Several days after what the Steelers called his retirement, Bruce Arians said they gave him no choice but to leave the team as offensive coordinator because they did not offer him a contract renewal.
Arians, speaking to his hometown York (Pa.) Daily Record, confirmed a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last Saturday that his departure from the Steelers was not his choice.
Arians said he "retired" because "when I wasn't offered a contract, it was an easy decision for me."
He told the paper that Steelers president Art Rooney II did not give him a reason for not offering to renew his contract and he does not know why.
"I can't answer that question," he said. "Only the people there can. That's the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don't have any regrets."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac wrote in Saturday's paper that the decision to not renew Arians' contract seemed to come from Rooney, and that coach Mike Tomlin told Arians several times that he wanted him back.
He also reported that Arians wanted to return and told several people, including fellow coaches, that he planned to be back for 2012.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reportedly helped save Arians' job after the 2009 season under similar circumstances and then helped talk him out of retiring after the 2010 season.
Not this time.
"He's not happy," Arians said, "but that's part of the business."
As for Tomlin, Arians told the York paper that "My door is always open to him. I respect him a ton. I enjoyed our relationship and learned a lot. It was great watching him grow and working with him."
The paper reported that Arians did not rule out returning to coach and that five or six teams have already contacted him about a job.
Arians, hired to coach the receivers by Bill Cowher in 2004, was promoted to offensive coordinator when Mike Tomlin became coach in 2007.
Tomlin has not yet named Arians' successor.