By Keeping Bruce Arians Did The Steelers Lose Ken Anderson?

Alan ShimelCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2010

PITTSBURGH - 2009:  Ken Anderson of the Pittsburgh Steelers poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
NFL Photos/Getty Images

Ken Anderson was the first Steelers assistant coach to leave after this season. Lost in all of the controversy over Bruce Arians saving his job, the man who could have succeeded him has sneaked  out the back door. Unlike the O-line and special teams coaches who were fired, Ken Anderson quit.  After 33 years in the NFL, a borderline hall of fame QB, he walked away. Why?

Everyone talks about Arians keeping his job because of his relationship with Big Ben.  Ken Anderson had a better relationship with Ben.  Who was Ben honoring growing the 70's style mustache and hair?  We don't even know what Bruce Arians looked like in the 70's. Who was a great QB who was brought into mentor Ben? Who had the experience and smarts to to take over as the offensive coordinator? Ken Anderson, Ken Anderson, Ken Anderson.

At 60 years old, Ken Anderson did not have many more mountains to climb in NFL. Making the Hall of Fame would be nice.  Being an NFL head coach would rock, but probably not in the cards. After over 14 years as an assistant coach, on top of a great career as as a brilliant QB (as much as I hate to give credit to a Bengal), Anderson would have made a great choice for O coordinator. It would have been a great promotion for him and a great chance to put a final feather in his hat.

So maybe he knew that BA wasn't going anywhere. He was stuck behind a loser and didn't have the runway to wait around for BA to be fired so he could step up.  He did all he had hoped with Ben as QB coach (maybe he could work with Dixon?). BA was going to stick around, so Ken decided to take next year off and get an early start on his golf game.

There is no talk of upsetting Big Ben by letting Anderson go.  We have all been reading goat entrails as to how much longer BA will be here, which other assistant coaches need to go, etc. But right under our noses, our in house the next great Pittsburgh offensive coordinator slipped right through our fingers!