Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/20/12

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers talks on his headset during the game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Friday that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will be retiring from coaching. Arians, 59, has been the Steelers' play caller since Mike Tomlin was hired in 2007.

In press conferences initially after the Playoff loss in Denver, Arians seemed like he wanted to return next season. Arians was in the final year of his contract but talked about getting it renewed for the 2012 season.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier in the week that Arians was uncertain about his status. In his statement, Tomlin thanked Arians for all his work while leading the Steelers’ offense.

“I appreciate his efforts over the past five years as the team's offensive coordinator and for helping lead our offense to new heights during his time with the Steelers," Tomlin said. "I am grateful to Bruce for contributing to our success and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement."

Pittsburgh only missed the Playoffs once, appeared in two Super Bowls and won Super Bowl XLIII during Arians’ five seasons. Under Arians, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became the first Steelers quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season. Roethlisberger accomplished the feat in 2009 and 2011 as Pittsburgh transformed into a pass-first team this season.

No possible replacement has been announced as of yet, but Mark Kaboly, Steelers writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, posted on his twitter page that Steelers quarterback coach Randy Fichtner should be a leading candidate. Fichtner was an offensive assistant for the Steelers throughout Arians’ entire tenure.

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