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    Default Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    By Clark Judge
    CBSSports.com Senior Writer
    Feb. 5, 2011Tell Clark your opinion!
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/1...deeming-season



    PITTSBURGH -- Super Bowl XLV might be about redemption, but it's not about Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It's about his coach, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

    A year ago he was so disliked that one media outlet in Pittsburgh had the guy about to be fired. But he wasn't, and now he's on the verge of sticking it to his critics with a second Super Bowl victory in three years.

    So don't tell me this game doesn't mean something to Arians, because it should. He was the guy singled out for Pittsburgh's failure to reach the playoffs in 2009, and he was the guy coach Mike Tomlin -- acting on instructions from team president Art Rooney II -- felt compelled to sit down before this season, with Tomlin putting him on notice to make better use of young players and to get the offense to run the ball more effectively.

    So Arians did, and look what happened: Rookie Antonio Brown, who made the two biggest catches the past two weeks, and the Steelers' running game basically decided the AFC Championship Game. That's a credit to the players involved -- with Roethlisberger at the head of the class -- but it's also a tribute to an assistant coach who deserves more attention than he has gotten.

    I'm serious, and I use Pittsburgh's game-clinching series two weekends ago as proof. The Steelers had the ball with under two minutes left, looking to keep it from a Jets team that was out of timeouts. Faced with a third-and-6, the expectation was that Pittsburgh would play it safe and run to kill more clock, then lean on the league's best defense as its closer.

    Only Pittsburgh didn't run. When Roethlisberger huddled with coaches on the sideline, he went over possible play calls before Tomlin stuck his head in and told Arians, "Call your game, B.A." Roethlisberger's face broke into a smile, and Arians did what he knew he had to do -- which was call a pass play, with Roethlisberger having the option to roll right or scramble.

    So he rolled right, found Brown with a first-down pass and the Steelers' ticket to Dallas was punched.

    "The play-action pass is set up and ready to go because you trust your quarterback," said Arians. "Without that trust, you were going to run, run, punt and let the defense go win the game. That's not our job. Our job is to kneel down at the end and put the thing on ice. If you trust your quarterback then it's not a problem. It's easy to call those plays."

    Maybe. But it wasn't easy to call that one. Even Jets coach Rex Ryan was surprised, calling it a "gusty" move afterward, but Arians disagreed. He had a quarterback he trusted. He trusted him. And it worked, simple as that.

    "I don't know who called that last series," said former Kansas City player personnel director Bill Kuharich, "but it was great. It kind of reminded me what Herman Edwards used to say: 'You play to win the game.' And that's what he did."

    Afterward, Roethlisberger was congratulated for getting the Steelers to their third Super Bowl in six years, but he's not here without Arians making that call. Or countless others that preceded it.

    Bruce Arians is proof that you don't have to change ... or change people ... to improve. The Steelers made it back to the Super Bowl one year after he was rumored to be gone, and tell me that doesn't make Sunday's game significant for at least one assistant coach.

    "There really wasn't as much smoke or fire as everybody made it out to be," said Arians. "I don't let that stuff bother me. And, if it would, I'd just go get another job."

    I think I speak for all Steelers fans when I say, hell, no, don't let him go.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by WYsteel View Post
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    I think I speak for all Steelers fans when I say, hell, no, don't let him go.
    Sorry, but not for me...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Sorry, but not for me...
    Only way we are ever rid of Bruce is if another team thinks enough of him to hire him away. So rejoice when others speak well of Bruce. Then maybe he''ll leave.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Bruce Arians Went Against Grain to Get Steelers to Super Bowl

    By Pat McManamon
    Senior Writer




    DALLAS -- Certain situations tell a lot about a team, a coach, an assistant coach.

    So it was with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game when Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians were faced with a choice. The Steelers had seen a 24-0 lead dissipate to 24-19, and the New York Jets had only to stop the Steelers in the final three minutes to get a chance to advance to the Super Bowl.

    Pittsburgh made a bold choice. The results propelled the Steelers to an appearance in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

    In the Championship Game, Pittsburgh took over at its 41-yard-line with 3:06 left. New York had all three of its timeouts, and all the momentum. In the patterned and predictable world of the NFL, a team in that position runs the ball three times, punts and takes its chances on defense.

    But not Arians.

    This is a coordinator who in Cleveland on fourth-and-goal from the 3 called for a wide receiver reverse. A coordinator who played Pittsburgh in the playoffs with Kelly Holcomb at quarterback and called so many passes that Holcomb threw for 400 yards. A coordinator at that game who was caught by NFL Films pointing at the receivers saying: "We are going to attack their *** the whole game."

    On the sidelines, Arians walked up to Mike Tomlin and asked what he wanted to do.

    "Call your game, BA," Tomlin told him.

    This either is the ultimate support for a coordinator, or a coach testing his coordinator. Arians had been criticized in Pittsburgh for being too pass-happy, and his job had security had not been the best when the Steelers failed to reach the playoffs last season. Call your game.

    So Arians passed. Twice. In the NFL passing twice with a berth in the Super Bowl at stake is akin to asking the Statue of Liberty to swim the English Channel. It just does not happen.

    "When I looked (Tomlin) in the eye (and) said, 'Coach, what do you want to do?' ... He said, 'Play to win,'" Arians said. "I said that means throwing. He said, 'play to win.'"
    - Bruce Arians "When I looked (Tomlin) in the eye (and) said, 'Coach, what do you want to do?' ... He said, 'Play to win,'" Arians said. "I said that means throwing. He said play to win."

    So Arians called one run, then a play-action pass that resulted in a first-down throw from Ben Roethlisberger to Heath Miller.

    "It's hard to run the ball in that situation," Arians said. "You run it on first down, you get a few. The play-action is set up and ready to go."

    Not everyone would do it, but not every coach has the same relationship with his quarterback that Arians has with Roethlisberger. When Arians was hired, one of the first things he did was turn more control of the offense over to Roethlisberger. He let him change more plays, and run more no-huddle.

    When Roethlisberger had his off-field troubles in Milledgeville, Ga., Arians was one of his staunchest supporters. Arians did not appreciate what happened in that bar, but he did support his quarterback as a friend. And Roethlisberger was grateful.

    Arians thus has an enormous amount of faith in Roethlisberger. He points out that when it matters most, when the game is on the line, he will depend on his quarterback.

    "I wouldn't trade him for Peyton, Tom or Drew today," Arians said, referring to Manning, Brady and Brees.

    Why? Because Arians believes when the game is on the line, Roethlisberger will come through.

    "When he played we're the second-best third down team in the league," Arians said. "The highest fourth-quarter rating in the league. That's comebacks and not beating yourself in the fourth quarter. Stats do tell the story sometimes. His touchdown-to-interception ratio, all the things that he's done, are as good or better than those guys.

    "Will he go to the Pro Bowl every year? No. Because he won't throw for 4,000 yards, or 5,000 yards. We're Pittsburgh and that doesn't happen. That's the team he's on. He leads his team as well as a lot of people lead theirs."

    So when the game was on the line in the AFC championship game, Arians put the responsibility on Roethlisberger. And he came through with the pass to Miller.

    "Without that trust," Arians said, "you're going to run-run punt and let the defense win the game. That's not our job. Our job is to kneel down at the end and put the thing on ice. And if you trust your quarterback then it's not a problem."

    The Jets used timeouts after each of the first two plays, and Pittsburgh wanted the Jets to burn their final one, so they ran the ball on first down. New York called timeout. A second-down run led to the two-minute warning. There, the conventional thinking would have been to run again. But that would have given New York the ball with about a minute left -- enough time to score even with no timeouts.

    A pass could work, but a pass also brings to mind the old Woody Hayes axiom: If you throw, three things can happen and two are bad. A pass could be intercepted, or it could be incomplete, which would stop the clock and give the Jets another 45 seconds to try to win.

    "Mike and I had talked about the scenario, whether it be in overtime or a critical third down at the end of a ballgame, what play do you want to run?" Arians said.

    The normal pass would have been a sprint-out, except that would also be the Jets normal play.

    "As Mike said to me, they're kind of used to seeing that against themselves (in practice)," Arians said.

    So the other option would be to spread out the defense and go with five wide receivers, meaning Pittsburgh would not have a back and would indicate it was going to throw. The primary receiver on the play was Hines Ward.

    "If they blitz us we have a good hot (read), and if not Ben will make a play," Arians said. "When we called it I said if Hines isn't there take off running. He did."

    Arians fully expected Roethlisberger to keep running, which at the least would have kept the clock running. But at the last second Roethlisberger saw rookie Antonio Brown coming across the field. He threw to him, but low, and Brown -- a late-round draft pick from the Mid-American Conference -- went down and snagged the ball.

    "He makes one of the great plays in the season," Arians said. "It all goes back to the trust factor."

    Had the pass been incomplete ...

    "I'm an idiot anyway," Arians said with a laugh. They're gonna say that anyway. You've known that for 10 years. Ain't going to change. I don't worry about that."

    The calls were bold, daring and risky, and both required the gumption to believe in your players and your approach. Many teams say they have that belief, but when the game is on the line they usually take the safe route. Pittsburgh did not, and because of it they -- and Roethlisberger -- will play for their third Lombardi Trophy in the last six years.

    http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2011/02/04/b...to-super-bowl/

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Bruce is starting to get way too much credit for his offensive play calls and designs. The Bruce Arians offensive system wouldn't work for any team that didn't have Ben Roethlisberger orchestrating it.

    We are starting to hear the phrase "schoolyard football" more and more from the talking heads in regards to the Steelers offense. If you delve into the meaning of schoolyard football, one will learn that it's basically a fire drill. Schoolyard football commences after the original play design or play call, has FAILED!

    Ben shakes off 2 defenders and extends the play. The WR's break off their routes and run to open field in hopes of having the ball passed in their direction. This **** works because of Roethlisberger. What are Steelers fans supposed to say after witnessing these plays as we have on countless occasions, "Nice call Bruce?????"

    Hey, if Arians was even an adequate offensive coordinator, then some other teams would AT LEAST interview the clown for vacancies on their teams. I mean the dude's name isn't even mentioned in the college ranks. Everyone knows that he's a freaking dunce and they know that Ben Roethlisberger makes the Steelers offense go.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Five-O View Post
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    Everyone knows that he's a freaking dunce and they know that Ben Roethlisberger makes the Steelers offense go.
    Bingo.........
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    You know I have NEVER heard of Bruce being mentioned for coach openning interviews.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is Arians last year, win or lose tomorrow I think he's gone. Fichtner will be the OC next year.

    Have you guys noticed how much Fichtner talks to guys on the sideline after plays and drives? It seems like he does more talking than Arians. It's just a guess but I think Fichtner already has a hand in the offense of late.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Sorry, but not for me...
    Me either. It's frightening how good Ben, and this offense, might be with a real OC!

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by JerryGlanville View Post
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    I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is Arians last year, win or lose tomorrow I think he's gone. Fichtner will be the OC next year.

    Have you guys noticed how much Fichtner talks to guys on the sideline after plays and drives? It seems like he does more talking than Arians. It's just a guess but I think Fichtner already has a hand in the offense of late.
    Never happen! After we win #7 tomorrow there is not a chance in hell the Rooneys make that call!

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Five-O View Post
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    Bruce is starting to get way too much credit for his offensive play calls and designs. The Bruce Arians offensive system wouldn't work for any team that didn't have Ben Roethlisberger orchestrating it.

    We are starting to hear the phrase "schoolyard football" more and more from the talking heads in regards to the Steelers offense. If you delve into the meaning of schoolyard football, one will learn that it's basically a fire drill. Schoolyard football commences after the original play design or play call, has FAILED!

    Ben shakes off 2 defenders and extends the play. The WR's break off their routes and run to open field in hopes of having the ball passed in their direction. This **** works because of Roethlisberger. What are Steelers fans supposed to say after witnessing these plays as we have on countless occasions, "Nice call Bruce?????"

    Hey, if Arians was even an adequate offensive coordinator, then some other teams would AT LEAST interview the clown for vacancies on their teams. I mean the dude's name isn't even mentioned in the college ranks. Everyone knows that he's a freaking dunce and they know that Ben Roethlisberger makes the Steelers offense go.






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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by WYsteel View Post
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    You know I have NEVER heard of Bruce being mentioned for coach openning interviews.
    Right on! Just take a look back at past super bowl winning offensive coordinators. Hell, a host of other teams would typically swoop in like vulchers in an attempt to hire those coordinators away from their existing teams. It got so bad that the NFL had to impose sanctions on particular teams for tampering with super bowl winning coordinators.

    Now look at Arians resume’. A Super Bowl Championship as the WR’s coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A Super Bowl Championship as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And here he is again, in the Super Bowl as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. ****, if Arians were any other coordinator in the league, there would be at least 15 teams trying to hire him away.

    Oh well, Steelers fans know all too well that Arians is worthless and obviously, the many people who are paid to evaluate potential hires for the other 31 NFL teams, also know that he’s a ****** bag. With that being said, during every off season, I always hope to hear the name “Bruce Arians” and interview in the same sentence. I’ll keep on hoping until he’s gone.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
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    Never happen! After we win #7 tomorrow there is not a chance in hell the Rooneys make that call!
    Never said he'd be fired....

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by JerryGlanville View Post
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    Never said he'd be fired....
    ... We can only hope.... And hope alot....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Arians rewards faithful Steelers with redeeming season

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... We can only hope.... And hope alot....
    Rumors of Arians getting fired and then rumors of Arians retiring being reported by the media. Where there is smoke there is fire. Remember, Fichtner is Tomlin's guy, not Arians.

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