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Tag:Pittsburgh Steelers
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:31 pm
 

Casey Hampton to undergo ACL surgery

C. Hampton wants to return to Pittsburgh next season (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

Suddenly, the Steelers are in desperate need of a nose tackle. Or at least, a healthy one that hasn’t retired.

Casey Hampton told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he will undergo ACL surgery on Friday after injuring himself in the Steelers playoff loss to the Broncos. Considering Chris Hoke told the Steelers on Wednesday that he would retire, this means the depth at nose tackle is non-existent.

The paper writes the team wouldn’t be willing to go into 2012 without both players, so even though Pittsburgh is $25 million over the salary cap and Hampton will count $8 million against the cap next season, the team might not have a choice -- the Steelers simply might have to bring back the 34-year-old, assuming his rehab allows him to do so.

Steve McLendon is the only nose tackle in the organization with any experience, and he’s largely considered a backup player.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:08 pm
 

You decide: Best Super Bowl game-winning finishes

All right, who ya got? (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

We have approximately 290 hours to fill between now and the kickoff for Super Bowl XLVI. Which means that we'll cover every conceivable storyline, probably multiple times, just to make sure you don't miss anything. But before we look ahead, let's take a look back and some of the best finishes in Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl XXIII, Bengals-49ers

Super Bowl XXXVI, Patriots-Rams

Super Bowl XXXVIII, Panthers-Patriots

Super Bowl XLIII, Steelers-Cardinals


And, of course (don't call it a rematch!)…

Super Bowl XLII, Giants-Patriots


Feel free to vote for your favorite finish in the poll below or let us know what you think in the comments.


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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 18, 2012 12:02 am
 

Steelers RB coach remains in critical condition

Kirby WilsonBy Josh Katzowitz

Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who was burned over 30 to 50 percent of his body during a house fire earlier this month, remains in critical condition in a Pittsburgh hospital.

The family released an update on his status on Tuesday:

“Mr. Kirby Wilson remains in critical condition in the Trauma Burn Center at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh. In addition to burns sustained over 45 percent of his body, he has suffered a smoke inhalation injury and will require multiple operative procedures in the future.”

As the Steelers official website notes, “Wilson is known by all who work for the Steelers as a man with a ready smile and a pleasant demeanor regardless of the circumstances. As a coach, he is known to his players as a tireless worker and a high-energy guy who is demanding yet fair.”

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