Ben Roethlisberger was not fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers hiring new offensive coordinator Todd Haley from the start. He cited a change in offensive philosophy as well as Haley’s checkered past with some of his quarterbacks and other key offensive players. Roethlisberger wanted to continue to run things how they have since his arrival, and he felt that hiring Haley could disrupt that.
Through the first five games, the Steelers are just 2-3, although they rank as the seventh best team in the NFL in 2012 in passing yards per game, meaning Roethlisberger would appear content with how the Steelers have performed through the air to start the season.
“Haley’s offense is not a big-play offense,” Roethlisberger told TribLive.com. “It’s kind of a dink-and-dunk offense.”
Roethlisberger is at his best when he is scrambling and able to make plays. We saw that during the team’s loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football over a week go. It was a game that the Steelers were heavily favored to win, but could not hold on in the second half.
Big Ben, for one, would like to see the offense open it up again.
When asked why Pittsburgh did not go back to the big plays that got them the lead, most notably the 82-yard touchdown play to Mike Wallace, Roethlisberger said why he felt that happened.
“There’s a guy calling the plays,” Big Ben responded. “That’s on him.”
While Pittsburgh has done well through the air, it is the weak run game that has them averaging just over 23 points per game on offense. It is also their underwhelming defense that is not helping them on either side of the ball right now. With a difficult divisional game on tap tonight against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Steelers will have to right the ship sooner rather than later of they plan on making the playoffs this season.
But if Roethlisberger and Haley cannot get on the same page shortly, expect the struggles to continue to worsen.
Expect the relationship to worsen as well. And if the Steelers see this season as a failure with Haley calling the plays on offense, don’t expect them to retain him past this season.