I have no idea what’s going on in Pittsburgh right now. For some god forsaken reason, team president Art Rooney wants the the Steelers to return to their roots (whatever that means), which apparently includes running the ball more more effectively (first introduced before the 2010 season — and by the way, where the hell was he in 2003 when Tommy Maddox happened?) and “tweaking” Big Ben’s style of play so he takes fewer hits.
So what happened? According to Football Outsiders, the Steelers had the No. 6 offense in 2011, 7th in passing and 7th in rushing. By comparison, the offense was 5th, 3rd and 14th the season before. Not good enough, it turns out and Bruce Arians is now out of a job.
But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Gene Collier says we’ve misunderstood.
Again, I’m fine with the organization moving on from Arians even if, in general, I thought he did a pretty good job. And maybe the team does has a plan, it just doesn’t look like it from where I’m sitting. (Also: any “plan” involving the words “Jim” and “Caldwell” isn’t a plan at all.)
I’m probably overreacting but with each passing story or tweet I read about Rooney, Arians, the Steelers and RUNNING THE BALL MORE OFTEN, I can’t help but think Rooney is trying to make himself relevant. I get that — living in the shadow of your old man and his old man can create such anxieties. Or maybe Rooney just really loves the ground game. Whatever, I don’t understand the logic. The Steelers’ offense was among the league’s most balanced this year and that was with a horrendous o-line (until Max returned) and a ton of injuries.
One more thing: why does it matter that Arians and Ben were tight? The reasoning that “somebody needs to keep Ben in line” is great if we’re talking about an off-the-field chaperone but silly given that Roethlisberger is one of the league’s best quarterbacks. Why does he need someone to be firm with him? What’s the point?
If the suggestion is along the lines of “Tomlin shoulda taken his ass out of the 49ers game after it was decided” then, yeah, I agree. But changing OC’s won’t affect that. Unless, of course, Rooney makes that decree, too. (Allegedly, of course.)