Sources: Steelers prez wants old O

Updated: January 22, 2012, 7:59 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

While Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians announced his retirement Friday, team sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen the Steelers chose not to retain Arians, against the wishes of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The sources said the move was made in order to shift the offense back toward its blue-collar identity of years past, in line with the desires of Steelers president Art Rooney II.

Arians, 59, has been the only offensive coordinator in coach Mike Tomlin's five seasons with the Steelers. During his time as coordinator, he turned the Steelers from a run-first team to a pass-heavy one to better suit Roethlisberger.

Pittsburgh ranked in the top half of the NFL in offense over the past three seasons but finished a disappointing 12th this past season.

"Bruce Arians has informed me that he will retire from coaching," Tomlin said in a statement. "I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team's offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers. I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement."

The Steelers have a history of promoting from within at offensive coordinator. Arians joined the Steelers in 2004 as the wide receivers coach and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007.

Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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