Bruce Arians is no longer sour about being let go by the Pittsburgh Steelers following the 2011 NFL season, but it wasn't always the case.
In an upcoming profile to debut Tuesday night on HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Arians opens up about what exactly happened when his contract in Pittsburgh ended.
Arians explains that he had been told by coach Mike Tomlin that he would be awarded with a new contract, with an adjustment in salary given the performance of the team. Unfortunately for Arians, the team decided to go in a different direction, and it was up to Tomlin to break the news to him. The tea attempted to sell the firing as a retirement, which did not fool many football fans.
“[Tomlin] said, ‘I can’t get you the money,’” Arians tells Kremer. I said, ‘Okay.’ He said, ‘No, I can’t get you a contract.’ I said, ‘Are you firing me?’ He said, ‘No. . . .’
“‘Well . . . it’s just a matter of words, Mike,'” Arian said. “‘Okay. If I don’t have a contract, I’m fired.’
“And he said, ‘I’m going to fly down and talk.’ [I] said, ‘Why waste the money and the time?’ And so that was it. Walked upstairs and told my wife. And I’ve never seen her cry. And she cried.”
The now Arizona Cardinals head coach believes he was fired because the team felt he was "too close" to Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I had done a good job,” Arians contends. “Maybe not the right image, but it was a damn good job. I was pissed. But again, time heals things.”
He has since been extremely successful, winning the Coach of the Year award as offensive coordinator of the Colts followed by three successful seasons as head coach of the Cardinals, the second of which resulted in a second Coach of the Year award.
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