Arians' 'retirement' ends for unlikely spot

January, 28, 2012
1/28/12
5:05
PM ET
Former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' "retirement" lasted eight days. And Arians has landed in an unlikely destination.

Arians has agreed to become the Indianapolis Colts' new offensive coordinator, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Why is that so unlikely?

Well, this move means last year's Steelers offensive coordinator will join last year's Ravens defensive coordinator. Chuck Pagano was named the Colts' head coach two days ago. Guess there is more respect than hate in the Steelers-Ravens rivalry, at least on the coaching end.

Arians' five-year run as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator was disappointing considering the talent he had at the skill positions. But he will be a good fit for the Colts' in terms of scheme.

He was responsible for the Steelers going from a run-first to a pass-heavy offense. Whether the Colts are sticking with Peyton Manning or drafting Andrew Luck, Indianapolis will rely heavily on the passing game. The hiring of Arians certainly points in that direction.

At this point, it's assumed that the Colts and Manning are headed for a split. But, as one of our blog readers (SteelBlitz27) pointed out, this is a reunion for Arians and Manning. Arians was Manning's first quarterbacks coach, serving that role from 1998 to 2000.

Arians' return to coaching was a quick one. On Jan. 20, the Steelers sent out an official statement saying Arians had informed coach Mike Tomlin that he was retiring. A few days later, Arians revealed that he was pushed out after team president Art Rooney II informed him that his contract was not being renewed.

The Steelers and Colts don't play each other in the regular season in 2012.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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