What’s the Real Turth About Arians? Rooney Doesn’t Seem to Want to Say

Seems like there’s been more controversy about OC Bruce Arians not coming back with the Steelers, you really don’t know who to believe anymore. The Steelers (more so Art Rooney II) clearly at this point appears to have taken it upon himself to make the decision to get rid of Arians, but doesn’t seem ready to admit it.

Today, Bob Labriola on Steelers.com did an interview with Rooney II, and asked him point blank about the Arians situation, and if he anything to do with Arians not coming back.

“Bruce talked about retiring for a number of years now,” Rooney said. “We are looking to improve on offense and to have somebody in place for a number of years. I think it was time for a change. We are looking forward to moving on.”

Ok, but did you make the decision to fire him? Clearly that answer doesn’t give the whole story.

Arians said he had no choice but to retire after the team did not offer him a contract to come back for next season. He’s already talking to other teams, meaning that he still wants to coach in the NFL.

Rooney seemed to not want to answer how the process of Arians not being around played out. He basically said in so many words that it doesn’t matter how Arians ended up not being the Steelers OC anymore.

“The question of how we got here is not really relevant,” Rooney said. “The key now is that Mike (Tomlin) has begun the search for our next offensive coordinator. We will go through the process and interview the right candidates.”

The Steelers offense finished 12th in total offense (372.3 yards per game) and 21st in points per game (20.3) last year.

I’m not a fan of Rooney II getting too involved with this team. His dad and Dan Rooney never did, and I don’t think it really needs to change now. If Rooney fired him, he fired him – just admit it and let’s move on.

About the Author

Matt Loede
Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and of course, the National Football League. On NFL Sunday’s you can hear Matt on National networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and other stations around the country. Matt also joined The Washington Post in 2009 as a guest columnist on league hot topics. Born and raised in Cleveland, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

7 Comments on "What’s the Real Turth About Arians? Rooney Doesn’t Seem to Want to Say"

  1. Art Rooney II didn’t fire Bruce Arians. What is so hard to understand about this situation? Rooney chose not to offer Arians a contract extension because Arians chose to placate Ben Roethlisberger and pass the ball 60% of the time again this season in direct defiance of Rooney’s stated desire to run a more balanced offence.

    The Steelers front office does this with players, Willie Parker comes to mind. Parker wasn’t released, waived, or cut, they didn’t offer him another contract when his last contract with the team expired. The Steelers evaluated Parker and decided to go in another direction because they thought it would make them a better team, no explanation necessary then or now.

    Bruce Arians is responsible for his own departure. Why aren’t sports writers asking him why he didn’t listen to the guy who signed his paychecks? Arians is gone because of his insolence and the fact that he prefers that stupid two tight end offence.

    This isn’t a story, it’s time to move on.

    • Great job, Ben. You tell it like it is. It is not harsh. Just reality. Nice to see that you don’t waver like some of the other fans who post here. You don’t operate with 20/20 hindsight. I completely agree with you. And believe me, the next Oc they hire will not be in the same mold as Arians. Whether it is in house or Caldwell or Haley or whomever else, that person will get the job because of their commitment to the type of offense the Steelers should run. They at least better commit to it or Rooney is not hiring him. We as fans shouldn’t worry about having an Arians disciple.

  2. Rooney flat out told the guy to run the ball more two years ago. He did not listen to the boss. The boss did not like the way things were going under Arians, and he’s gone now cast closed. He gave Arians enought time to make the change.
    The “red zone” was also a problem with Coach Arians’ system. As many times the drive would stull inside the 20, there was something wrong with Coach Arians’ system

  3. First of all, I don’t know what “too involved” means. The Rooney family has always been involved in all phases of the team. And why not? They own it. They have given their coaches great latitude at times, but in personnel decisions, even Noll and Cowher did not have carte blanche. And I am quite certain Tomlin does not. Nor should he.

    I have been on record here as favoring Arians removal for years, for the many reasons we discussed. The preceding comment summarizes many of them.
    Arians deserved to be fired.

    Although the failure to renew a contract is not technically a termination, it has the same effect, but that legal distinction is unimportant. What matters is that there was nothing overbearing, underhanded or devious about Arians’ contract. The arrangement was public knowledge.

    Only Steeler’s management (Rooney) could grant Arians a new contract for 2011. Tomlin could not. The contract was renewed for one year, the 2011 season. The short term of that contract underscored Arians’ tenuous hold on his job from the start. Dan Rooney II gave Arians a second chance, probably at Tomlin’s request. Arians blew it. That sequence does not make Dan Rooney II “too involved” — it makes him prudent.

    We all hope the Steelers’ offense will be better in 2012. While there are no guarantees in life or football, Dan Rooney II apparently believed that if Arians remained, there would be little chance that the Steelers offense would improve in 2012. I concur in that judgment. At least now, we have a chance.

  4. Even if Big Ben went to bat for Arians at the end of 2010 Arians had to know he was on a short leash with management in regards to improving the productivity of the offense, he did not do so and was not given a new contract. Finishing 20th in scoring given the weapons he had tells me this is the correct decision.

    If Ben has a problem with Art Rooney II saying he needs to slightly tweek the way that he plays, he needs to mature and realize that is what is best for the team and it will extend his career. We want him here for the long haul.

  5. I agree with every above comment 100% This is Rooney’s team. He can do whatever he wants with it. After stipulating the goals last year, he gave Arians a year to attain them which is a lot more than many owners would have done. Arians obstinately continued to things his way and when the goals weren’t met, he was canned. Sounds like a business to me.

    It appears the only people who can’t or won’t let this go is the media as they seem bound and determined to make something out of this that it isn’t. Is there any wonder why there is so little respect for much of the local and national media?

    Maybe, just maybe, people would enjoy reading the unadulterated truth without all the hype, hysteria, bias and hyperbole.

  6. Charles Fudlowe | February 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply

    “What’s the Real Turth About Arians? Rooney Doesn’t Seem to Want to Say”

    What’s wrong with this headline? ….what’s (a) “turth”?

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