ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Indianapolis Colts have found their new offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians. Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2007-2011. How good was the Steelers offense during Arians' tenure?
UPDATE: Former offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen has been offered to stay with the Colts as wide receivers coach.
UPDATE: Adam Schefter confirms that Arians is officially the Colts new offensive coordinator.
One thing to remember about 2010 is that Ben Roethlisberger missed 4 games during the season serving a suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy. It certainly had an impact on offensive production for a quarter of the season.
In either case, the Steelers have been known both for their outstanding defenses and balanced offenses. They've never really been the league leaders offensively but have had enough weapons and balance to keep defenses guessing when games are on the line.
Arians won two AFC Championships during his tenure as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh - 2008, 2010. He also won the Super Bowl in 2008. He won another AFC Championship and Super Bowl in Pittsburgh in 2005 as the team's wide receivers coach.
Let's take a quick look at how Arians broke down his offensive play-calling between runs and passes during his tenure with the Steelers organization. *Regular season numbers
|Runs||Passes||Run %||Pass %|
It's pretty clear that Pittsburgh tried to run a balanced offensive attack under Arians. The team did lean on the passing game a bit more than the ground game in each of his seasons. Over the course of his tenure as the Steelers offensive coordinator, the team won 12, 9, 12, and 12 games in the regular season.
Another interesting bit of information on Arians? He was the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2000, Peyton Manning's first three years in the league. Manning had one of the most prolific single-season turnarounds after his 3-13 rookie season, taking the Colts to a 13-3 record as an NFL sophomore. He improved his completion percentage, reduced his interceptions, significantly improved his quarterback rating, and threw over 4,000 yards for the first time in his career.
While it has been some time since Manning has worked with Arians, a couple things should be relatively clear. First, if the team does bring Manning back to finish his career in Indianapolis, he will not be unfamiliar with the man he works with to guide the offense. Second, if Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III are selected first overall by the Colts in the upcoming draft, the same man who welcomed Peyton Manning into the league will have a significant influence on the youngster's development.
There are plenty of differences between the Steelers offense and the one with which fans in Indianapolis have become familiar. Those differences could make the performance of Arians' offenses in Pittsburgh only loosely illustrative of what the fan community might expect out of him with Manning or Luck leading the way.
However, an experienced NFL coach who has ties to the Colts, has won Super Bowls from two different positions, and knows what it's like to coach and be a part of top organizations is on board.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano has started to deliver on his promise to get right to work filling the coaching staff at his press conference on Thursday.
So just from this article and what I've seen from the Steelers' offense, this is what I have gathered. Feel free to add to/correct it.
Proven offensive coordinator with a good length of tenure
Ties to Manning/Colts, and helped him develop
Won 2 Super Bowls
Balanced run/pass attack
Middling offense in Pittsburgh (though he did have a middling QB, with a line to match for most of it)
Pitt's offensive style quite a bit different from ours
He's pass first, which I think might be a substantial part of the reason that Pittsburgh fans didn't like him. To me, the Steelers offense got better under him than it was with Whisenhunt before.
Arians was also the OC with the Browns the last time they made the playoffs, and he even turned Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb into a competent offense in 2002. I like the hire. I love the fact that he has a history with Manning, because it probably makes the chances Manning is coming back a smidge higher.
No idea how merited their criticisms are, but Steelers fans had nothing but bad things to say about him.
The Steelers have had a weak O line for a few years and their fans refuse to admit that Roethlisberger is just an above average QB.
Well as much as I enjoy kicking dirt on Irsay right now I have to admit this is another good hire. Maybe I'll never agree with the timing but I can't criticize Irsay for the people he has brought in to this point. Grigson, Pagano, and Arians all seem like very capable confident people. I expecially like Arians.
This move is not really a surprise, he has ties to Manning from his early days. This guy is a proven winner. Pagano must have liked to coach against him with the steelers and pagano with the ravens, so he hired him to be the OC.
So, this has not come with a mention of Clyde C? Does this mean that he is fired, or that they are moving him positions?
@mattshedd I saw somewhere on Twitter that he was going to become the WR coach. I don't remember what the source for that was, though.
This is a solid move, in my opinion. My impression is that after coaching Big ben for so long, he will know how to use Luck's mobility. So far I'm impressed with Pagano's list of coaches.
@naptown_ninja What other coaches has he hired by the way, this is the first one that I have heard of, thanks.
@paulcareyjr I guess what I meant is I hope it's more guys like Arians. Brooks brom B'more would be great. I don't know anything about his list, except that the first guy is a guy I would characterize as a winner.
None yet, I believe. But there is a rumor that he could bring Ravens' DL coach Clarence Brooks with him.