Bruce Arians helped Roethlisberger in some ways but hurt him in others. Over the years, Roethlisberger has made fewer and fewer bad decisions when throwing the ball, and that can certainly be attributed to Arians. But Arians never taught him the art of throwing the ball away, which Todd Haley has done with some degree of success. (I saw more passes thrown away this season than any two seasons under Arians.)
Originally Posted by tripleplay2007
Furthermore, Arians' system has some design flaws itself, with not enough short routes or checkdowns. It's a very vertical offense that often requires the QB to hold the ball a long time. As a result, the system requires a physically dominant offensive line in order to reach its full potential. Without it, the plays break down more often than they should, and the QB gets sacked and hit and has to rely on ad-libbing more often than he should. It's a rather QB-unfriendly system of offense. It'd remind Bear fans of Mike Martz.
The reason why the Steelers sent Arians on his way was because they were concerned about the beating their $100M+ franchise QB was taking. Some of it was on Roethlisberger, but then it was Arians' job to correct it one way or another, whether by teaching him when to throw the ball away, adding a few short options to the passing game, or running the ball more effectively. Arians did none of the above, and he paid the price for it.
I also believe that Todd Haley hasn't been given enough of a chance. When an offensive coordinator installs a new system, it typically takes two years to become what he wants it to be. We saw glimpses of what the passing game could become before Roethlisberger was injured, but between that injury, the mental midgetry on display at RB and WR, and injuries to the offensive line late in the season, things unraveled down the stretch. Maybe the play-calling could have been better in a couple of games, but other than that, Haley was not the problem for the Steelers.
Back to Arians: maybe he's better off as a head coach than an offensive coordinator. He seems to be a good leader of men, and players would run through brick walls for him, but his X's and O's never satisfied me for many of the reasons I detailed above. If he became a head coach, then he'd be more of an overseer and a delegator, and less involved with the X's and O's.
"I came here to play with him. I think he has a lot of respect from around the league. He's a top-flight quarterback. People are going to have to respect it sooner or later."
-Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers WR, on playing football with Ben Roethlisberger (November 17, 2013)