By Josh Katzowitz
Bruce Arians has a healthy core of Steelers fans who want to see the Pittsburgh offensive coordinator leave their fair city behind. This bit of news, then, might take away part of the sting endured when the Broncos upset the Steelers in the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette writes that Arians might not return for the 2012 season. It’s unclear whether Arians would be forced out of his position since his contract is expiring or if he simply would voluntarily retire.
The latter might be more likely. Arians was thinking about retiring after last season, in part because of health issues. Coach Mike Tomlin said last week that Arians and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau would return next season, so it doesn't sound like Tomlin was displeased with him.
Arians has been Tomlin’s offensive coordinator the past four seasons, and for the last three years, the team hasn’t ranked lower than the 14th-best offense in the league (including a No. 7 ranking in 2009). Under Arian’s leadership, the Steelers have transformed from a run-first squad into a team that tries to take advantage of Ben Roethlisberger’s abilities in the pass game.
"If he were, I don't want to say 'allowed,' but his preference would be to throw the ball more, use the weapons we have and throw it," Roethlisberger said last April. "Mine's the same way.
"But we both think the same in the no-huddle, that we call a lot more runs because we know that's what we're supposed to do. And I don't know if that's 'supposed to' from the fans, the media, the owner, who knows? But it's just a feeling that you have that we better run the ball some. So we do think alike in a lot of those ways."
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