Roethlisberger: Cutler would like working with Arians

Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians gets support from Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter
January 8, 2013

Ben Roethlisberger isn’t close with Jay Cutler, but he has no doubt the Chicago Bears quarterback would enjoy working with Bruce Arians.

In a conversation with the Tribune, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback supported the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator for a head-coaching position. Arians is expected to interview with the Bears, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles beginning later this week.

Arians is a candidate for NFL Coach of the Year after replacing Chuck Pagano while the Colts coach was on a medical leave battling leukemia. Arians is given credit for his work with Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck this season and previously in a run in Indianapolis he helped develop a young Peyton Manning.

“As long as Jay is willing to be open to being coached by a guy like B.A.,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday. “Not really knowing Jay, I can even say that because I know Jay will like B.A. because B.A. is that kind of guy. He’s gonna like Jay and he wants to work with guys. Guys really respect him. I think he would be able to not only work with but be great with Jay and I think Jay would like him a lot.”

Bears general manager Phil Emery has a list of at least 13 candidates he has or will interview for the job. Eight have an offensive background and it is believed finding a new coach to build around Cutler and dramatically improve the stagnant Bears offense is a priority. Cutler did not click under three offensive staffs former coach Lovie Smith had over a span of four seasons.

Roethlisberger was a two-time Pro Bowl performer under Arians and enjoyed his finest statistical season in 2007 with a 104.1 passer rating and 32 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions. That was Arians’ first season as offensive coordinator after being promoted from wide receivers coach.

“He works with what he’s got and with the players that he has, the personnel that he’s got,” Roethlisberger said. “He helped me really understand and learn the offense and is patient and was willing to work with me and not just be my boss. But really kind of make it work together.

“I think he is a players-coach. When I say that, I don’t mean he’s favored the players. I say that because he is fair and players respect him. You’re not going to always get your way as a player, and you shouldn’t. You respect his decision and his calls and the things he does. He would be a fit for a head coaching job perfectly.”

Roethlisberger believes Arians has the personality to control a room full of the entire team too.

“One-hundred percent,” he said. “Like I’ve said, guys respect him. When he was with Pittsburgh, he got along with the defensive guys just as well as the offensive guys because he competed with them in 7 on-7 and other drills and everyone respects him because he’s been around for a long time, he knows what he is talking about and so you’ve got to understand that is what you are going to get from him.

“He knows when to push you. People always thought that it was this great relationship that was hunky dory. But we got into our disagreements, our arguments. I think that is healthy. All good relationships should have that and he knows how to motivate each player. He’s not just a yeller. He’s not just a screamer. He knows how to get in your face, he knows how to not get in your face and talk to you. So, I think he’s the kind of guy you respect and want to play for.”