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 Post subject: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:43 pm 
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Bruce Arians on Ben Roethlisberger — ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him more excited’

JOE STARKEY
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
jstarkey@post-gazette.com
JUN 6, 2018 9:16 AM
’Round this time each year, Ben Roethlisberger and old buddy Bruce Arians bond over a few rounds of golf.

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the flagstick for some of those conversations?

More than a few in recent years, I would imagine, revolved around Roethlisberger’s relationship with the Tequila Cowboy himself, Todd Haley.

I wondered, in a recent radio interview on 93.7 The Fan (before Antonio Brown took a social-media shot at Arians), what Arians thought of the rocky Ben-Todd marriage from afar.

“You know, if you’re gonna retire, and now all of sudden you’re gonna play five years, I think everything speaks for itself,” he said, referring to Ben’s double-reverse.

Might we dig into that a bit deeper?

Arians: "I think I’ll just leave it there."

Fair enough. I then asked about Roethlisberger, who remains an elite player going into his age 36 season. The two visited a few weeks ago.

“I don’t know if he’s ever been in better shape,” Arians said. “He looks fantastic. really excited about everything with Randy (Fichtner) and the offense and the weapons he’s got. I mean, every year we usually play golf at this time, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him more excited about getting ready to go.”

One might counter that Roethlisberger had a funny way of showing it by skipping all but two OTA sessions. Arians doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Or even a small deal.

“OTAs are great for younger guys to get reps,” he said. “If he was there, he would get the reps. It’s fantastic for those younger players. They all know who the leader of the locker room is.”

As for Arians, 65, he has finally reached the finish line of a fascinating career that included …

• A stint as Bear Bryant’s running backs coach at Alabama.

• The distinction of being Peyton Manning’s first quarterbacks coach.

• A Super Bowl ring as Steelers offensive coordinator.

• A crushing 36-33 playoff loss to the Steelers when he was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator.

• Six years running the Temple football program.

• A memorable 9-3 run as Indianapolis Colts interim coach.

• A wild, five-year ride as coach of the Arizona Cardinals, including a trip to the NFC title game in 2014.

Arians retired in a tearful news conference after the Cardinals went 8-8 last season. He hasn’t looked back. When we spoke, he was sitting in a Birmingham (Ala.) barbecue joint with his grandson. He will be an analyst on CBS this coming season.

I wondered if Arians thought it fitting that he and old friend Dick LeBeau were going out at the same time (LeBeau was forced out as Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator after last season).

Not so fast, as it turns out.

“I know Dick would still like to coach,” Arians said. “I’m done. I think I’ve found my niche now with broadcasting.”

Won’t it be interesting to be in the critic’s seat for once?

“Oh yeah, I went from idiot to genius,” Arians said with a laugh. “I can’t be wrong now. I get to second-guess and say, ‘Why the hell did he call that play.’ ”

I don’t know how you’ll remember Arians, but I’ll remember him fondly, even if I didn’t always agree with his decisions (and even if it turned out Haley was not a bad thing for Ben’s career). Good guy. True character. Fierce competitor.

Arians says he is no longer bitter about his extremely awkward firing here. He reasons that if it hadn’t happened, he never would have been a head coach again.

“Time heals all kinds of wounds,” he said.

Mostly, I’ll remember him for calling what became one of the great plays in Super Bowl history — Ben to Santonio in the corner of the end zone. It happened one play after Santonio Holmes dropped one in the opposite corner, on the exact same call.

“Right in his hands!” Arians said. “I never called the same play twice in a game, but we’d been in the red zone so many times, I probably used everything, so I went back to what was Ben’s favorite play, that he had picked the night before the game,” Arians recalled. “It was a great catch. But that throw? I don’t know if five other people could ever make that throw. … To know you had a hand in calling that play, that was a very special moment.”

Arians authored a few of those.

Joe Starkey: jstarkey@post-gazette.com and Twitter @joestarkey1. Joe Starkey can be heard on the “Starkey and Mueller” show weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan.

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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:14 pm 
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NFLN recently ranked Holmes' catch as the greatest SB play ever.

Harrison's interception ranked as the second greatest interception ever (behind the play that shall not be named....fucking Pete Carrol)

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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Todd "The Tequila Cowboy" Haley. Now that is the best comment in the article. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Nice read.

Uncle Bruce!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:31 pm 
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Cousin Brucie!

Ehhhhhhhheghhhhhhhhhheeehhhh!


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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:42 pm 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
One might counter that Roethlisberger had a funny way of showing it by skipping all but two OTA sessions. Arians doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Or even a small deal.

“OTAs are great for younger guys to get reps,” he said. “If he was there, he would get the reps. It’s fantastic for those younger players. They all know who the leader of the locker room is.”


Doesn't Bruce realize the season is hinging on whether Ben attends each and every OTA session or not?

Nice to hear Ben is fired up for the season.


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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:43 pm 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
“I don’t know if he’s ever been in better shape,” Arians said. “He looks fantastic.


Still putting the over/under on "out-of shape Ben" comments at 3 the first day practice photos come out.

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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Kodiak wrote:
bradshaw2ben wrote:
“I don’t know if he’s ever been in better shape,” Arians said. “He looks fantastic.


Still putting the over/under on "out-of shape Ben" comments at 3 the first day practice photos come out.


I'll easily take the over on that, unless you mean pages in the thread bedwetting about it. In that case, you've got a fair wager on your hands.


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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:28 pm 
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I always liked BA. He had a swag when coaching and from the sounds of it still does. Can't wait to hear his scripted schtick in the booth. Should be fascinating.


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 Post subject: Re: Arians On Ben
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Steelafan77 wrote:
I always liked BA. He had a swag when coaching and from the sounds of it still does. Can't wait to hear his scripted schtick in the booth. Should be fascinating.


Totally agree. My sincere hope is that Tony Romo's success and style as a commentator last season is going to encourage more of the intelligent, interesting type of commentary he brought to the games in other new entries into the arena. Arians could definitely bring a really interesting perspective for sure.


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