The headline might seem like this is an instance of Bruce Arians being let go and not having his contract renewed by the Steelers. Sure, that might be it but we might have seen the last days of Bruce Arians on the sidelines for the Steelers as word from Gerry Dulac is that Arians might not return because of retirement (or not getting his contract renewed).
I can actually hear people in Pittsburgh planning the parade route for the second that BA announces his retirement/doesn't get renewed. Personally I don't think Arians has been that bad, but I think I am in the minority on this. Sure he runs the bubble screen a lot and the red zone efficiency has been less than desirable but what team is 100% happy with their offensive coordinator? I doubt too many.
I have always had the thought that coaches are overrated in the realm of game day. Bruce Arians could call 50 bubble screens in a row and if all of those screens go for 20+ yards you would probably say that "BA really went with what is working and attacked a weakness of the defense, what a coordinator." On the other hand if one of the passes fails because a receiver drops the pass with nothing but green grass in front of them it would be a terrible play call. Sure there could be times that one play would seem to work better but the players on the field largely determine how good a coordinator is.
Listen, if BA wants to retire because of health reasons then nobody can really blame him. As the article from Dulac says he did think about retiring last year because of health so this might have been a long time coming but this should be no reason for people to be happy. BA took over in 2007 and got the Steelers two Super Bowls and has helped Ben Roethlisberger become one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I guess that is pretty terrible for a coordinator, huh?
I think either way it goes where BA doesn't return it is going to be bad for the Steelers. Roethlisberger is entering the prime of his career and the last thing you want to do is throw a new coordinator in his lap, especially if that is someone he has never worked with before. I don't know about you but I don't want Ben having to go through an entire year trying to figure out a new offense when these are supposed to be his best years. It is no secret that BA and Ben got along well and BA was alright with Ben calling plays in the game running the no huddle and it worked. The Steelers were winning and while they weren't scoring 30 points a game like the Patriots they were winning playoff games and division titles. Give me that every day of the week.
If this is a situation where BA retires he deserves it. He has done a lot of good things for the organization and stepped in when Ken Whisenhunt took the head coaching job in Arizona and has helped this franchise continuing to win games. Sure most people don't like the guys but who can really sit here and say that any other team doesn't have it any different? What fan base doesn't roast their offensive coordinator throughout the season. If Arians does leave he should get some respect for what he has done here. Dealing with a patchwork offensive line and a lack of big play receivers (until recent) isn't easy but the Steelers still win. Give the guy some credit. Whether you like it or not he will be missed.
None of this is official and it is all just here say so stay tuned to see what happens.