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hawaiiansteel
01-19-2012, 02:53 PM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2012

Arians retiring?


Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette is reporting that Bruce Arians is strongly considering retirement.

If Dulac is reporting it, you can bet it came directly from Arians. The two are pretty close.

Most Steelers fans will rejoice at the news that Arians is considering retirement again - Ben Roethlisberger reportedly talked him out of it last year.

Quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner would be the in-staff replacement for the Steelers.

The team will also be searching for a replacement for running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who suffered burns over 45 percent of his body in a fire in his home earlier this month.

Wilson faces a long recovery before he's out of the woods with his injuries.

posted by Dale Lolley

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

Slapstick
01-19-2012, 03:13 PM
With Wilson's injuries, I wonder if they will seek a permanent replacement or someone on the verge of retirement/coming out of retirement to step in for a season...

Mister Pittsburgh
01-19-2012, 03:32 PM
I find it hard to believe that Kirby Wilson was next in line for the OC job after Arians. His bio isn't even as impressive as Randy Fichtners. I don't even know that the Steelers should just stick to in house options. I could see it if we had some terrific offense and Arians got signed away to some other team due to his greatness. But our offense has struggled under Arians so I am all for going outside the Steelers organization on this one.

Dee Dub
01-19-2012, 04:00 PM
Fichtner was a DB at Purdue so I would think he would know how to read a secondary. Also if I am not mistaken I think he has some O-coordinator experience at Arkansas State back in the late '90's.

Dee Dub
01-19-2012, 04:03 PM
....actually he also was offensive coordinator at Memphis. From wikipedia...


Coaching career
Fichtner began his coaching career as a graduate assistant, serving with Michigan, USC, UNLV, and Memphis from 1986–1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990–1993 respectively. He earned the position of wide receivers coach and recruiting director at Purdue in 1994, serving for two years before moving to Arkansas State to become the offensive coordinator from 1997–2001. Under Fichtner's tutelage, current CFL quarterback Cleo Lemon flourished, setting numerous school records for passing and total offense. Fichtner returned to Memphis in 2001 to serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, instituting a new, highly effective spread offense that set school records for total offense. The new system allowed the teams to amass prolific offensive statistics, totalling over 5000 yards in both 2003 and 2004 to rank in the top ten for both yardage and scoring, as well as supporting the development of quarterback Danny Wimprine and running back DeAngelo Williams.[2] Fichtner's NFL coaching debut began in 2007, serving as wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers as part of new head coach Mike Tomlin's regime, replacing the promoted Bruce Arians.[4] He was instrumental in the development of the Steelers young wide receiver corps, mentoring Santonio Holmes to multiple 1000-yard seasons and a Super Bowl MVP award as well as supporting the growth of emerging wideouts Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown. In 2010, Fichtner became the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach, replacing Ken Anderson after Anderson's retirement.[2]

SteelBucks
01-19-2012, 04:07 PM
....actually he also was offensive coordinator at Memphis. From wikipedia...


Coaching career
Fichtner began his coaching career as a graduate assistant, serving with Michigan, USC, UNLV, and Memphis from 1986–1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990–1993 respectively. He earned the position of wide receivers coach and recruiting director at Purdue in 1994, serving for two years before moving to Arkansas State to become the offensive coordinator from 1997–2001. Under Fichtner's tutelage, current CFL quarterback Cleo Lemon flourished, setting numerous school records for passing and total offense. Fichtner returned to Memphis in 2001 to serve as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, instituting a new, highly effective spread offense that set school records for total offense. The new system allowed the teams to amass prolific offensive statistics, totalling over 5000 yards in both 2003 and 2004 to rank in the top ten for both yardage and scoring, as well as supporting the development of quarterback Danny Wimprine and running back DeAngelo Williams.[2] Fichtner's NFL coaching debut began in 2007, serving as wide receivers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers as part of new head coach Mike Tomlin's regime, replacing the promoted Bruce Arians.[4] He was instrumental in the development of the Steelers young wide receiver corps, mentoring Santonio Holmes to multiple 1000-yard seasons and a Super Bowl MVP award as well as supporting the growth of emerging wideouts Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown. In 2010, Fichtner became the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach, replacing Ken Anderson after Anderson's retirement.[2]

Hope he knows something other than the spread offense he ran at Memphis.

Slapstick
01-19-2012, 04:09 PM
Hope he knows something other than the spread offense he ran at Memphis.

Well, he has worked in the Steelers' offense for the last five years...

Also, the fact that he coached DeAngelo Williams may count for something...

SteelCrazy
01-19-2012, 04:13 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Slapstick
01-19-2012, 04:18 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

SteelCrazy
01-19-2012, 04:36 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

You're right on that one (good call by the way). However, it's more Tomlin and his never ending crusade to stay 100% consistent that I'm more worried about than it is Fichtner. Although I feel it is important, I also feel we need a change in this area in particular.

fezziwig
01-19-2012, 04:36 PM
As much as I was upset that the Steelers didn't hire within in house for a new head coach I'm, equally disappointed that they wouldn't test the waters outside the organization for a new OC. Maybe Randy is the guy but, I kind of feel anyone within the circle of Ben is not going to think outside the box and bend to everything Ben would like.

Hopefully the next OC can use strategy, decide to keep throwing punches that make connections. How many freakin times does Arian get away from what, works ?
A new OC that can set up the pass with the run or the other way around. A new OC that could see some value in our tightends or a short passing game that,,,,,,, could allow Ben his big pass game to open up.

Never and I mean never have we had a defense up against the ropes with them not knowing what was coming next.

Arian is a bum and if he isn't the worse OC in the business, I'd like to know the other guys name. And I bet the other guy doesn't have the caliber QB or receivers and runingback that we have.

steelblood
01-19-2012, 04:43 PM
You guys are going to have to give Randy a chance (if he indeed gets the job). Who knows how much change he will employ.

Jigawatts
01-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

I think the keyword here is "adjust"

That's something Arians doesn't seem to do.

fezziwig
01-19-2012, 05:21 PM
Adjust is right and also take what the defense wil give them. That is something that Airbrain has never done. How many times have we seen our offense having their way with a defense only to have us get away from it ?

SteelCrazy
01-19-2012, 05:59 PM
Adjust is right and also take what the defense wil give them. That is something that Airbrain has never done. How many times have we seen our offense having their way with a defense only to have us get away from it ?

And thats a reason I cant stand Arians. We get to the goal line and run 3 straight times up the gut which ultimately led to 3 points. I cant remember how many times he did that, but it is a lot.

BradshawsHairdresser
01-19-2012, 06:02 PM
I don't expect the Steelers to hire anybody who isn't approved by Ben first.

fezziwig
01-19-2012, 06:15 PM
I don't expect the Steelers to hire anybody who isn't approved by Ben first.


you got that right. ben should have some input but, at some point the coach should know what is best for the offense. i said should know but, that isn't always the case with tomlin.

feltdizz
01-19-2012, 06:49 PM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.

I know there were a few games 2 years ago where everyone was going deep but this year I saw a ton of plays with AB and Heath underneath and they weren't targeted.

As far as surprises with Arians. I remember Nate Washington and Sweed popping free a whole lot in his offense. The problem though is once we got Wallace Ben fell in love with the long ball.

Flasteel
01-19-2012, 06:50 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

You're right on that one (good call by the way). However, it's more Tomlin and his never ending crusade to stay 100% consistent that I'm more worried about than it is Fichtner. Although I feel it is important, I also feel we need a change in this area in particular.

The fact is, we don't know what we'll get with Fitchner, but I'm willing to bet it would be an improvement in several areas. To go in-house is a huge bonus when it comes to understanding the plays and the terminology...you would prefer not to have Ben learn a new system, as well as not slow the developmental curve of our receivers.

Sticking with the same system would in no way mean we would see the same lame play-calling, lack of innovation, or stubborn philosophies that we see with Arians.

Fitchner might employ a more liberal use of the no-huddle.

He might understand the detriment of continuous 5 and 7 step drops with slow developing patterns.

He might believe in a true fullback.

He might shy away from empty sets on 3rd and 1.

He might know how to counter a strong pass rush.

He might design innovative plays or dust off the ones in the back of the playbook that actually maximize (or in Dennis Dixon's case - utilize) our players' strengths.

He might be able to make in-game adjustments to his offense.

He may actually chart his own tendencies in down and distance and shake things up by design.

Then again, he may be just like Bruce Arians and fail miserably in each of these areas...too bad there's no way for us to know.

It's not about the plays or the system, it's all about how you use those plays to attack the opponent's defense.

Without knowing too much about Fitchner, I like the idea of staying in the family.

NJ-STEELER
01-19-2012, 07:02 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

You're right on that one (good call by the way). However, it's more Tomlin and his never ending crusade to stay 100% consistent that I'm more worried about than it is Fichtner. Although I feel it is important, I also feel we need a change in this area in particular.

The fact is, we don't know what we'll get with Fitchner, but I'm willing to bet it would be an improvement in several areas. To go in-house is a huge bonus when it comes to understanding the plays and the terminology...you would prefer not to have Ben learn a new system, as well as not slow the developmental curve of our receivers.

Sticking with the same system would in no way mean we would see the same lame play-calling, lack of innovation, or stubborn philosophies that we see with Arians.

Fitchner might employ a more liberal use of the no-huddle.

He might understand the detriment of continuous 5 and 7 step drops with slow developing patterns.

He might believe in a true fullback.

He might shy away from empty sets on 3rd and 1.

He might know how to counter a strong pass rush.

He might design innovative plays or dust off the ones in the back of the playbook that actually maximize (or in Dennis Dixon's case - utilize) our players' strengths.

He might be able to make in-game adjustments to his offense.

He may actually chart his own tendencies in down and distance and shake things up by design.

Then again, he may be just like Bruce Arians and fail miserably in each of these areas...too bad there's no way for us to know.

It's not about the plays or the system, it's all about how you use those plays to attack the opponent's defense.

Without knowing too much about Fitchner, I like the idea of staying in the family.


great point

no 2 systems will be exactly the same

grotonsteel
01-19-2012, 07:04 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

You're right on that one (good call by the way). However, it's more Tomlin and his never ending crusade to stay 100% consistent that I'm more worried about than it is Fichtner. Although I feel it is important, I also feel we need a change in this area in particular.

The fact is, we don't know what we'll get with Fitchner, but I'm willing to bet it would be an improvement in several areas. To go in-house is a huge bonus when it comes to understanding the plays and the terminology...you would prefer not to have Ben learn a new system, as well as not slow the developmental curve of our receivers.

Sticking with the same system would in no way mean we would see the same lame play-calling, lack of innovation, or stubborn philosophies that we see with Arians.

Fitchner might employ a more liberal use of the no-huddle.

He might understand the detriment of continuous 5 and 7 step drops with slow developing patterns.

He might believe in a true fullback.

He might shy away from empty sets on 3rd and 1.

He might know how to counter a strong pass rush.

He might design innovative plays or dust off the ones in the back of the playbook that actually maximize (or in Dennis Dixon's case - utilize) our players' strengths.

He might be able to make in-game adjustments to his offense.

He may actually chart his own tendencies in down and distance and shake things up by design.

Then again, he may be just like Bruce Arians and fail miserably in each of these areas...too bad there's no way for us to know.

It's not about the plays or the system, it's all about how you use those plays to attack the opponent's defense.

Without knowing too much about Fitchner, I like the idea of staying in the family.


great point

no 2 systems will be exactly the same


+1

Good points FlaSteel.

feltdizz
01-19-2012, 07:10 PM
That all sounds good but it still comes down to Ben making good decisions with the football and trusting the plays that are called.

I like the idea of staying in house and keeping the same terminology.

I like the idea of a true FB and using the TE's as weapons.

I like the idea of shorter routes and making adjustments in game.

I just don't know if Ben is that type of QB. How does he cut against the grain in the Cleveland game and take an unnecessarry hit after tasting success, efficiency and staying clean in the NE and Tennessee games?

Sometimes if feels like Ben doesn't believe the NE, TN games are a great way to play all year long.

Does he really only know one way or is he willing to adjust his game and stay clean and score points?

grotonsteel
01-19-2012, 07:19 PM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.



I hope they don't go dunk-dunk style offense. YPA matters. Steelers don't have personnel for dink-dunk offense. Only player who might excel is AB in that offense.

Steelers Offense had 2nd best TOP in NFL. Steelers Offense needs to be tweaked not over-hauled. Agreed Steelers offense did not score tons of point but one unit will be happy with TOP stat and that is Steelers Defense.

TallyStiller
01-19-2012, 07:41 PM
The offense has moved the ball under Arians - we've consistently been in the top half of the league in total offense, and Ben has more 4,000 yard passing seasons than all the other QB's in team history combined. I'm of the belief that the design of the offense is for the most part good, but that Arians is simply a terrible play caller - it seems as if he rarely uses one thing to set up another or attacks defensive liabilities aggresively. What we get is sort of a grab bag of "hey, let's try this"with little rhythm or consistency.

hawaiiansteel
01-19-2012, 08:25 PM
'Senior' Steeler assistant could be retiring; Does that mean Arians?

WEDNESDAY, 18 JANUARY 2012 WRITTEN BY BOB SMIZIK


Steelers president Art Rooney met with the media in several individual end-of-season interviews yesterday. In his session with the Post-Gazette, there was a small morsel of news that may or may not have significant implications.

When asked about the coaching staff continuity, Rooney answered this way:

``The coaching staff, I don’t expect any major turnover on this coaching staff. We think we have a good staff.’’

Pretty mundane stuff, until this:

``That’s not to say there won’t be any turnover. We have guys on the coaching staff who have talked about retiring, are senior.’’

Asked who those might be, Rooney declined to say.

Asked if the coordinators were expected back, he said:

``At this point, yeah.’’

So what does it all mean?

It could mean that special teams coordinator Al Everest, in his early 60s, might be considering retirement.

Or John Mitchell, assistant head coach and defensive line coach, and 58, could be considering retirement. Or tight ends coach James Daniels, 56.

And it could mean that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, 57, is thinking about retirement.

With those words, across the SteelerNation people are saying, ``Be still my heart.’’

Being criticized comes with the territory for an offensive coordinator, but Arians gets more than his share of verbal abuse from fans who believe the Steelers offense isn’t delivering enough. That’s especially true with a franchise quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger and an outstanding corps of receivers as part of the offensive package.

Arians is said to have considered retirement in the past.

Defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau, the most senior member of the staff, has announced he will return for the 2012 season. The fact LeBeau made known his intentions and Arians has not only serves to fuel speculation Arians will retire.

If he did retire, a possible successor is quarterback coach Randy Fichtner, who joined the Steelers in 2007, the same year as Mike Tomlin, as receivers coach. He was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2010 following the retirement of Ken Anderson.

Fichtner was offensive coordinator at Memphis for five season.

If the Steelers want to go outside there are dozens of candidates, most notably Jim Caldwell, fired as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Caldwell, who has a background as an offensive/quarterbacks coach, was 24-8 in his first two seasons, once going to the Super Bowl, but was 2-14 this season.

http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazet ... ean-arians (http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/31587-senior-steeler-assistant-may-be-retiring-does-that-mean-arians)

SteelCrazy
01-19-2012, 08:37 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

You're right on that one (good call by the way). However, it's more Tomlin and his never ending crusade to stay 100% consistent that I'm more worried about than it is Fichtner. Although I feel it is important, I also feel we need a change in this area in particular.

The fact is, we don't know what we'll get with Fitchner, but I'm willing to bet it would be an improvement in several areas. To go in-house is a huge bonus when it comes to understanding the plays and the terminology...you would prefer not to have Ben learn a new system, as well as not slow the developmental curve of our receivers.

Sticking with the same system would in no way mean we would see the same lame play-calling, lack of innovation, or stubborn philosophies that we see with Arians.

Fitchner might employ a more liberal use of the no-huddle.

He might understand the detriment of continuous 5 and 7 step drops with slow developing patterns.

He might believe in a true fullback.

He might shy away from empty sets on 3rd and 1.

He might know how to counter a strong pass rush.

He might design innovative plays or dust off the ones in the back of the playbook that actually maximize (or in Dennis Dixon's case - utilize) our players' strengths.

He might be able to make in-game adjustments to his offense.

He may actually chart his own tendencies in down and distance and shake things up by design.

Then again, he may be just like Bruce Arians and fail miserably in each of these areas...too bad there's no way for us to know.

It's not about the plays or the system, it's all about how you use those plays to attack the opponent's defense.

Without knowing too much about Fitchner, I like the idea of staying in the family.

Dont ruin our hate for Arians and the idea of staying in house with logic and reason. That's just wrong :tt2

SteelCrazy
01-19-2012, 08:53 PM
According to the site we cant link, Art Rooney II said on KDKA tonight that the decision to bring back Arians is Tomlins to make. The site suggests Arians is waiting on Tomlin's decision, although Tomlin already said he wanted Arians back. Doesn't make sense to me, so I'm going with Rooney was just deflecting and the decision is really Arian's to make about his retirement and NOT if Tomlin wants him back.

Why did I post this?

Mister Pittsburgh
01-19-2012, 09:08 PM
First off, sorry if I offended anyone with my use of the word 'retard' in any previous post or thread. Second, I think this is all bunk & Arians will be on the sidelines in 2012. Third, if he is not, Tom Clement is the guy. If he can turn Kordell, Tommy Gunn, Elvis Grbac into pro bowlers & mold Rodgers from a run around getting sacked machine to a precision passer, then Ben may win 3 Superbowls in a row!
As a side note I used the word 'retarded' not 'retard'.

pick6
01-20-2012, 01:17 AM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...

You're right on that one (good call by the way). However, it's more Tomlin and his never ending crusade to stay 100% consistent that I'm more worried about than it is Fichtner. Although I feel it is important, I also feel we need a change in this area in particular.

The fact is, we don't know what we'll get with Fitchner, but I'm willing to bet it would be an improvement in several areas. To go in-house is a huge bonus when it comes to understanding the plays and the terminology...you would prefer not to have Ben learn a new system, as well as not slow the developmental curve of our receivers.

Sticking with the same system would in no way mean we would see the same lame play-calling, lack of innovation, or stubborn philosophies that we see with Arians.

Fitchner might employ a more liberal use of the no-huddle.

He might understand the detriment of continuous 5 and 7 step drops with slow developing patterns.

He might believe in a true fullback.

He might shy away from empty sets on 3rd and 1.

He might know how to counter a strong pass rush.

He might design innovative plays or dust off the ones in the back of the playbook that actually maximize (or in Dennis Dixon's case - utilize) our players' strengths.

He might be able to make in-game adjustments to his offense.

He may actually chart his own tendencies in down and distance and shake things up by design.

Then again, he may be just like Bruce Arians and fail miserably in each of these areas...too bad there's no way for us to know.

It's not about the plays or the system, it's all about how you use those plays to attack the opponent's defense.

Without knowing too much about Fitchner, I like the idea of staying in the family.


This post should be an addendum to Sun Tzu's "The Art of War".

"...chart his own tendencies in down and distance and shake things up by design." Heavy... real heavy stuff.

Chadman
01-20-2012, 02:20 AM
The grass is not always greener people.


Arians gets a lot of bad pub around here, but if we get an OC that tries to change Ben, shackle him & turn him into a more 'conventional' QB- who here doesn't think the new OC is asking for a lynching?

We crucify Arians because he lets Ben do what we love to watch Ben doing....


and we beg for change.

:stirpot :D

Chadman
01-20-2012, 02:22 AM
Here's one to ponder- if Arians retires & a new OC is brought in...and the FO provide the new OC with an OL that can create a consistant running game & not see defenders hitting RB's in the backfield...and the new OC succeeds because he has greater balance on his offense...is he a better OC than Arians?

hawaiiansteel
01-20-2012, 02:55 AM
Ed: Wilson was in Line to be Next Coordinator

THURSDAY, 19 JANUARY 2012 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE


Good morning,

It appears Bruce Arians is out, one way or another, as Gerry Dulac has reported. There goes that lightning rod, now who's the next target?

Sadly, Kirby Wilson was in line to be the next offensive coordinator. He's fighting for his life, still in critical condition in the burn unit at Mercy.

The next offensive coordinator might have to come from outside. Randy Fichtner, the quarterbacks coach, would seem a possible choice. There also might be someone Mike Tomlin has had in mind in case this day came.

But will Tomlin truly be the one to hire the next coach? Remember, he said just last week that he wanted both of his coordinators back, and by all accounts it sounded as though Arians wanted to come back. But what if his contract wasn't renewed, which Gerry raised as one of the possibilities? That would not have been Tomlin's decision, but Art Rooney's.

Here is what Tomlin said 10 days ago, the day after his team's loss in Denver, when he was asked if he anticipated both of his coordinators to return for 2012:

"I anticipate it, but of course we all understand what the end of the season is about, and movement is a part of it in today’s NFL for players and coaches. We are going to try to maintain continuity like we always do. We believe that is a benefit to us, but we also understand that things can happen, and we will deal with those as they arrive.''

It seems plain that Tomlin wanted Arians back but that he could not guarantee it because someone might offer him a head coaching job. Last week, I received an email from a writer at the Miami Herald, asking me if Arians had an agent. I asked him why and never got a response, but then there never was a word written about Arians that I know of connecting him to the Miami Dolphins either. The Dolphins reportedly are down to their three finalists.

Now, here is what Art Rooney said two days ago when asked if he expected any changes in his coaching staff:

"The coaching staff, I don't expect any major turnover on this coaching staff. We think we have a good staff. That's not to say there won't be any turnover. We have guys on the coaching staff who have talked about retiring, are senior-type guys and I know Mike is going through the process of having those conversations as we speak. But I'm not expecting wholesale changes on the staff."

Rooney's idea of "wholesale changes" and "major turnover" may not include losing one coach, even if it is the offensive coordinator. However,when asked if he expected both of his coordinators back, he said this:

"At this point, yeah.''

If Rooney decided not to offer Arians another contract, this would be far from the first time that executive decision has played into who is hired and fired on the Steelers coaching staff. After the 1988 season, Hall of Famer Chuck Noll was ordered by Dan Rooney to make major changes in his staff. Noll nearly quit because of it but changed his mind and made the changes. In 1991, he heard the rumors that Rooney wanted another staff change and Noll retired instead.

Those were different circumstances. The Steelers went 5-11 in 1988 and had not made the playoffs in four years. They squeezed into the playoffs as a wildcard at 9-7 in 1989, then went 9-7 in 1990 without making the playoffs and 7-9 in 1991. Again, the offensive coordinator was at the center of the dispute, Joe Walton. There was talk at the time that had Walton resigned, Noll would have remained, but Noll was not going to fire him and retired.

This is a different situation entirely, although unhappiness with the offensive coordinator has been evident again. However, the Steelers won a Super Bowl in 2008 with Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator and reached it again in 2010 with him. They went 12-4 with him this season before losing their first playoff game in Denver. The problems with injuries on this team has been well documented.

If -- and I emphasize that -- this is not Arians' decision and not Tomlin's, then the question is not only who will be the next coordinator, but who will hire him?

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/inde ... oordinator (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/114466-ed-wilson-was-in-line-to-be-next-coordinator)

frankthetank1
01-20-2012, 08:50 AM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.



I hope they don't go dunk-dunk style offense. YPA matters. Steelers don't have personnel for dink-dunk offense. Only player who might excel is AB in that offense.

Steelers Offense had 2nd best TOP in NFL. Steelers Offense needs to be tweaked not over-hauled. Agreed Steelers offense did not score tons of point but one unit will be happy with TOP stat and that is Steelers Defense.

why do you think brown would be the only player who might excel in the dink and dunk offense? i would think sanders, wallace, brown and miller would all have a lot of success. it would really cut down on the number of sacks, hits and fumbles from ben. i dont love that style of offense but with this O-line and the speedy wr's on the team i think they would have a lot of success. it worked really well against the pats

feltdizz
01-20-2012, 09:02 AM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.



I hope they don't go dunk-dunk style offense. YPA matters. Steelers don't have personnel for dink-dunk offense. Only player who might excel is AB in that offense.

Steelers Offense had 2nd best TOP in NFL. Steelers Offense needs to be tweaked not over-hauled. Agreed Steelers offense did not score tons of point but one unit will be happy with TOP stat and that is Steelers Defense.

why do you think brown would be the only player who might excel in the dink and dunk offense? i would think sanders, wallace, brown and miller would all have a lot of success. it would really cut down on the number of sacks, hits and fumbles from ben. i dont love that style of offense but with this O-line and the speedy wr's on the team i think they would have a lot of success. it worked really well against the pats

It worked well against the Pats but they suck on D. In the Jags game the long passes were open but Ben missed on them... is it possible that we tried it in other games but the WR's couldn't get open?

SteelCrazy
01-20-2012, 01:48 PM
Here's one to ponder- if Arians retires & a new OC is brought in...and the FO provide the new OC with an OL that can create a consistant running game & not see defenders hitting RB's in the backfield...and the new OC succeeds because he has greater balance on his offense...is he a better OC than Arians?

even if our offense is 22nd in scoring it makes him better than Arians!

:Agree

fezziwig
01-20-2012, 01:51 PM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.



I hope they don't go dunk-dunk style offense. YPA matters. Steelers don't have personnel for dink-dunk offense. Only player who might excel is AB in that offense.

Steelers Offense had 2nd best TOP in NFL. Steelers Offense needs to be tweaked not over-hauled. Agreed Steelers offense did not score tons of point but one unit will be happy with TOP stat and that is Steelers Defense.

why do you think brown would be the only player who might excel in the dink and dunk offense? i would think sanders, wallace, brown and miller would all have a lot of success. it would really cut down on the number of sacks, hits and fumbles from ben. i dont love that style of offense but with this O-line and the speedy wr's on the team i think they would have a lot of success. it worked really well against the pats

It worked well against the Pats but they suck on D. In the Jags game the long passes were open but Ben missed on them... is it possible that we tried it in other games but the WR's couldn't get open?


Sometimes I think Ben must not trust his receivers to make the hard catches or take the ball away from a defender.

feltdizz
01-20-2012, 02:07 PM
Ben is who he is....

Ben prefers guys who are really open over threading the needle. His style also makes it harder for WR's to run after the catch because they are running towards Ben half the time.

Ben has a strong arm but he throws some passes that make you think WTF? He is a different type of QB but it works and the end result tends to be just as good if not better than the other fantasy QB's some want him to be.

hawaiiansteel
01-20-2012, 02:20 PM
Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians retires

Posted by Michael David Smith on January 20, 2012


The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin searching for a new offensive coordinator after Bruce Arians has decided to walk away.

“Bruce Arians has informed me that he will retire from coaching,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team’s offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers. I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

The 59-year-old Arians has been the Steelers’ offensive coordinator for the last five years and was the wide receivers coach for three years before that. He has also been an assistant with the Browns, Colts, Saints and Chiefs, and for several college teams.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said before the team’s playoff loss to the Broncos that he thinks it would be “crazy” for the Steelers to change the offense. So he’ll surely be hoping the team promotes someone from in-house to replace Arians.

Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson was reportedly in line to be the next offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, but Wilson was badly injured in a fire at his home, and he likely will not be able to return to the team any time soon.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... s-retires/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/20/steelers-offensive-coordinator-bruce-arians-retires/)

Oviedo
01-20-2012, 02:40 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...


:Agree I have to believe that Fichtner had a role in putting together what hasn't been working the past few years.

Clyde Christensen is the man!!!!!!!

Slapstick
01-20-2012, 03:04 PM
Fichtner would be no better than Arians. If they stay in house it will be the same as having Arians. They're not wanting to rock the boat so they would run the same Offense as Arians and the only way that would work is if they know better than Arians on how to read a defense and adjust accordingly.

Exactly!

However, history tells us that you can't make that assumption...

Kevin Gilbride was canned after the 2000 season and the Steelers promoted Mike Mularkey from TE coach to OC...

You can't tell me that you didn't prefer Mularkey's offense over Gilbride's...


:Agree I have to believe that Fichtner had a role in putting together what hasn't been working the past few years.

Clyde Christensen is the man!!!!!!!

Just as Mularkey had a role in what did not work with Ray Sherman and Kevin Gilbride...

You don't know how someone will change what they perceive as not working until they get the opportunity...

Oviedo
01-20-2012, 03:39 PM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.



I hope they don't go dunk-dunk style offense. YPA matters. Steelers don't have personnel for dink-dunk offense. Only player who might excel is AB in that offense.

Steelers Offense had 2nd best TOP in NFL. Steelers Offense needs to be tweaked not over-hauled. Agreed Steelers offense did not score tons of point but one unit will be happy with TOP stat and that is Steelers Defense.

why do you think brown would be the only player who might excel in the dink and dunk offense? i would think sanders, wallace, brown and miller would all have a lot of success. it would really cut down on the number of sacks, hits and fumbles from ben. i dont love that style of offense but with this O-line and the speedy wr's on the team i think they would have a lot of success. it worked really well against the pats


The so called "dink and dunk" offense is extremely effective and it does not mean all your passes are less than 10 yeards. The purpose is to get into a rhythm to get the LBs backing off the LOS of scrimmage to help get into passing lanes. When they do that it opens up the run by getting the LBs going in the wrong direction and hesitating.

It also forces the Safeties to come up closer to the LOS which then opens them up to being exploited for the deep routes. IMO it is exactly the type of offense the Steelers should be using because we have the skill players to execute it and it protects the Offensive Line by not requiring them to maintain their pass blocks as long as our current scheme does.

We would be unstoppable with this type of offense.

phillyesq
01-20-2012, 03:51 PM
I'm anxious to see if the offense changes with a new OC. Do you guys really think Ben will dink and dunk with a new OC? I doubt it. Ben will pump fake, wave a guy deep and get sacked or throw it deep just like he does right now.



I hope they don't go dunk-dunk style offense. YPA matters. Steelers don't have personnel for dink-dunk offense. Only player who might excel is AB in that offense.

Steelers Offense had 2nd best TOP in NFL. Steelers Offense needs to be tweaked not over-hauled. Agreed Steelers offense did not score tons of point but one unit will be happy with TOP stat and that is Steelers Defense.

why do you think brown would be the only player who might excel in the dink and dunk offense? i would think sanders, wallace, brown and miller would all have a lot of success. it would really cut down on the number of sacks, hits and fumbles from ben. i dont love that style of offense but with this O-line and the speedy wr's on the team i think they would have a lot of success. it worked really well against the pats


The so called "dink and dunk" offense is extremely effective and it does not mean all your passes are less than 10 yeards. The purpose is to get into a rhythm to get the LBs backing off the LOS of scrimmage to help get into passing lanes. When they do that it opens up the run by getting the LBs going in the wrong direction and hesitating.

It also forces the Safeties to come up closer to the LOS which then opens them up to being exploited for the deep routes. IMO it is exactly the type of offense the Steelers should be using because we have the skill players to execute it and it protects the Offensive Line by not requiring them to maintain their pass blocks as long as our current scheme does.

We would be unstoppable with this type of offense.

Short passes and a running game (and your guy Cordy Glenn could help there) could be effective for this offense, as long as they don't go overboard.

Little Schottenheimer seemed to run no patterns of more than 8 yards with the Jets, and it really hurt them. Of course, he also had to deal with Sanchez. Just saying that rhythm passing and solid running are effective, but as part of a balanced attack.

feltdizz
01-20-2012, 04:29 PM
I was listening to Cook on the radio and I think he is taking Arians departure to heart so I don't know how true his words were but this is what he said about an hour ago on The Fan.

"Ben said after the Tennessee game that he wasn't a fan of that type of offense"

I've never read anything about that and he may be embellishing to make a point but I don't think we will see a dink and dunk offense with Ben and the new OC.

Steelers>NFL
01-20-2012, 05:17 PM
I was listening to Cook on the radio and I think he is taking Arians departure to heart so I don't know how true his words were but this is what he said about an hour ago on The Fan.

"Ben said after the Tennessee game that he wasn't a fan of that type of offense"

I've never read anything about that and he may be embellishing to make a point but I don't think we will see a dink and dunk offense with Ben and the new OC.

This quote by Ben makes me think he is dumb and selfish. And because of that, he is always getting hit and injured.

steelblood
01-20-2012, 05:27 PM
I was listening to Cook on the radio and I think he is taking Arians departure to heart so I don't know how true his words were but this is what he said about an hour ago on The Fan.

"Ben said after the Tennessee game that he wasn't a fan of that type of offense"

I've never read anything about that and he may be embellishing to make a point but I don't think we will see a dink and dunk offense with Ben and the new OC.

Ben isn't a fan of what type of offense? Tennessee's? dink and dunk? What is the context of the quote?

fezziwig
01-20-2012, 05:42 PM
Arian snd or Ben didn't seem to have the we will take what the defense gives us attitude. They did what they wanted if it worked or not. Had Aarians been the type of guy that could do game time strategy, he would have had a lot more success.
As somone mentioned before, he would never adjust to game time situations.


Glad the guy is gone and it was long over due. So long over due that, he should have neveer been hired on the team from the start.

feltdizz
01-20-2012, 06:24 PM
I was listening to Cook on the radio and I think he is taking Arians departure to heart so I don't know how true his words were but this is what he said about an hour ago on The Fan.

"Ben said after the Tennessee game that he wasn't a fan of that type of offense"

I've never read anything about that and he may be embellishing to make a point but I don't think we will see a dink and dunk offense with Ben and the new OC.

Ben isn't a fan of what type of offense? Tennessee's? dink and dunk? What is the context of the quote?

Cook said after the Tennessee game Ben said he wasn't a fan of the offense we used in that game.

Pretty much said he couldn't get comfortable in that type of offense.
I tried to find a transcript or quote to back it up because Cook sounded like the Arians move was a huge mistake and he was taking it personally.

hawaiiansteel
01-21-2012, 02:06 AM
Search begins for Arians' replacement

By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, January 21, 2012

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-01-20/0121starians-a.jpg

Arians' replacement?

Here are some possible candidates the Steelers likely will consider for their offensive coordinator opening:

Randy Fichtner: Team's quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator at Memphis before joining Steelers in 2007.

Jim Caldwell: Fired Indianapolis coach, led Colts to Super Bowl two years ago

Tom Clements: Once considered a candidate for Penn State job, might become offensive coordinator in Green Bay if Joe Philbin lands Miami head job.

Todd Haley: Former Kansas City head coach who is considering a move back to Arizona, son of former Steelers player personnel director Dick Haley.


Let the search for Ben Roethlisberger's next mentor begin.

Bruce Arians, 59, the Steelers' offensive coordinator the past five seasons, retired Friday, throwing uncertainty into an offensive unit that is considered to have underachieved much of this past season.

Despite having one of the top quarterbacks in the league and a young, up-and-coming receiving corps, the Steelers averaged fewer than three touchdowns per game this season and ranked among the league's bottom third in offensive output. Their struggles were magnified against top defenses and could not carry the team past the wild-card round of the playoffs.

"I'm grateful to Bruce for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best in retirement," said coach Mike Tomlin in a statement. "I appreciate his efforts over the past five years for helping to lead our offense."

In choosing a new coordinator, the Steelers are likely to consider how a new offensive architect will handle Roethlisberger. The quarterback often vocally praised and supported Arians, whom he considered a friend. Arians, it has been argued, became too close to Ben and relied too heavily on Roethlisberger's arm rather than build a reliable ground game -- something Steelers president Art Rooney II asked Tomlin to resurrect a few seasons ago.

Arians could not be reached for comment yesterday. Tomlin's was the only statement released by the Steelers.

The Steelers likely will interview quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, partly because the organization historically has promoted from within. Arizona coach Ken Wisenhunt and Arians were Steelers position coaches before being elevated to offensive coordinator.

This time, though, the Steelers could hire an outsider, such as former Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell, Green Bay offensive coordinator Tom Clements and former Kansas City coach Todd Haley.

Whoever the Steelers choose, he will inherit an inconsistent and injury-plagued offensive line that allowed 42 sacks -- 40 against its $102 million franchise quarterback. That tied for ninth most in the league, and only two other quarterbacks were sacked more often than Roethlisberger. The Steelers allowed 43 sacks in 2010 -- eighth most in the league.

Questions also surround the running game. The Steelers averaged about 119 yards per game -- good for 14th in the league -- but there is uncertainty about how effective starter Rashard Mendenhall will be after knee surgery.

What's more, all three backup quarterbacks are unrestricted free agents. The Steelers yesterday signed former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith but still could be in the market for a reliable backup.

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 search for Arians' replacement there.

Despite myriad injuries this season, the Steelers posted a 12-4 record and were 12th in the NFL in total offense (372.3 yards per game). They failed, however, to consistently score touchdowns, tying for 21st in scoring (20.3 points per game).

"Every year we set out to win the Super Bowl, and every year we don't it's a disappointment," tight end Heath Miller said. "We have to get better next year."

Tomlin had said he expected Arians and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to return next season. However, on Tuesday, Rooney suggested senior-level assistant coaches could retire and pinpointed the offense's inconsistency as something that needed improving during the offseason.

Arians became offensive coordinator when Whisenhunt took the head coaching job at Arizona. He had spent three seasons as the team's receivers coach. Under Arians as offensive coordinator, the Steelers won a Super Bowl and appeared in another.

Arians, though, couldn't distance himself from constant criticism, particularly this season. Despite having two of the league's best deep threats in Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, the offense stalled against some of the league's best defenses. The Steelers scored a combined 20 points in road losses to playoff qualifiers Baltimore (35-7), Houston (17-10) and San Francisco (20-3).

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1k4A4PTB0 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_777758.html#ixzz1k4A4PTB0)

Chadman
01-21-2012, 10:04 AM
Wonder if Jim Fassel might get a look?

RuthlessBurgher
01-21-2012, 01:37 PM
What about...*gag*...former Vikings offensive coordinator...*vomit"...Brian...*vomit again*...Billick?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1OMiSrEJXnY/RqoaX2Bec-I/AAAAAAAADKM/GPVo4FKNkZo/s400/BrianBillick.jpg

[youtube:dciwie31]rtowYApQNnE[/youtube:dciwie31]

[youtube:dciwie31]TTaca7DVmac[/youtube:dciwie31]

fezziwig
01-21-2012, 02:30 PM
I want Bobby April for our new OC.

hawaiiansteel
01-21-2012, 02:31 PM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2012
posted by Dale Lolley

Philbin hire means Clements likely out


With Joe Philbin's hiring Friday as head coach of the Miami Dolphins on Friday, you can likely cross Green Bay QB coach Tom Clements off the list for potential Bruce Arians replacements.

It's likely that Clements will get the first shot to replace Philbin as Green Bay's offensive coordinator. So unless he has a burning desire to come back to Pittsburgh – where he grew up – to join the Steelers staff for a second time, it's unlikely Clements will be the man.

Arians, of course, "retired" on Friday after being with the Steelers since 2004, including the past five seasons as offensive coordinator.

Randy Fichtner would be the top candidate from within the organization to replace Arians.

The top two outside candidates could be a pair of fired NFL head coaches, Kansas City's Todd Haley and Indianapolis' Jim Caldwell.

Haley is a Pittsburgh native whose father - a McDonald native – Dick was a longtime personnel man for the Steelers.

Caldwell, meanwhile, coaches with Tomlin under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay and the two maintain a relationship.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

Shoe
01-21-2012, 03:50 PM
As much as I was upset that the Steelers didn't hire within in house for a new head coach I'm, equally disappointed that they wouldn't test the waters outside the organization for a new OC. Maybe Randy is the guy but, I kind of feel anyone within the circle of Ben is not going to think outside the box and bend to everything Ben would like.

Don't get too caught up in "name" guys. I've seen names like Norv Turner, Todd Haley, just all sorts of names from people who want a name guy. I really think that this type of move (where you get a "younger", fresh guy, is the best way).

From my perspective, I see schoolteachers who have many years under their belt, and they are the least hungry, most entitled, most complacent people you'll meet. OTOH, a young/new teacher is hungry, and full of ideas, and enthusiasm for the job at hand. I think the latter, all other things being equal, is the preferable way.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-21-2012, 04:12 PM
As much as I was upset that the Steelers didn't hire within in house for a new head coach I'm, equally disappointed that they wouldn't test the waters outside the organization for a new OC. Maybe Randy is the guy but, I kind of feel anyone within the circle of Ben is not going to think outside the box and bend to everything Ben would like.

Don't get too caught up in "name" guys. I've seen names like Norv Turner, Todd Haley, just all sorts of names from people who want a name guy. I really think that this type of move (where you get a "younger", fresh guy, is the best way).

From my perspective, I see schoolteachers who have many years under their belt, and they are the least hungry, most entitled, most complacent people you'll meet. OTOH, a young/new teacher is hungry, and full of ideas, and enthusiasm for the job at hand. I think the latter, all other things being equal, is the preferable way.

I agree with your point of wanting a young guy that is hungry. I think Joe Lombardi should be given consideration.

fezziwig
01-21-2012, 04:43 PM
I was serious about Bobby April. He has put it out there in the past that he would like to be more than a special teams coach. I've seen his body of work over the years and I have talked to him before.
Nice guy, smart guy and knows the game very well. With his energy and excitment that he would have with being a OC I bet he would live and breath his job and do a great job.
Many coaches started out as special teams guys. Cowher for one and I believe one of the Harbaughs or another head coach at this time.

hawaiiansteel
01-22-2012, 05:14 PM
Bires: How about Fichtner as Arians' replacement?

Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Mike Bires Times Sports Staff


This week while he's at the Senior Bowl, Mike Tomlin will have more on his mind that just prospects the Steelers might draft. His to-do list includes finding a new offensive coordinator.

Now that Bruce Arians is gone, Tomlin must find someone who will put together an offense capable of racking up more yards and more points than the Steelers did during the B.A. regime.

As soon as Arians announced Friday that he retired, several names surfaced as his successor.

Were he not in critical condition in a Pittsburgh hospital as he recovers from fire burns and smoke inhalation, Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson may have been promoted.

But as Wilson fights for his life, there's no telling when he'll be able to coach again.

So everyone is assuming that the Steelers will look outside the current staff.

Names such as former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, Packers QB coach Tom Clements, former Jets O.C. Kurt Schottenheimer and former Colts coach Jim Caldwell have been mentioned.

But there is a guy who's with Tomlin right now who could get the job.

That would be Randy Fichtner, who's been with the Steelers since Tomlin was hired five years ago.

During his first three years in Pittsburgh, Fichtner served as wide receivers coach. The past two years, he's coached quarterbacks.

Fichtner, 48, had served as offensive coordinator at two college programs -- Arkansas State and Memphis - before joining the Steelers. It was at Arkansas State where Fichtner first met Tomlin, who was the secondary coach there in 1998.

Obviously, calling the plays at Arkansas State and Memphis hardly qualifies Fichtner for the same job with the Steelers. But he's perceived as a guy with good ideas. And although he doesn't have the close relationship that Arians and Ben Roethlisberger do, Fichtner seems to have a solid bond with the franchise QB.

And don't dismiss the fact that Fichtner and Tomlin are close friends away from football.

The day after the Steelers lost a wild-card game in Denver, Tomlin said he expected all his assistants to return. He looked forward to that he said for the sake of continuity.

Well, with Arians gone, there will be change on the coaching staff. But there still may be the continuity that Tomlin talked about.

Fichtner may be a long-shot for the job. But don't count him out.

http://www.timesonline.com/columnists/s ... eafba.html (http://www.timesonline.com/columnists/sports/mike_bires/bires-how-about-fichtner-as-arians-replacement/article_b97cae3d-78bc-5e34-aa7c-d0a4789eafba.html)

ikestops85
01-22-2012, 10:44 PM
Fichtner could be a good replacement. I still remember when Gailey took over from Ernhardt and he did a great job. If Fichtner is willing to come in and utilize the talent we have, regardless of pedigree or draft position then I think it would be great.

DukieBoy
01-22-2012, 11:03 PM
I was listening to Cook on the radio and I think he is taking Arians departure to heart so I don't know how true his words were but this is what he said about an hour ago on The Fan.

"Ben said after the Tennessee game that he wasn't a fan of that type of offense"

I've never read anything about that and he may be embellishing to make a point but I don't think we will see a dink and dunk offense with Ben and the new OC.

Ben isn't a fan of what type of offense? Tennessee's? dink and dunk? What is the context of the quote?

Cook said after the Tennessee game Ben said he wasn't a fan of the offense we used in that game.

Pretty much said he couldn't get comfortable in that type of offense.
I tried to find a transcript or quote to back it up because Cook sounded like the Arians move was a huge mistake and he was taking it personally.

Diversifying the offense, including more short-passing game (other than bubble screens), will likely make the offense more difficult to defend. If Ben doesn't get that, is too stubborn to get that, then it may hurt the team.

RuthlessBurgher
01-23-2012, 02:46 PM
Names such as former Chiefs coach Todd Haley, Packers QB coach Tom Clements, former Jets O.C. Kurt Schottenheimer and former Colts coach Jim Caldwell have been mentioned.

Kurt Schottenheimer (Marty's brother) was never an O.C. with the Jets (he was always a defensive or special teams coach; never offense).

Brian Schottenheimer (Marty's son) is the former Jets O.C. (but he's out of the running already, since Jeff Fisher already signed him to be the new O.C. in St. Louis).

phillyesq
01-23-2012, 03:24 PM
Brian Schottenheimer (Marty's son) is the former Jets O.C. (but he's out of the running already, since Jeff Fisher already signed him to be the new O.C. in St. Louis).

Thank goodness he is out of the running. He is, perhaps, the complete anti-Arians. While I'd like to see more short, quick passes, his guys didn't seem to run anything other than slants.

feltdizz
01-23-2012, 03:48 PM
Brian Schottenheimer (Marty's son) is the former Jets O.C. (but he's out of the running already, since Jeff Fisher already signed him to be the new O.C. in St. Louis).

Thank goodness he is out of the running. He is, perhaps, the complete anti-Arians. While I'd like to see more short, quick passes, his guys didn't seem to run anything other than slants.

That's the only pass Sanchez can complete.

phillyesq
01-23-2012, 05:27 PM
Brian Schottenheimer (Marty's son) is the former Jets O.C. (but he's out of the running already, since Jeff Fisher already signed him to be the new O.C. in St. Louis).

Thank goodness he is out of the running. He is, perhaps, the complete anti-Arians. While I'd like to see more short, quick passes, his guys didn't seem to run anything other than slants.

That's the only pass Sanchez can complete.

true

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-23-2012, 06:16 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... line_stack (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8264111b/article/steelers-looking-at-own-position-coaches-to-fill-oc-vacancy?module=HP11_headline_stack)


The Pittsburgh Steelers likely will promote from within to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, league sources said Monday.


The two top candidates in that case would be quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner and offensive line coach Sean Kugler, sources said, as the Steelers' other offensive position coaches are less experienced.

Fichtner has coached quarterbacks and receivers for the Steelers in two stints with the team and spent the last five years in Pittsburgh. He also helped implement the spread offense at the University of Memphis.

The Steelers need an offensive coordinator after Bruce Arians decided to retire last week, although a league source said Saturday that the coach was told his contract wouldn't be renewed.

fezziwig
01-23-2012, 06:24 PM
this stinks if true. we will have the same type of offensive production and play calling with ben, picking and choosing what he likes or dislikes.
oc requires the position of authority and game management, we won't have that with a coach he refers to as goose.

hawaiiansteel
01-23-2012, 06:35 PM
this stinks if true. we will have the same type of offensive production and play calling with ben, picking and choosing what he likes or dislikes.
oc requires the position of authority and game management, we won't have that with a coach he refers to as goose.

would the selection of Caldwell make you feel better?


King: Don’t Be Shocked to See Jim Caldwell as the Next Steelers OC

January 23rd, 2012 Matt Loede

With Bruce Arians gone, there’s a little tidbit in today’s Monday Morning NFL QB from Peter King that points to who he thinks will be the next Steelers offensive coordinator – former Colts coach Jim Caldwell.

Mike Tomlin (secondary) and Jim Caldwell (quarterbacks) coached together at Tampa Bay under Tony Dungy in Dungy’s last season with the Bucs, 2001, if you’re looking for a clue on the next offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.

Caldwell was dismissed as the Colts head coach last week after the team went 2-14. He led Indy to the Super Bowl in his first season in 2009, the Colts were AFC South champs and lost in the first playoff game in 2010, and were awful this past season without Peyton Manning.

Caldwell joined Tony Dungy’s staff with the Buccaneers in 2001 as quarterbacks coach. He followed Dungy to Indianapolis in 2002 and remained with him for his entire tenure, helping lead the Colts to a win in Super Bowl XLI.

http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/01/23/k ... eelers-oc/ (http://www.steelersgab.com/2012/01/23/king-dont-be-shocked-to-see-jim-caldwell-as-the-next-steelers-oc/)

Slapstick
01-23-2012, 06:43 PM
We can't judge what Fichtner would be like any more than we could judge Mularkey or Whisenhunt at the time.

I don't necessarily want Caldwell as an OC, but I would take him as a QB coach...a friend of Tomlin who has some cred from working with Manning...he wouldn't take crap from Ben...

costanza2k1
01-23-2012, 06:47 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8264111b/article/steelers-looking-at-own-position-coaches-to-fill-oc-vacancy?module=HP11_headline_stack


The Pittsburgh Steelers likely will promote from within to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, league sources said Monday.



in other words they're just guessing...

costanza2k1
01-23-2012, 06:49 PM
We can't judge what Fichtner would be like any more than we could judge Mularkey or Whisenhunt at the time.

True, I wasn't around or a fan of the Steelers in 69 when they hired Noll from the Browns when he was their Oline coach (read this today)...can you imagine if we hired someone's Oline coach in this day and age...bottom line this team is owned by the Rooney's and we have no control over this...we just have to have faith in them...

SteelBucks
01-23-2012, 06:56 PM
BOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....


Steelers looking at own position coaches to fill OC vacancy

By Jason La Canfora NFL Network
NFL Network Insider


The Pittsburgh Steelers likely will promote from within to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, league sources said Monday.

The two top candidates in that case would be quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner and offensive line coach Sean Kugler, sources said, as the Steelers' other offensive position coaches are less experienced.

Fichtner has coached quarterbacks and receivers for the Steelers in two stints with the team and spent the last five years in Pittsburgh. He also helped implement the spread offense at the University of Memphis.

The Steelers need an offensive coordinator after Bruce Arians decided to retire last week, although a league source said Saturday that the coach was told his contract wouldn't be renewed.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-23-2012, 07:15 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think it matters much at this point. I didn't care for Arians formations, game planning, or in game adjustments, but I think whoever gets the job will have the same handicap which is a bad offensive line. I also think that the Rooneys have created a 'brand' of football they want.

Over the past decade teams that run a 50-50 offense have won championships and so have pass heavy teams like Green Bay, the Saints, the Pats, the Colts. The run heavy teams that won the bowl are us & the Giants. However, I think the passing teams have won more, are more consistent, & I think the only reason us & the Giants ran through the playoffs & won the big game was due to throwing the ball. Playoff teams stop the run.

But as I mentioned, I don't think the Rooneys would ever allow the offense to be converted to a high octane passing attack. Therefore as long as they have their way & dictate the style of offense we play, I am not sure how much it matters who gets the job.

fezziwig
01-23-2012, 07:16 PM
I'm not in favor of Caldwell either. I always thought they played a one dimensional offense too. I want someone young, and from outside the team that is going to pump in some new ideas, balance and can adjust to the game situations.

I haven't seen enough of the Colts to really be fair but I'm just guessing that he would be pass happy. It took him the great Peyton Manning to finally win one Super Bowl.

NorthCoast
01-23-2012, 08:43 PM
I'm not in favor of Caldwell either. I always thought they played a one dimensional offense too. I want someone young, and from outside the team that is going to pump in some new ideas, balance and can adjust to the game situations.

I haven't seen enough of the Colts to really be fair but I'm just guessing that he would be pass happy. It took him the great Peyton Manning to finally win one Super Bowl.

I agree. Did Caldwell make Peyton what he is or did Peyton give Caldwell an undeserved OC genius title?

Chadman
01-24-2012, 02:06 AM
Nobody wants to debate the qualifications of Coach Kuglar?

PSU_dropout43
01-24-2012, 02:39 AM
We can't judge what Fichtner would be like any more than we could judge Mularkey or Whisenhunt at the time.

True, I wasn't around or a fan of the Steelers in 69 when they hired Noll from the Browns when he was their Oline coach (read this today)...can you imagine if we hired someone's Oline coach in this day and age...bottom line this team is owned by the Rooney's and we have no control over this...we just have to have faith in them...
:HeadBanger

Noll was the Defensive Coordinator for the Colts under Shula.

SS Laser
01-24-2012, 03:05 AM
Nobody wants to debate the qualifications of Coach Kuglar?

Yes please. Does not look as qualified as Randy. From wiki.

College/ Playing career

Kugler attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 1984 to 1988, earning letterman honors in football for all four years. The 1988 team played in the Independence Bowl.[3] His position coach at UTEP was Andy Reid, who would later become head coach of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.[4]

Kugler signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1989,[2] but after sustaining a concussion in training camp, he was released.[5] In 1991 he was drafted by the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football (WLAF).[6] He started at guard for one season with the Surge.[2]

[edit] Coaching career

Kugler began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach for Florida high schools Tampa Bay Vo-Tech and Gaither HS while completing his degree in education at the University of South Florida (USF). After three years in Florida, he spent the next eight seasons (1993–2000) at UTEP, working his way from graduate assistant (1993), to tight ends coach in (1994), and finally to offensive line coach (1995–2000).[7]

Kugler got his first professional experience in 2001 as a tight end coach with the Detroit Lions of the NFL. He later worked his way into a role as offensive line coach.[7]




There's absolutely no question that he's the best football coach I've ever been around.





— Boise State head coach Chris Petersen on Kugler[8]

In 2006, Kugler moved to Boise State, assuming a role as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. The 2006 Boise State Broncos football team was the only undefeated team in college football that year, winning the WAC title and beating Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. They boasted the sixth-ranked rushing performance in the nation behind Kugler's offensive line led by sophomore Ryan Clady and junior Jeff Cavender, who earned All-WAC honors.

Kugler joined the Buffalo Bills in 2007 as assistant offensive line coach.[2] He was promoted to offensive line coach the following year.[9] He quickly improved the Bills' line and mentored tackle Jason Peters to two consecutive Pro Bowl selections. The Bills' offensive line became remarkably consistent and cohesive, surrendering only 26 sacks on the 2007 season and consisting of the same lineup for 15 consecutive games.[9][10]

He joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 following the dismissal of the previous offensive line coach, Larry Zierlein.[11] He had previously replaced Zierlein as assistant line coach for the Bills in 2007.[2] In his first season as a coach with the Steelers, the team made it to the Super Bowl despite season-ending injuries to both starting offensive tackles and the presence of a rookie starting center.[12

NJ-STEELER
01-24-2012, 03:11 AM
if rooney is thinking more 'blue collar' offense, then i wouldnt be suprised if kugler gets the promotion to OC

you know he'll focus on a better OL

Chadman
01-24-2012, 04:10 AM
if rooney is thinking more 'blue collar' offense, then i wouldnt be suprised if kugler gets the promotion to OC

you know he'll focus on a better OL

Completely agree- Chadman thinks Kugs is quite likely the new OC- if we can read into what Rooney is saying.

SS Laser
01-24-2012, 04:19 AM
If kuglers ends up new OC, who ends up the new OL coach? Does he come from outside the steelers?

feltdizz
01-24-2012, 08:50 AM
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think it matters much at this point. I didn't care for Arians formations, game planning, or in game adjustments, but I think whoever gets the job will have the same handicap which is a bad offensive line. I also think that the Rooneys have created a 'brand' of football they want.

Over the past decade teams that run a 50-50 offense have won championships and so have pass heavy teams like Green Bay, the Saints, the Pats, the Colts. The run heavy teams that won the bowl are us & the Giants. However, I think the passing teams have won more, are more consistent, & I think the only reason us & the Giants ran through the playoffs & won the big game was due to throwing the ball. Playoff teams stop the run.

But as I mentioned, I don't think the Rooneys would ever allow the offense to be converted to a high octane passing attack. Therefore as long as they have their way & dictate the style of offense we play, I am not sure how much it matters who gets the job.

It's been well documented that the Saints ran a lot more than we believed... I think they were 50-50 that year...

and the Colts finally won a SB when Peyton started handing the ball off.

RuthlessBurgher
01-24-2012, 02:36 PM
We can't judge what Fichtner would be like any more than we could judge Mularkey or Whisenhunt at the time.

I don't necessarily want Caldwell as an OC, but I would take him as a QB coach...a friend of Tomlin who has some cred from working with Manning...he wouldn't take crap from Ben...

For what it's worth, Bruce Arians happened to be Peyton Manning's first QB coach in the pros.

Steelers>NFL
01-24-2012, 03:24 PM
We can't judge what Fichtner would be like any more than we could judge Mularkey or Whisenhunt at the time.

I don't necessarily want Caldwell as an OC, but I would take him as a QB coach...a friend of Tomlin who has some cred from working with Manning...he wouldn't take crap from Ben...

For what it's worth, Bruce Arians happened to be Peyton Manning's first QB coach in the pros.
And I think Manning threw like 24 interceptions that year. It was all BA's fault. :stirpot

hawaiiansteel
01-24-2012, 06:07 PM
We can't judge what Fichtner would be like any more than we could judge Mularkey or Whisenhunt at the time.

I don't necessarily want Caldwell as an OC, but I would take him as a QB coach...a friend of Tomlin who has some cred from working with Manning...he wouldn't take crap from Ben...

For what it's worth, Bruce Arians happened to be Peyton Manning's first QB coach in the pros.
And I think Manning threw like 24 interceptions that year. It was all BA's fault. :stirpot


Peyton actually threw a career-high 28 interceptions his rookie year. Brucie probably had him taking 7 yard drops and throwing a lot of complicated slow-developing deep passes. :roll:

Slapstick
01-25-2012, 07:23 AM
To be fair, Bruce was Manning's QB coach in 1999 and 2000 also, when he threw for 59 TDs and 30 INTs in those two years...

Ben has never come close to tossing 59 TDs in two years...

Steelgal
01-25-2012, 10:27 AM
if rooney is thinking more 'blue collar' offense, then i wouldnt be suprised if kugler gets the promotion to OC

you know he'll focus on a better OL

Per tweet for Pittsburgh reporter, Kugler was on some local morning show and stated he has "no interest" in the OC job.

feltdizz
01-25-2012, 10:38 AM
if rooney is thinking more 'blue collar' offense, then i wouldnt be suprised if kugler gets the promotion to OC

you know he'll focus on a better OL

Per tweet for Pittsburgh reporter, Kugler was on some local morning show and stated he has "no interest" in the OC job.

I wouldn't be surprised if a few guys have no interest. He probably reads this message board. :lol:

hawaiiansteel
01-25-2012, 12:36 PM
Fichtner boasts pedigree to succeed Arians as offensive coordinator with Steelers

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-01-24/0125FichnerAPInside-a.jpg

Randy Fichtner coached the Steelers' wide receivers for three seasons, helping to develop Mike Wallace, whom he had endorsed before the Steelers selected the speedster in the third round of the 2009 draft.

Randy Fichtner's former boss said three words best describe the coach that could become the Steelers' next offensive coordinator: energy, enthusiasm and passion.

"It's not just a day at the office with Randy, and I think it's contagious," said Tommy West, who was the head coach at Memphis University when Fichtner was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach there. "He has 'it,' and players respond to it."

Fichtner, the Steelers' quarterbacks coach, is a candidate to succeed Bruce Arians, who told the York Daily Record earlier this week that the Steelers did not renew his contract.

Fichtner has a close relationship with coach Mike Tomlin and franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the Steelers' last three offensive coordinators — Arians, Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey — were in-house hires. Fichtner also has play-calling experience, having served as an offensive coordinator for 10 consecutive seasons before joining Tomlin's staff in 2007.

Fichtner presided over a spread offense at Memphis, something that might be at odds with the Steelers' smash-mouth sensibilities. But he also helped mold running back DeAngelo Williams during his second coaching stint at Memphis, and Williams became an All-American and a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2006.

"(He was an) unbelievable players' coach when I was with him at Memphis," said Clay Helton, who coached wide receivers at Memphis while Fichtner was the offensive coordinator. "I think players understand that he has a genuine care for them on and off the field, and he is as an attention-to-details coach as there is out there."

Helton said Fichtner put as much energy into coaching players that weren't on the depth chart as he did the starters. That, he said, allowed Memphis to weather so many injuries at quarterback during one season that the Tigers were forced to start their No. 4 signal-caller and still went to a bowl game.

Helton said Fichtner's success didn't just stem from preparing his players for games.

"I thought he had a great strength for being able to adjust in ballgames, being able to make adjustments at halftime," said Helton, now the quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal. "Everywhere he's been, he's been successful. Given the opportunity (to serve as the Steelers' offensive coordinator) he would do that again."

Fichtner and Tomlin go back to the late 1990s, when he served as Arkansas State's offensive coordinator while the latter served as the team's wide receivers coach in 1997 and the secondary coach in 1998.

West said the two were known to have such a strong working relationship that when the Steelers hired Tomlin in January 2007, he knew Fichtner would soon be bound for Pittsburgh.

Fichtner coached the Steelers' wide receivers for three seasons, helping to develop Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace, whom he had endorsed before the Steelers selected the speedster in the third round of the 2009 draft.

Fichtner took over as quarterbacks coach in 2010, following Ken Anderson's retirement, and he helped ease the Steelers through a tumultuous first quarter of the season. The Steelers started three different quarterbacks in the first five games because of injuries and a suspension to Roethlisberger, and they still went 3-1 during that span.

This past season, Roethlisberger threw for more than 4,000 yards for only the second time in his career, despite a high-ankle sprain that caused the eighth-year veteran to miss a game and hampered him in two others.

Roethlisberger will play in his second Pro Bowl on Sunday, and Fichtner and his wife are among those who will be in Hawaii as Roethlisberger's guests.

One thing that could work against Fichtner becoming only the second offensive coordinator under Tomlin: if the Steelers want to shake things up after Arians and go outside the organization for his replacement.

The Steelers finished 12th in the NFL in total offense last season (372.3 yard per game), but were tied for 21st in scoring (20.3 ppg).

Team president Art Rooney II brought up the Steelers' scoring difficulties last week when asked what he thought had gone wrong in 2011.

Tomlin said at his final news conference of the season that he values continuity. If he decides to promote someone from his staff, West said, Fichtner would be an ideal choice.

"Randy's got a great football mind," West said. "It's the enthusiasm that I think sets him apart as a coach."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1kU7T3kAB (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_778223.html#ixzz1kU7T3kAB)

Mister Pittsburgh
01-25-2012, 01:01 PM
I honestly thought Fichtner was being groomed to take over as OC when Arians left. But then hearing that Kirby Wilson was actually next in line, well that threw me for a loop. Didn't see that one. And then seeing how Art II stepped in to get rid of Arians...well that leaves me with no idea what is going to happen.

If Tomlin doesn't have his say in keeping Arians, does he have his say in who his OC is at all? And if not, what sort of desire would he have to stick around here if he has his hands tied on what sort of staff he builds.

feltdizz
01-25-2012, 01:14 PM
Ben should stay off the leg and watch the Pro Bowl in sweats...

PSU_dropout43
01-25-2012, 01:22 PM
I honestly thought Fichtner was being groomed to take over as OC when Arians left. But then hearing that Kirby Wilson was actually next in line, well that threw me for a loop. Didn't see that one. And then seeing how Art II stepped in to get rid of Arians...well that leaves me with no idea what is going to happen.

If Tomlin doesn't have his say in keeping Arians, does he have his say in who his OC is at all? And if not, what sort of desire would he have to stick around here if he has his hands tied on what sort of staff he builds.

Tomlin = Training Wheels. :D

signed,
steelers43

RuthlessBurgher
01-25-2012, 02:50 PM
Helton said Fichtner's success didn't just stem from preparing his players for games.

"I thought he had a great strength for being able to adjust in ballgames, being able to make adjustments at halftime," said Helton, now the quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal. "Everywhere he's been, he's been successful. Given the opportunity (to serve as the Steelers' offensive coordinator) he would do that again."

:Clap

Mister Pittsburgh
01-25-2012, 02:51 PM
Helton said Fichtner's success didn't just stem from preparing his players for games.

"I thought he had a great strength for being able to adjust in ballgames, being able to make adjustments at halftime," said Helton, now the quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal. "Everywhere he's been, he's been successful. Given the opportunity (to serve as the Steelers' offensive coordinator) he would do that again."

:Clap

Yep. Would surely be a welcome change....

NJ-STEELER
01-25-2012, 07:12 PM
Helton said Fichtner's success didn't just stem from preparing his players for games.

"I thought he had a great strength for being able to adjust in ballgames, being able to make adjustments at halftime," said Helton, now the quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal. "Everywhere he's been, he's been successful. Given the opportunity (to serve as the Steelers' offensive coordinator) he would do that again."

:Clap

i've read that he's a very smart guy

obviously a big plus

hawaiiansteel
01-29-2012, 12:33 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/img/logo_triblive.gif

Tomlin meets with Caldwell?

January 28th, 2012


While all signs were pointing to quarterback coach Randy Fichtner as a sure-bet to replace Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator, the Steelers might not be ready to pull the trigger quite yet.

I received a tip that Mike Tomlin met with former Indianapolis head coach Jim Caldwell on Saturday morning at swanky Terrace restaurant inside the Omni William Penn Hotel.

Tomlin was dressed in jeans and a Steelers long-sleeved shirt with a Steelers hat on while Caldwell was wearing a black shirt and a black leather jacket while the two met in a secluded area of the restaurant.

The Omni William Penn is where the team stays the nights before home games.

So what does this mean?

Well, it means something and nothing at the same time.

Just because Caldwell had a meeting with Tomlin doesn’t make him the favorite for the job. But still, where there is smoke, there is fire.

Tomlin and Caldwell have a history together, and that can’t be ignored.

The two were first-year assistants under Tony Dungy in 2001 while at Tampa Bay. Caldwell went to Indy the next year with Dungy while Tomlin stayed with the Buccaneers.

Look at Tomlin’s coaching staff – he feels very comfortable hiring people he has coached with in the past.

When he was hired by the Steelers in 2007, Tomlin brought on Randy Fichtner, Amos Jones, Larry Zierlein, Kirby Wilson and Garrett Giemont – all of whom he worked with before.

It is not a coincidence that the two known candidates for the job once worked with Tomlin – Caldwell and Fichtner.

Sure, Caldwell is 20 years older than Tomlin, but he hired Wilson, who is 15 years older, and Zierlein, who is 30 years older.

Is it a possibility that Caldwell could be the next Steelers offensive coordinator?

Well, you just don’t bring a guy to town to have breakfast with him and say hello.

Keep in mind, being a candidate doesn’t mean you are going to get the job. You’d hate to have Tomlin just promote from within without scanning the open market first.

We have no idea of that is what he was doing Saturday morning or not. But it appears he is doing his due diligence about the coordinator spot.

Either that, or Caldwell was being interviewed about the quarterback coach job that will come open when Fichtner is hired.

We just don’t know.

by Mark Kaboly

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/201 ... -caldwell/ (http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2012/01/28/tomlin-meets-with-caldwell/)

RuthlessBurgher
01-29-2012, 12:56 PM
Either that, or Caldwell was being interviewed about the quarterback coach job that will come open when Fichtner is hired.

I would certainly prefer Fichtner as O.C. and Caldwell as QB coach as opposed to the other way around.

Caldwell was a QB coach for Penn State from 86-92, Tampa Bay in 2001 with Tomlin, and was Peyton Manning's QB coach in Indy from 02-08 (the entire Tony Dungy era there), so he has excellent experience in that capacity.

Although he has been a head coach at Wake Forest and with the Colts, he was never an offensive coordinator at any level.

hawaiiansteel
01-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Uneasy lies the head that wears the headset

Offensive coordinator may be the most criticized, second-guessed position in professional sports, and now the Steelers need to find someone to fill that role

Sunday, January 29, 2012
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201201/arians0129_330.jpg

The Steelers were 55-25 while Bruce Arians was offensive coordinator from 2007-11.

When Tony Dungy was named head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996, he reached out to one of the assistants with whom he had worked on Chuck Noll's staff to be his offensive coordinator. But Dick Hoak, who was a running back coach with the Steelers for 35 years, declined the offer.

It is a decision Hoak never has regretted.

Why?

Because, of all the jobs in the National Football League, none should carry a health warning or occupational disclaimer as much as offensive coordinator, the Mr. Yuk of coaching positions.

"If you did something wrong in a game, they don't look at the 59 plays you did right," Hoak said. "They looked at the one play that went bad."

Offensive coordinator might be the most reviled position in professional sports. They are second-guessed more than a weatherman, and their play calls get more scrutiny than a campaign promise. Want to start a discussion and see a talk show break out? Just mention offensive coordinator.

In stadiums routinely filled with 65,000 or more people, the offensive coordinator is the only coach who needs to understand that 64,000 of them think they can do the job better.

"Everybody has an opinion about it -- you should have passed, you should have run, you should have thrown deep, you should have thrown short," Hoak said. "Everyone thinks they can be an offensive coordinator."

Since Bill Cowher became coach in 1992, the Steelers have had three offensive coordinators go on to be head coaches -- Chan Gailey, Mike Mularkey and Ken Whisenhunt. With the possible exception of Whisenhunt, none of those coordinators had as much success as Bruce Arians, who spent the past five years running the Steelers offense. For that, though, Arians didn't have his contract renewed last week.

Talk about being second-guessed.

"I've always felt when you make a play call, 50 percent are going to like it and 50 percent are not," said Mularkey, who is in his second stint as a head coach after being hired two weeks ago by the Jacksonville Jaguars. "You can't please everybody, and the first person you can't please is you, because, if the play didn't work, you don't like it before anybody else does. You are your own worst critic."

Lots of experts

With the departure of Arians as his offensive coordinator, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin spent part of last week at the Senior Bowl looking for a possible replacement -- an indication he might be willing to go outside the organization to fill the position.

Tomlin, likely did not need to go that far to search for a coordinator. Not when there are thousands of them right here in Western Pennsylvania who show up for Steelers games every Sunday -- something Arians painfully discovered.

"When you don't have success, everybody feels like they have an idea of what will work," said Whisenhunt, who was the Steelers offensive coordinator for three seasons before becoming head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2007. "I understand that. That's why our game is so popular."

During Whisenhunt's tenure from 2004-06, the Steelers won 39 games, went to back-to-back AFC championship games and won a Super Bowl. Maybe that's why he escaped criticism -- certainly more so than any other offensive coordinator in recent memory.

It was not a whole lot different with Arians. From a success standpoint, that is.

In the five years he ran the offense, the Steelers went to two Super Bowls, won one and had three 12-win seasons. In 2011, the offense ranked No. 12 in the league and had four players selected to the Pro Bowl.

In what was a telling prelude to what was to come, however, team president Art Rooney II noted that the Steelers ranked 21st in points scored, even though 11 of the 16 regular-season games were against teams ranked among the top 11 in defense.

Arians, 59, was not offered a contract to return in 2012, a decision that appears to have been initiated by Rooney and not Tomlin, who told Arians on several occasions he wanted him to return. The team announced he was retiring, even though Arians indicated he wanted to return next season.

Then, ESPN reported Saturday that Arians has agreed to become the Indianapolis Colts' offensive coordinator.

His departure was met with welcome relief from his many critics, most of whom would blame him and not the defense if the Steelers lost, 83-10.

"I think you understand that in this business," Whisenhunt said. "Listen, the popularity with our sport is at an all-time high. Criticism is part of your job, but it's also why you have such fan interest, because people do care. You understand that. I understand that."

Mularkey did not escape the criticism when he was the Steelers offensive coordinator from 2001-03 -- even from his head coach.

Mularkey replaced Kevin Gilbride as coordinator at a time when the Steelers had missed the playoffs three consecutive years -- their longest post-season drought under Cowher. In Mularkey's first season, the Steelers went 13-3 and made it to the AFC championship, where they lost to the New England Patriots despite being heavy favorites. Under Mularkey, quarterback Kordell Stewart was the team's MVP and nearly won the award at the league level, too.

The following year, the Steelers went 10-5-1 and made it to the AFC divisional playoff round, where they lost in Tennessee on a controversial penalty on cornerback Dewayne Washington for running into kicker Joe Nedney.

By '03, Mularkey had become so enamored with the passing game that quarterback Tommy Maddox attempted 519 passes that season -- a club record that still stands. But the Steelers fell to 6-10, and Mularkey was widely criticized for disdaining the run, a point that never was more evident than when the Steelers attempted 38 passes in a blizzard in a 6-0 loss against the New York Jets.

After the season, Cowher admitted that he, too, had been smitten with the passing game and the Steelers had strayed too far from the run.

"If you don't produce, it's completely on you -- what didn't I do to make that one play work?" said Mularkey, who had been the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator for the past four seasons. "I always ask myself, 'Was it me? Was it the defense? Was it the player, putting him in position to fail? Was it the scheme?'

"One play can prove to be the difference, not just in a game, in a season. Maybe one play in those games can determine if you make the playoffs. I know how critical each play is when called."

Be ready for anything

Above all else, offensive coordinators need to be able to do three things -- develop schemes, formulate game plans and call plays. All three work in concert.

The game plan is devised based on the schemes and how they match against the opponent. The play-calling is based on which schemes will work best against a defense, even when the defense changes its look. That's why coordinators have anywhere from 125 to 150 plays on the call sheets they carry on the sidelines. They have to be prepared for anything, and sometimes in a hurry.

"I know myself, I felt like on Friday, when the whole plan was in and I could shut the door, I felt like I could sit behind that door and play that game before the game was played," said Mularkey, who will not call the offensive plays for the Jaguars. "If something happened, I was prepared. With the time you have to call plays, you got to be prepared for every call, down and distance. I know I spent a lot of hours on Friday going through those situations.

"I enjoyed Friday because it was the most relaxed I'll be. I can put my thoughts to something so, if that happens, this will be called."

Said Whisenhunt, who still calls Arizona's offensive plays: "You have to trust your preparation. I always felt like Friday afternoon was the game for me. That's when I [go] through the call sheet and prepare for every situation, so, when they come up, you're prepared. Sometimes, it's a feel where you have what you think will work against an opponent, but it's all about the preparation during week, what you anticipate, time you put in."

There is one other advantage to the Friday prep: No fans to second-guess your play selection.

Easy to criticize

Defensive coordinators are not immune to criticism or public outcries of dismissal. Typically, though, defensive coordinators are the target of vitriol only when their unit suffers as a whole. Each defensive call is not picked apart or dissected like a frog in biology class, not like what happens with offensive coordinators.

"Because that's the easiest position to criticize," Hoak said of offensive coordinators. "There are 63,000 people who think they can call plays and call them better than the guy calling them. But, of the 63,000, only 3,000 think they could have called defensive plays."

Was it always this way? Perhaps. But the number of critics and offensive coordinator wannabes seems to grow each season, their skepticism and unmitigated disdain enough to warrant a panel on "Nancy Grace." Mularkey thinks he knows why.

"I think fantasy football plays a factor why people can become a critic; the Madden video games where you can be a genius," he said. "You think, 'Why not call this or why not call that?' There are a lot of reasons.

"People have the right to be critical."

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