Well, after years of wishing, hoping, praying and cursing by Steelers fans far and wide, Bruce Arians officially stepped down as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers today after holding that title for five years.
I haven't seen the fans this happy since the Steelers advanced to the Super Bowl about a year ago at this time. Seriously, they might as well pour into the streets and wave their Terrible Towels at passing cars.
I've always been on the fence about Arians.
On one hand, I see where maybe a change in the offensive approach was needed what with the team finishing in the middle of the pack or lower in scoring year after year with Arians calling the plays. Also, it's no secret that Ben Roethlisberger's sack numbers are more than a little alarming, and whether you blame him for holding onto the ball too long, or you blame the offensive line, maybe a different style was necessary in-order to keep the franchise quarterback healthy, and to utilize the multitude of offensive weapons more effectively.
On the other hand, I see a young and developing receiving corps, an exciting stable of running backs and an elite quarterback, who, oh by the way, loved his offensive coordinator. And, on one of the fingers of that pro-Arians hand rests a ring from Super Bowl XLIII. It's nice and shiny.
I can see both sides of it
They say you should never make a change for the sake of change, but in this case, maybe it'll be a good thing just to find out, once and for all, if Arians' philosophy was the main culprit in the overall lack of production. If it was, great. It's one thing for an offensive coordinator to have a specific philosophy, but if it hinders the offense or is in direct contrast to what the upper-management is looking for, something has to be done.
However, change isn't always a good thing. As Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette talked about in his article today, the Steelers haven't exactly had a great track-record with bringing in new offensive coordinators.
And when looking at the Steelers offensive production in 2011, maybe a little credit has to go to the defenses that Arians had to strategize against. Kudos to Joe Bendel for pointing out on his radio show yesterday that the Steelers faced more than their fair share of top defenses over the course of the season.
Did I mention I was on the fence about Arians?
I can see it going either way. Could the next guy come in and craft an offensive machine? Perhaps, but he could also be Kevin Gilbride.
The grass isn't always greener. Even with a fullback standing on it.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go tell those Steelers fans partying right outside my window to keep it down.