2.04.2011

Steelers' Arians recalls getting his football start in York

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Bruce Arians always has time to talk about York County, even amid the craziness that is Super Bowl week.
The offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers wandered back to his introduction to sports while "playing football at Memorial Park."
His former coaches and the people of the community helped mold the hard-working coach -- on and off the field.
My mom and dad worked seven days a week, like most people in York did, in the factories," Arians said. Wednesday, it was tough to tell if that would top his "fondest" memory of York -- induction into the York Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
"We had just put out the most prolific offense in Steeler history: 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher who only played 12 games because Willie Parker was our runner and Rashard (Mendenhall) came in and got 1,000," said Arians, who helped quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reach his first Pro Bowl after the 2007 season -- Arians' first as offensive coordinator. The "young" reporter who broke the "story" eventually apologized to Arians.
This season, a balanced Steelers' offense ranked 11th in rushing (120.2 yards per game) and 14th in passing (225.1) -- without the services of Roethlisberger for the first four games.
The Steelers' fan base had been uneasy about the team's propensity to throw the ball too often under Arians. Veteran receiver Heinz Ward believes "B.A." handles the Steelers' plethora of weapons just fine.
Arians, 58, whose many stops include the Southeastern Conference (Mississippi State, Alabama) and Indianapolis, where he was the quarterbacks coach to an impressionable rookie named Peyton Manning (1998-2000), says he's found his coaching home.

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