be defensive coordinator although there's no telling how long the 74-year-old LeBeau plans on coaching.

As far as a new running backs coach, the Steelers may want to wait until they get a better handle on Wilson's health. The last update on his condition was that he's in critical condition as he recovers from severe burns from a Jan. 6 fire in his home.

Who knows when Wilson will be able to coach again, if ever?

So far, it's been an eventful off-season for the Steelers. It figures to get even more hectic.

Right now, Tomlin is addressing coaching staff matters. But soon, things will heat up on the player personnel front. Free agency starts in March.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

I like how he puts words in Ben's mouth and says he's "disgruntled". Thats a load of s***. All he said is he wants a meeting about what he wants and expects from the offense. I'd request a meeting the exact same way.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

Didn't Rooney II already say what he wanted? Did Ben think R2 was playing?
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

big ben disgruntled? more sensationalist journalism, rolling off what a RPN reporter took out of context...and then writing about what others are saying about that initial shoddy reporting as proof there was a conflict.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

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big ben disgruntled? more sensationalist journalism, rolling off what a RPN reporter took out of context...and then writing about what others are saying about that initial shoddy reporting as proof there was a conflict.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

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Originally Posted by TRH View Post
I like how he puts words in Ben's mouth and says he's "disgruntled". Thats a load of s***. All he said is he wants a meeting about what he wants and expects from the offense. I'd request a meeting the exact same way.
Agreed!!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bires: Busy off-season for Steelers, and it's only three weeks old

They're busy losing staff members but I haven't heard of too many hires. WTF?
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