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.