Did he retire?
Was he forced out?
Well, you know what they say — there’s your side, my side and and somewhere in the middle is the truth.
It appears now that the lack of committment to a long-term future by Arians forced Steelers Art Rooney to finally pull the trigger and not offer the offensive coordinator a new contract — or so that’s the story today.
In an interview conducted by Bob Labriola on Steelers.com today, Labriola pulled no punches and came out and directly asked Rooney if he had anything to do with Arians’ deparature.
Although Rooney sidestepped the question at first, he gave a peak into his thought process a little later.
“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.”
Arians said earlier in the week that he had no choice but to retire after the team did not offer him a contract, and that he had been contacted already by a number of teams about coaching next year.
That was stark contrast to late last week when the Steelers sent out a press release saying that Arians retired after five years with the team as the offensive coordinator that resulted in two Super Bowl appearances.
Rooney initially did not answer the question of if he had anything directly to do with Arians’ departure.
“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.
Stay tuned, I am sure the story is not over yet. We still have to hear from Ben Roethlisberger, now don’t we?
– By Mark Kaboly