The Arizona Cardinals introduced Bruce Arians as their new head coach on Friday and it didn\’t take long for the media to ask him about his departure from Pittsburgh Steelers following the 2011 season and his offensive philosophy.
When asked about his supposed retirement from the Steelers at this same time last year, Arians didn\’t beat around the bush with his answer.
“No, that retirement thing was a mutual agreement,” a smiling Arians said, when asked if he was really close to retirement following his time in Pittsburgh.
Arians went on to say that he was very fortunate when Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano called him to offer him their offensive coordinator position last year.
While that quote may or may not be considered a shot at the Steelers organization, the answer that Arians gave when asked about what his philosophy on offense will be in Arizona certainly was.
“We want to run the football. We want to be balanced. But we’re going to take our shots up the field,” Arians said. “You have to have chunk plays. It’s hard to dink and dunk in the National Football League for 80 yards. You have to have chunk plays, and those usually come from the play-action (pass).”
If the dink and dunk term sounds familiar to you, it should, as it was the term used by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to describe the offense of Todd Haley to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in October of this past season.
“Haley‘s offense is not a big-play offense,” Roethlisberger told the paper. “It‘s kind of a dink-and-dunk offense.”
Do you think that Arians threw that term out there on Friday so that his former quarterback could get a chuckle? I do. Arians and Roethlisberger still talk on a weekly basis, just so you know.
Arians, who said on Friday that he will call the plays on offense until he can find someone who can do it better, also said that he intends to stretch the field deep several times a game.
“We have six home runs on the play sheet every week,” Arians said, “and I’m not coming home with any bullets left in the gun.”
While Arians is not afraid to fire those deep bullets, he certainly will need a better gun to fire them with. The quarterbacks that he currently has to work with on the Cardinals roster don\’t appear to be the same quality as a Roethlisberger or an Andrew Luck, who he coached last year in Indianapolis. If Arians doesn\’t find one comparable to those two over the course of the next two seasons he very well might end up in another retirement mutual agreement.