Bruce Arians and Ben Roethlisberger ended the season in very different places this year but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach recalled on Tuesday that he was fired from the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator position in 2011 because of his loyalty to the veteran quarterback.
Arians told The Los Angeles Times that his “loyalty” to players he’s coached has been considered a “fault” in the past — a statement that many Bucs players this season would likely disagree with.
“Got fired in Pittsburgh because I was too loyal to Ben [Roethlisberger],” he said. “If that’s a problem, you’ve got the problem. I don’t have a problem.”
“I get very close to my quarterbacks. My dad taught me one thing: You have your name and your loyalty, and those are the most important things you have.”
That quality was on full display with Tom Brady, as Arians said in another interview with the Times that the former New England Patriots quarterback was the “missing ingredient” in the Bucs success.
“I told Tom, ‘If you come here, we’ll win the Super Bowl. You’re the missing ingredient. We’re a very talented team, but they just don’t know it.”
Arians helped get the Steelers to two Super Bowls — one culminating in a win — during his tenure, once as a wide receivers coach and again as the offensive coordinator.
He had a brief stint with the Indianapolis Colts before being named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2013. Five seasons later, Arians announced his retirement but he returned in 2019 as the Bucs head coach.