There was a bit of drama that unfolded earlier this offseason with the Pittsburgh Steelers when Bruce Arians left for the Indianapolis Colts and the team hired Todd Haley, former Chiefs head coach, to take his place as offensive coordinator. Ben Roethlisberger, the team’s starting quarterback and iconic leader, didn’t seem pleased with the change and didn’t want to learn a new offense. Apparently no one cared what Roethlisberger thought.
Checking in on him after graduating from Miami (OH) this offseason, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gets the story on how Haley’s playbook is compared to Arians.
“That one’s a little harder than the Miami ones I was doing,” Roethlisberger said after he left another of Haley’s classes Wednesday at the Steelers facility on the South Side. “I joke and say that my final paper for Miami on Tibet was a lot easier than the Rosetta Stone we’re doing now here.”
Bouchette notes that none of the assistants know it either, so it’s a steep learning curve for everyone involved.
“Right now, we’re practicing the pass because it’s more complicated,” Roethlisberger said. “Steelers fans and coach Tomlin and the Rooneys apparently thought B.A. was throwing the ball too much. But yesterday in coach Haley’s office, we were talking about using the no-huddle and throwing the ball and how much we have to use our weapons.”
Haley never had a quarterback even close to Roethlisberger’s talents in Kansas City, so there’s no reason to go with the run-first formula he ran at Arrowhead. Instead, his work with wide receivers could make a household name out of Mike Wallace. It will be interesting to see just how ready the Steelers are when September rolls around.
For more on the Steelers offseason, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.