Multiple factors led to end of Arians' time in Pittsburgh
- Published: Jan. 21, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.
- Updated: Jan. 21, 2012 at 12:24 p.m.
Bruce Arians' departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers officially was called a retirement, however, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora on Saturday that Arians was told that his contract would not be renewed this offseason.
The source said Arians wasn't fired.
A report in Saturday's edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reveals that the decision to end Arians' five-year tenure as Steelers offensive coordinator was made by people other than Arians.
The Post-Gazette reported, citing sources inside and outside of the organization, that head coach Mike Tomlin had told Arians multiple times since the season ended that he wanted him back. The newspaper also reported that Arians even told his assistants and other people that he planned to be back with the team in 2012, but sources said the decision to part ways with Arians came from someone higher up in the organization than Tomlin.
The Post-Gazette reported team president Art Rooney II appears to be the guy who pulled the trigger on the move.
A league source told La Canfora that quarterback coach Randy Fichtner is an in-house option to replace Arians.
NFL Network's Michael Lombardi said that running backs coach Kirby Wilson could have been a candidate to fill the vacant spot, but his health makes that unlikely. Wilson sustained burns to his arms and legs in a house fire in early January.
The Post-Gazette reported Arians could not be reached for its story.
The Steelers produced two 1,000-yard receivers this season in Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown in 2011, and the team its best per-carry average (4.4 yards) since 2001. The Post-Gazette reported that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was close to Arians, is not happy with the move.