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Tag:Mike Tomlin
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:05 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 2:44 pm
 

Ben wants meeting with Rooney over Arians release

Roethlisberger and Rooney are going to have a meeting, apparently. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians left the team under suspicious circumstances: first he was retiring, then he was fired, then he said he "wasn't offered a contract" ... it was all really weird and awkward. And it's not making Ben Roethlisberger happy.

And Roethlisberger, apparently, is going to march right up to Art Rooney II's office and ask him what's going on.

"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 the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Thursday in Honolulu. "He's our owner and our boss, so I really would like to know kind of what he wants and where he sees our offense going because I'd like to tell him where I see us going."

Rooney previously cited the points scored by the Steelers in 2011 as an issue with Arians. And the owner has a fair point, as the Steelers only ranked as a top-10 unit once under Arians, which was during his first year in 2007 when they were ninth in the NFL in scoring.

However, Football Outsiders ranks the Steelers as a top-10 unit in DVOA every year of Arians tenure but one. And there's little question that under Arians, the Steelers moved from a traditional ground-and-pound stereotype that people attach to Pittsburgh to a full-on aerial assault.

"We feel like we are really close to being an elite offense," Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review. "For your leader to be gone is kind of a shocker, but you've got to be ready for whatever the Rooneys and coach [Mike] Tomlin decide it our next step."

Roethlisberger has consistently defended Arians over the past, and the T-R notes that he was taking him to Hawaii as one of his guests for the Pro Bowl until things got murky with his contract situation.

Ben's job is certainly safer. But he's not exactly doing himself any favors with the way he's phrasing his "request" for a meeting with Rooney.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Arians retired after not getting new contract

Yes, Bruce Arians retired but only after Pittsburgh didn't offer him a new contract. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

First, there was speculation that Bruce Arians might not return as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. Then the word on the street was that he would retire. A day later, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that he would've been fired if he didn't leave.

Today, we finally hear from Arians, who spoke to the York Daily Record (Pa.) about his final days with the organization. He said he retired when he "wasn't offered a contract." After that, "it was an easy decision for me."

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Arians added that team president Art Rooney II didn't give him a reason. "I can't answer that question," he said. "Only the people there can. That's the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don't have any regrets."

Arians was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, head coach Mike Tomlin's first year with the Steelers. In four of five seasons, Pittsburgh was a top-10 offense, according to Football Outsiders (and the only year they weren't, 2008, they won the Super Bowl). Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flourished under Arians, but the Steelers got away from what they had previously been known for: running the ball.

Last week, Rooney was asked if he wanted Arians back in 2012.

“Well, that’s really Mike (Tomlin's) decision," he told KDKA's Bob Pompeani. "I mean, and that’s the process Mike’s involved in right now is talking to all of the coaches about where they are and where they are with their contracts, so I think that’s something – I’ll leave it to those guys to kind of work out where we’re going on that front.”

Rooney was also asked about the perception that Roethlisberger and Arians' had more a "father-son relationship instead of a boss-employer relationship." (No idea why this matters but apparently it does.)

“Well, I think first you have to look at the success that they’ve had," he said. "With Bruce and Ben, we’ve had a pretty good run here, so I’m not sure that I would complain too much about what the relationship has been and it’s been a productive one and that’s the key part of the puzzle.”

It was Roethlisberger who helped save Arians' job several years ago when there were first discussions of letting him ago. Big Ben reportedly tried again this time with no success.

"He's not happy," Arians said, "but that's part of the business."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac wrote over the weekend that the decision to part ways with Arians seemed to come from Rooney, and Tomlin told Arians several times that he wanted him back in 2012.

Arians told the Daily Record that he has already been contacted by five or six teams but didn't go into specifics.

The most obvious choice? Steelers West: the Arizona Cardinals. CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Craig Morton writes that "Arians does have Steelers ties to multiple Cards coaches (including Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm, Ray Horton and former Steelers player-turned-assistant Deshea Townsend). Arizona has a vacant QBs coach position."

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Posted on: January 21, 2012 7:29 pm
 

Report: Bruce Arians was set to be fired

Bruce Arians would not have been retained (Getty).

By Josh Katzowitz

Before Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians retired, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters in a postseason presser that he wanted both of his coordinators to return in 2012. Arians, in fact, told people he would be back next season. That obviously won’t happen now that Arians isn’t returning.

But the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has some interesting insight into what forced Arians to make that call. According to the paper, the organization was not going to renew Arians’ contract, and in essence, was going to fire him without officially having to fire him.

“That decision,” writes reporter Gerry Dulac, “appears to have come from team president Art Rooney II, even though coach Mike Tomlin told Arians several times since the playoff loss in Denver that he wanted him to return next season.”

Now, it appears Tomlin was overruled by his boss.

The only statement released by the Steelers on the matter was this one paragraph from Tomlin:

“Bruce Arians has informed me that he will retire from coaching. I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team’s offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers. I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

That’s it. No quotes from Arians. No quotes from Rooney.

On the face of it, that statement leans more toward dismissal than a happy retirement. And considering that Arians wasn’t popular with the fanbase, though he put together a more-than-solid offense this season and though Ben Roethlisberger has helped save his job in the past, the Post Gazette opines, “Apparently, the Steelers hierarchy agreed with many of his detractors.”

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:19 am
Edited on: January 20, 2012 12:28 pm
 

Steelers OC Bruce Arians retires

AriansBy Josh Katzowitz

We told you a couple days ago that although Steelers coach Mike Tomlin originally said he expected offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to return for the 2012 season, Arianw was thinking about retiring.

The decision has been made, and Arians has told Tomlin that he, in fact, will retire.

“Bruce Arians has informed me that he will retire from coaching,” Tomlin said in a statement released by the team. “I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team’s offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers. I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

Though he wasn't well-liked among part of the Steelers fan base -- truly, though, that's not unusual for any NFL offensive coordinator -- Arians had success in Pittsburgh, helping transform the run-heavy organization into more of a passing squad.

The unit has rarely been inside the top-10 in NFL offenses since Arian took over in 2007 (the Steelers continue to be an annual playoff team because their defense is always one of the best around), but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger trusted in Arians.

"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."

But Pittsburgh Post Gazette columnist Bob Smizik wrote last week that a change needed to be made. Somebody who was less buddy-buddy with Roethlisberger or more like somebody who could get the most out of him.

"They need a coach with a different mentality -- not necessarily in philosophy, but in style -- than Arians," Smizik wrote. "They need someone to come in, take over and show Roethlisberger there’s a different way, a better way to play quarterback."

So, what happens now? Obviously, there's a high-profile NFL offensive coordinator job open that will likely entice much interest around the league. While there was speculation that running backs Kirby Wilson -- who's still in critical condition after being badly burned in a house fire -- was the next in line to take over that job, Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder writes that the team most likely will look outside the organization for a replacement.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:32 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 9:38 pm
 

Report: Arians might not return to PIT in '12

Bruce Arians might not return to Pittsburgh next season (US Presswire).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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Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:54 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 8:55 am
 

Ed Tomlin, father of Mike Tomlin, dies at 63

By Josh Katzowitz

According to the Beaver County Times, the father of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has died after suffering a heart attack in Ocala, Fla.

Ed Tomlin was 63.

As the Ocala Star-Banner writes, Tomlin was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1968, and he played eight games in Montreal of the CFL that season. In 2003, Tomlin became the president of the Marion County (Fla.) chapter of the NAACP.

He apparently suffered the heart attack after returning home from a day of fishing.

"He loved people. He was very knowledgeable, outgoing and loved fishing," Mazella Tomlin, Ed Tomlin's wife of 12 years, told the Star-Banner.

Said Whitfield Jenkins, another former NAACP president: "He added a lot to the NAACP. He was a leader and had the ability to draw people to him. He worked well with a broad category of people across race lines. He was a very thoughtful person and had a great knowledge of the community history and civil rights history.”

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Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:59 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 1:05 pm
 

Tomlin: Ryan Clark won't play in Denver

Pittsburgh will be short-handed in the secondary when they face Denver Sunday. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Steelers will face the Broncos in the wild-card round Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET and they'll do it without two of their best players. Running back Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL against the Browns in Week 17 and his season is over. Safety Ryan Clark is healthy, at least as sea level, but a sickle-cell trait that is triggered at high altitudes will keep him on the bench in Denver (elevation 5,280 feet).

According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder, head coach Mike Tomlin said during his Tuesday press conference that playing Clark wasn’t worth the risk, especially since Clark lost a spleen and gall bladder after playing in Denver in 2007.

Pittsburgh's coach called it an "easy decision," adding “I met with Ryan Clark yesterday and informed him I’m not going to let him play for obvious reasons. It is a big game for us, but it is a game. We’ll keep it in perspective.”

Clark tweeted Tuesday: "Well I guess we all know now. I will not be playing. Glad that it's out now. So no more questions to ask. Thanks for your concern!"

Ryan Mundy, the team's 2008 sixth-round pick out of West Virginia, is expected to fill in for Clark. Mundy has two career starts, both coming in 2010 filling in for an injured Troy Polamalu. He has one career interception, which came in Week 12 against the Chiefs, as well as a 33-yard reception on a fake punt earlier this season against the Titans.

The Steelers traveled to Denver for a 2010 preseason game and Clark didn't play then, either. He worked out on the field before kickoff without incident but the fear of damage to his brain and/or heart clearly wasn't worth the potential consequences.

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Posted on: January 1, 2012 8:38 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 8:40 pm
 

Report: Rashard Mendenhall may have torn ACL


Pittsburgh Steelers' running back, Isaac Redman, carried the ball 19 times for 92 yards and a touchdown in a 13-9 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Join CBS Sports' Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots for a recap of all the action.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The biggest injury issue for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they headed into their Week 17 matchup with the Browns centered around the health of their franchise quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben suffered a high-ankle sprain three weeks ago during the first meeting between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. He limped his way through a Week 15 loss in San Francisco but sat out last week's victory over the Rams.

With playoff seedings on the line, Pittsburgh started Roethlisberger, who played the entire game without setbacks. The same can't be said for running back Rashard Mendenhall, who left in the first quarter with a knee injury. During the post-game press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that Mendenhall may have a torn ACL and likely wouldn't be available when the Steelers travel to Denver to face the Broncos in the wild-card round next weekend. According to ProFootballTalk.com, the team will perform an MRI Monday.

That means Pittsburgh will lean heavily on Isaac Redman, who came down with a sudden case of the fumbles in Cleveland (he lost two fourth-quarter fumbles that kept the Browns in the game) and rookie undrafted free agent John Clay. Veteran Mewelde Moore could also be an option if he has recovered from a knee injury suffered in San Francisco.

Tomlin isn't one to make excuses, instead choosing to say things like "the standard is the standard." Which means that whoever lines up behind Roethlisberger will be expected to do their job, whether that's running the ball, catching passes out of the backfield, or blocking on third down.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com