Bruce Arians Says Wearing Bulls-eye Is Fun As An Offensive Coordinator

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians spoke to the Indianapolis Colts media today after being named the teams new offensive coordinator. Arians talked about returning to Indianapolis, Peyton Manning and the upcoming opportunity to possibly work with a young quarterback. He also took questions about his offensive philosophy and of course about his time in Pittsburgh. Below are the transcribed questions and answers pertaining to the Steelers.

Re: On his main philosophy in running an offense

Arians: Balance. You cannot be one dimensional. I like to go back and look at the statistics of when I called plays in Cleveland and Pittsburgh for eight years. I’m betting it’s pretty close to 50-50 for the first three quarters of a ballgame. You want to stay balanced and I learned that from Tom Moore who I think is one of the best ever. The fourth quarter dictates itself. If you are behind, you are going to throw more. If you are ahead, you are going to try and eat clock. Teams are eating clock by throwing the football now because they know they have a really good short passing game. (The Steelers) were second in the league in time of possession this year, but we threw more than we ran. We won a lot of games at the end running out the clock throwing the football. I’ve ot no problem with that as long as the quarterbacks and receivers can handle it.

Re: On his tenure in Pittsburgh not ending the way he wanted it to

Arians: Yes. I would not really like to (elaborate). It was a great ride and there were great people. I love those guys. I had a great relationship with the players and I’m going to miss them. They are a very young team and I don’t think people realize how young they are when you take Hines out. We didn’t have anybody over 30 out there. Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace developed. Ben is a superstar. I’d like to say I helped him, but the good Lord gave him a ton of talent. We had a great relationship and that’s going to last forever. I’m going to miss those guys, but I’m looking forward to putting on that blue horseshoe.

Re: On getting too much of the blame for the disappointing end to the Steelers season

Arians: That goes with the territory. Everyone who plays Madden and fantasy football, they call plays. Offensive coordinators around the league will be the first guys to take the bullet. I kind of like wearing that bull’s-eye. That’s what makes it fun. Whether it is or isn’t, it’s part of the job. When you are calling the plays and there are 65,000 people in the stands, 63,000 are calling plays better than you are. Maybe 2,000 are calling the defense.

Re: On how long he plans on coaching considering reports coming out of Pittsburgh saying he would retire

Arians: That’s probably up to the management. If I wasn’t doing what I was doing, I have a nice place on the golf course. If I’m not coaching, I’m going down there to retire. As long as it rides, I’m never worried about that part of it. I was worried when I was 55 when I couldn’t quite get to 58. Once you’re 58, it’s like ‘OK, I can retire when I want to. This is just fun now.’ I haven’t been this excited in years.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Heathicus

    Good luck Arians. He wasn’t all that bad – we had poor execution with untimely drops and he had to deal with using Mendenhall instead of Isaac Redman : /

  • CMON

    Did he just say he won alot of games running the clock out ?!?! NO I think that was our defence bailing us out of your terrible playcalling ! vs Jac he couldnt get us a first down. vs Baltimore, we couldnt move the chains with 2:00 min left and we all know how that ended. Vs Cincinnati Willie Gay had to bail us out. vs KC Defence had to bail us out. and vs Den we had terrible clock mangement that cost us the game. Know your facts Bruce !

  • tryan8282

    ” (The Steelers) were second in the league in time of possession this year, but we threw more than we ran. We won a lot of games at the end running out the clock throwing the football. I’ve ot no problem with that as long as the quarterbacks and receivers can handle it.”

    what a great summary…. local fans and media just could not handle it. My only issue with BA was redzone TD performance.

  • Daveb1952

    When The great BA O hits the field in Indy, and Manning starts taking the hits, every QB that BA has ever coached has, assuming he plays again, maybe some of you will understand BA system ain’t so hot. JMHO

  • Kenneth Wilt

    What is this “short passing game” he talks about? Never heard of it….

  • burghball

    Best and Worst of BAIRians…

    Best – the Game vs New England this year – short slants – 3 step drops by Ben – ball is out.. Very good game plan..

    Worst – vs Cleveland on a Thursday night in December – windy and cold and he throws the mid to long range ball all night.. hence the nic name – AIRians… worst O.C. job of his Steeler years..

  • fire arians

    the bubble screen he likes to run 10x a game is his concept of short passing game. the one that’s so predictable, the other team is calling it before the ball is snapped, and cost us the 2nd game against baltimore

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Have you gone back through our games and looked at how well we “ran out the clock throwing the football”? I have let’s see:

    1. Balt – yeah we know what happened here

    2. Seattle 24-0 win. We had 3 4th quarter possessions and had exactly ZERO first downs. Run, Run, Pass, Punt all 3 times.

    3. Indy 23-20 win. 4 possessions. First possession 1 1st and a FG. Second and Third possessions ZERO first downs with the game tied. Fourth possession we RAN for a 1st down to set up the winning FG.

    4. Houston 17-10 Loss. 4 possessions. 1 first down on 2nd possession and 2 on the 4th possession trying to get the game tying TD starting at our own 1 yard line.

    5. Tenn 38-17 win. 3 possessions, 2 first downs total and a 40 yard TD when we are already up 31-17.

    6. Jacksonville 17-13 win. 4 possessions, 1 first down on the 4th possession.

    7. Arizona 32-20 win. 3 possessions. This is the best example. 1st – 1 running and 1 passing 1st down. 2nd – 1 running 1st down. 3rd – 1 running 1st down and 3 passing 1st downs.

    8. NE 25-17 win. 3 possessions, 2 running first downs and 2 passing first downs.

    9. Balt. 23-20 Loss. 2 possessions, 3 first downs and a 25 yard TD, but only 1 passing first down with the game on the line and trying to kill clock.

    10. Cinn 24-17 win. 4 possessions. First, Second and Third, ZERO first downs. Fourth possession, 2 first downs both passing.

    11. KC 13-9 win. 2 possessions. First – Up 13-6 ZERO first downs. Second – Up 13-9 1 first down throwing. KC had ball with a chance to win.

    12. Cinnn 35-7 Win. 3 possessions, 1 first down.

    13. Cleveland 14-3 win. 3 possessons, but the O didn’t get it done. 1st – got a couple of firsts, but couldn’t get in from the 2 and 4 tries. 2nd – ZERO firsts and a Ben INT. 3rd – Basically 2 plays including the 79 yard TD to A. Brown.

    14. SF 14-3 Loss. I don’t care how many firsts we got, we scored 3 points and didn’t run the clock out by passing the ball.

    15. St. Louis 27-0 Win. Again, we didn’t stall by passing the ball. Batch was the QB and it was out of hand by this point.

    16. Cleveland 13-9 Win. Mostly what we did was hand off to Clay and Redman. Redman turned the ball over twice with fumbles. Cleveland Still had the ball last with a chance to win because we couldn’t burn the clock.

    Hmmm, not a lot to go on there, but our offense wasn’t stellar at all in the 4th quarter.

  • ma

    “when we took Hines out”, really unnecessary to say that. I know it’s and business and all that Bs but I haven’t read about so much disrespect of a player = ever -on a Steelers team. It sounds to be like Arians set up Hines, benching him, actually treating him like crap. When I would watch the games and they would camera Hines, he sat by himself and rarely did I see Tomlin even speak to him. Hines Ward, a pariah on the team he helped make so successful.

    Rooneys/Steelers need two people to go the limit; Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu. You change the face of the Steelers and you got a very ordinary team, win or lose.