Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his Monday press conference if he anticipates both defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians returning for the 2012 season and Tomlin said, “I anticipate it, but of course you know we all understand what the end of the season is about and movement is a part of it in today\’s NFL for both players and coaches. So were are going to work to maintain continuity like we always do. we believe that is a benefit to us, but we also understand that things could happen and we will deal with those things as they arise.”
Tomlin was asked how much say does he give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in regards to Arians in a decision like that and Tomlin said, “None! You know not from a coaches perspective, not from a staff building perspective. None. Of course just in terms of hearing his opinion from a player/coach relationship, the same amount of say you would give anybody that is in a significant position of contribution for our football team.”
Both LeBeau and Arians are on year-to-year contracts, so anything that Tomlin says today could of course change over the next coming months. Should there indeed be any changes, one would think that they would take place by the time the NFL combine rolls around in late February. Tomlin could anticipate both returning today, but it could easily be trumped by Art Rooney II. The relationship between Roethlisberger and Arians is well documented, and even though Tomlin says Ben has no say in the matter, you have to think he will get his feelings heard as it relates to the status of Arians.