Dear Mr. Arians,
I am writing you on Wednesday, the day before the 2009 season starts to ask a few favors of you. No, I do not want an autograph to sell on eBay and am not looking to be hooked up with a player interview. I am merely writing you as a fan. You see Mr. Arians, I am a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, not just any fan though, as I have been following the Steelers since before the first Super Bowl win. I have been through the highs of the 70\’s, the lows of the 80\’s and the highs and lows of both the 90\’s and 2000\’s.
Now do not get me wrong, Mr. Arians, I am super happy with being the defending Super Bowl champions headed into 2009, but I wonder if you made some kind of deal with the devil to make that happen. We finished 23rd in the league in rushing yardage in 2009, but yet ranked 9th in the league in attempts. We also ranked 17th in the league in passing yardage, while ranking 20th in attempts. Now I can defend you only so much as far as the personnel goes, sure the offensive line did not play up to it\’s full potential in 2008, but the further I dig into the stats, the more predictable it seemed the offensive play calling was. I am afraid if it was not for Mr. Lebeau, the 6th Lombardi Trophy would be elsewhere.
You see Mr. Arians, it hurts to watch both physically and mentally every week, when I know by looking at the formations, player package and down and distance, exactly what play you are calling. I am afraid that if I know, the opposition knows as well. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Last year I chalked it up to huge coincidences and the play of the offensive line as I was not entirely convinced it was all of your doing. I hope you can prove it otherwise in 2009. You see Mr. Arians, I believe Steeler football is to run to set up the pass, not pass to set up the pass or pass to set up the 3rd and 8 run off tackle. We need to run the ball, the line was built to run the ball. If we can not run the ball, we run the ball until we can run the ball. Nothing does my heart more good than to watch a tired Ray Lewis try to tackle a running back in the fourth quarter, when he has been run on successfully the whole game. Can you get a mental picture of that?
Mr. Arians, I remember that January 29th Monday in 2007 very vividly when you were promoted from the wide receiver coach position to offensive coordinator. I remember thinking and hoping that you would not be a coordinator that put the passing game in higher regard to a good running game. Although the numbers tell me one thing, I am certainly ready to forgive and forget starting on Thursday night versus Tennessee. You see Mr. Arians, what they did to us last season in Tennessee needs a punishment. Nobody treats the Steelers or Steeler Nation the way they did on December 21st. Let\’s make every bone in their body hurt from being made to tackle a ball carrier 35-40 times a game. When we have a huge lead in the fourth quarter, please put in Frank Summers and run even more at the defensive line and linebacking core. I want them to suffer and suffer bad.
In closing, I would like to say I fully support every decision that you make in 2009 as long as it includes running the football and not being so predictable in the play calling. If we do not finish in the top 5 in rushing and rushing attempts, I am afraid I will no longer be able to defend or support you or call you my friend. I also think the next letter I write will not be as nice as this one. I wish you much success in 2009 and still consider you part of the family.
Your Biggest Fan,