Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Bruce Arians Plot Thickens, Again

It is becoming increasingly clear that Bruce Arians did not receive a gold watch and send-off banquet celebrating his "retirement" from the Steelers.

The 59-year-old Arians tells his hometown York Daily Record that he was forced out, and that he had no intention of retiring this year. He says team president Art Rooney II has offered no explanation why he wasn't offered a contract to return for his sixth year as offensive coordinator.

The Steelers' management team -- presumably at the executive-office level (i.e., Art Rooney II) -- handled this situation badly. The organization's uncharacteristically shabby treatment of Arians and how they portrayed his dismissal as his decision to "retire" looks disingenuous at best.  Nobody fielded any questions. The team only issued a very stiff formal "statement" in the name of Mike Tomlin, who for all we know may have been against the decision to relieve Arians of his duties.  We don't know that or much of anything else.  

What did they think ... that Arians was just going to evaporate and not say anything?

Now, what happens?  What happens if he takes a coaching job with another team?  He says he's already had five or six teams contact him about coaching this year. No longer an employee of the Steelers, he would be well within his rights to take a job with another team -- the Browns come to mind, and there are others, no doubt.

This is an unneeded black eye for the Steelers, and the whole thing could have been handled better. What's going on over there?

Schadenfreude, Ravens-style!

Baltimore fans must be very proud.
As much antipathy as Joey Porter's Pit Bulls feel toward the New England Boston Patriots, it would have been really disgusting to see the Baltimore Ravens go to the Super Bowl.

Think how nauseating it would have been for us to endure a full two weeks of nonstop, intense, microspective media coverage of rah-rah John Harbaugh, T-Sizzle, Weird Ed Reed, Ra-Ri, and the always touchy and reflexively defensive Joe "No Respect" Flacco.  It would have been too much.

At least New England owner Robert Kraft is a sympathetic figure, and you can respect how his team seemed to genuinely rally around the man during his grief after losing his wife.

For all that, we're rooting for Rooney Mara's New York Giants to win the Super Bowl.

Oh, and you know who would look good in a Steelers' uniform next season? Ben Grubs, that's who.  Grubbs, Baltimore's 27-year-old Pro Bowl left guard, is an unrestricted free agentSign him up!

While we're at it, the Steelers might also take a look at Baltimore linebacker Jarret Johnson, another unrestricted free agent, and cornerback Lardarius Webb, a restricted free agent.