To say Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley may have had a bumpy start to begin their Quarterback \ Offensive coordinator relationship may be a bit of an understatement. It’s no secret that Roethlisberger and former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians had become close friends and no matter who had taken his place, there would be an adjustment period.
We all heard the reports last off-season how Haley and Roethlisberger had not spoken long after the hiring of Haley and it turned into a media watch of who would break the ice first. Then during the season everyone waited for the predicted meltdown and blow up between the two. That meltdown or blow up never really happened at least as far as we know.
I believe much of the talk of Roethlisberger and Haley having friction was media hype.
I think the bigger problems on offense last season was a communication problem and natural learning process not only between Roethlisberger and Haley but Haley and the whole offense including coaches.
Anytime a new coach or coordinator comes in and installs a new system there are going to be growing pains. The coordinator must get to know the players he has, their skill sets and the best way to use each player.
The coaches and coordinator must also get to know one another ,become accustomed to new terminologies and ways of communication .
The whole process is far from an overnight fix and much of it can not truly be known until going through game time experiences with one another .
So last year was definitely a learning process with a lot of growing pains . So far this off-season it seems the players ,coaches, and Haley have taken the good that was learnt from last season, thrown away the bad and built a more familiar plan for all involved.
This off-season Haley went to players and coaches alike asking how he could improve the offense starting with terminology. In an interview with Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Roethlisberger and Haley spoke on this subject…
Roethlisberger: “It’s more than just me. I think it’s everybody,” Roethlisberger said of the input Haley has taken from players. “Just the simple fact that he came to me and asked what I thought about it, changing the names of things to kind of make more sense to all of us.”
Roethlisberger: “When Todd came in, it was the exact same play that we had the past couple of years but it was called something completely different. It was just hard for us to make sense of something completely new. So we’ve gone back to what is familiar to a lot of guys. Some things we’ve kept the same. But we’ve moved some terminology around just to make it simpler for the young guys and even for some of us old guys.”
Haley : “I think the hardest thing for everybody is the terminology. I’ve said a number of times that I’m not a system guy. Your players change, hopefully just year by year, but in our case week by week at times. You’ve got to play to their strengths and you’ve got to do what they do well according to how defenses try to play against you.
Haley :“The terminology is why I think everybody is a lot more comfortable. Where the input comes in is something I love … you want your marquee-type players, your big [guys], to have input because they’re the ones out there facing the live bullets.”
So Steeler Nation it looks like Roethlisberger , Haley and the Steeler’s offense are all on the same page and that may be the start of great things for the Steelers in 2013.