Steelers offensive coordinator Arians retires
Bruce Arians, whose future with the Steelers came into question this week, retired today as the team's offensive coordinator.
"I'm grateful to Bruce for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best in retirement," said coach Mike Tomlin in a statement released by the Steelers. "I appreciate his efforts over the past five years for helping to lead our offense."
Arians had taken over as offensive coordinator in 2007, Tomlin's first year as head coach. The Steelers won a Super Bowl and appeared in another during that span, but Arians was frequently criticized by fans for an offense that was too enamored with the passing game.
The Steelers were 12th in the NFL in total offense this season (372.3 yards per game), but they were tied for 21st in scoring (20.3 points per game).
On Tuesday, Steelers president Art Rooney II said the offense's inconsistency is an area where the team needs to improve.
Quarterback coach Randy Fichtner could be an in-house candidate to replace Arians. Steelers coaches, including Tomlin, will be at the Senior Bowl in Alabama next week scouting players for the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Senior Bowl is also recognized among coaches as an unofficial job fair, and Tomlin could seek candidates there. This is the first opening he has had at either offensive or defensive coordinator.
Arians had been with the Steelers since 2004, serving as wide receivers coach three seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator.