The Steelers called it a retirement, but Bruce Arians has a little different take on it.
Arians told his hometown newspaper — York Daily Record — that he had little choice whether he was going to return for a sixth year as Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
“When I wasn’t offered a contract, it was an easy decision for me,” Arians said.
Arians helped the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII and play in another before he was let go on Friday in what the organization labeled as a retirement.
According to Arians, that wasn’t the case, and owner Art Rooney didn’t give him a reason why.
“I can’t answer that question,” Arians 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 help lead the Steelers to back-to-back 12-4 seasons, and helped Ben Roethlisberger progress into one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
Arians said that Roethlisberger wasn’t happy with the decision.
“He’s not happy, but that’s part of the business,” Arians said. “He is happy for me. He lives around the corner and we’ll still see each other a lot. The phone is always there when he needs me.”
Roethlisberger and Arians live near one another in Georgia, and actually went to bat for Arians two years ago when his job was in jeopardy again.
Arians said that he has been contacted by “five or six” teams since Friday, but wouldn’t go into specifics.
Arians touched on other topics as well.
On Mike Tomlin: “My door is always open to him. I respect him a ton. I enjoyed our relationship and learned a lot. It was great watching him grow and working with him.”
On what he will miss the most: “The daily interaction with the guys is fantastic. It keeps you young, and it’s fun. That part I will miss. It’s a great group of young players in Pittsburgh that was fun to coach and will be really good, and I’m looking forward to watching them. The thrill of the games is always something you will miss . . . I will miss the camaraderie in the locker room.”
— Mark Kaboly