Bruce Arians: In Defense of Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator

George CashewContributor IMay 25, 2010

LATROBE, PA - AUGUST 8: Bruce Arians, offensive Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, talks with Hines Ward #86 during training camp at St. Vincent College on August 8, 2007 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  (Photo By Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

I want to start this off by saying that I am not necessarily a Bruce Arians fan, nor am I a detractor, but I would just like to point out a few things:

Ben Roethisberger had an outstanding season last year. He was a top five quarterback and one of nine guys to throw for over 4,000 yards.

Does our boy Bruce get any credit for this?

In 2008, we had the No. 1 pass defense. In 2009, we were ranked 16th. We also slipped from second to third in rush defense—not a biggie. 

Let me qualify the next statement by first saying that in my house Dick LeBeau is a god. I look forward to him coaching the Steelers D for the next 20 years (because he is obviously only 49 years old).

But do we hold Dick to the same rules as Bruce?

Sure—we lost Troy. We lost McFadden. We were at times like a sieve in the secondary. If I remember correctly we did nothing to bolster the O-line either.

Ben was sacked 50 times. Whether that's more because of a bad offensive line or Big Ben holding onto the ball too long is debateable.

My point is:

As we hang Bruce out to dry, does he get any credit for the good things?

As we hang the albatross around his neck, could we also consider the fact that maybe he didn't have the horses to create that Steeler "power running game" we all know and love?

Maybe that's why he's still there? He did the best with what he had—and his best was arguably the best performance by a Steeler quarterback, no? 

On a related tangent, if the Steeler D makes a stop here or there, as we've come to expect, we are in the playoffs and all bets are off. Arians looks like a genius and it's pats on the back all around.

I'm not saying he's the greatest—but is he really the villain we make him out to be?