Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Wake-up: Arians says he was pushed out
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
Bruce Arians said he decided to retire only after the Steelers declined to give him a contract offer, the former offensive coordinator told The York Daily Record.
While he maintains he had considered retiring before, "when I wasn't offered a contract, it was an easy decision for me."
Steelers president Art Rooney II called Arians about the team's decision. So, what was the Steelers' reason? "I can't answer that question," Arians said. "Only the people there can. That's the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don't have any regrets."
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't take the news well, according to Arians. He publicly campaigned to keep Arians after the 2009 season when it looked like the coordinator's job was in jeopardy.
"He's not happy, but that's part of the business," Arians said. "He is happy for me."
Arians hasn't ruled out a return to coaching. He said he's been contacted by "five or six" new coaching job possibilities since being let go by the Steelers, although only one was intriguing. He declined to get into specifics.
Hensley's slant: The Steelers have a couple of potential problems brewing here. How are they going to handle Roethlisberger if he is unhappy about this decision? And is coach Mike Tomlin upset as well? By Arians' account, it appears that Rooney -- and not Tomlin -- made this call. This puts even more pressure on Pittsburgh to make the right hire, one that will satisfy both Tomlin and Roethlisberger.
BENGALS: The team is getting new practice and playing fields, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bengals officials said the fields had to get upgraded before the move of training camp from Georgetown College to Paul Brown Stadium this summer. Hensley's slant: The Bengals made a good move by agreeing to pay $850,000 to replace two of the three practice fields when they didn't have to do so. Under the lease with the county, taxpayers could have been forced to pay for that. Government officials say this is a "great sign" that the team is willing to work with the county.
BROWNS: Tim Hauck was named the team's defensive backs coach after being a former player under Browns president Mike Holmgren and defensive coordinator Dick Jauron when they were all with Green Bay, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He replaces Jerome Henderson, who reunited with Rob Ryan in Dallas. Hensley's slant: Hauck inherits a group with two young starters in Joe Haden and T.J. Ward. But he also has to improve the secondary in one key area. The Browns were tied for the third-fewest interceptions in the NFL with nine.
RAVENS: Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano is scheduled to be interviewed for the Colts' head-coaching job Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. In their first season under Pagano, the Ravens' defense finished third in both yards and points allowed. Pagano's biggest impact came in generating more pressure. Baltimore finished third in the NFL in sacks (48) this season after recording a team-record-low 27 in 2010. Hensley's slant: The Colts already have six coaches on their radar, so it looks like Indianapolis is casting a wide search. But Pagano definitely has a shot at becoming a head coach in the future based on the Ravens' history. The first three defensive coordinators in team history (Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan and Rex Ryan) all became NFL head coaches.