For Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers veterans on offense, learning new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley’s offense is like learning a new language and a new way of doing things according to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette.
What’s different? “Everything,” Roethlisberger said. “The similarities would be on a shorter list. Off the top of my head, from what I’ve seen so far, there’s a 90 percent change.”
Coach Mike Tomlin hired Haley after Steelers president Art Rooney did not renew the contract of Bruce Arians, their offensive coordinator since 2007. As offensive coordinator in Arizona, Haley leaned heavily on the pass. As head coach in Kansas City, his Chiefs ran the ball a lot. He has said he will adapt his Steelers playbook to the personnel.
“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.”
Roethlisberger said fans won’t notice much difference, but it’s a big change for the players who have been used to doing things entirely different ways for most of their careers. They are way behind where they would have been had things stayed the same, but they have four months to get it down.
“Does that mean we can’t catch up? No, but right now we’re way behind,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re all asking each other what’ going on. Coach Haley is not only coaching the players, he’s coaching the coaches.”
None of the coaches have been in Haley’s system, including quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner.
“It’s coming along,” Roethlisberger said. “Sometimes it’s frustrating. I’m just trying to plug away a little at a time. I tell coach Randy, don’t throw the whole thing at me right away, take it parts at a time.
“I’ve been there two days this week, go back Wednesday. I feel a lot better today than yesterday, I’ll tell you that much. I’m just going to take it in stride and learn it and help us be the best we can be to win games.”
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