Last week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley finally spoke for the first time. On Thursday, Roethlisberger spoke about it.
It started when Haley called Roethlisberger, Roethlisberger didn’t notice the number, and so Roethlisberger didn’t answer the phone. After he listened to the message, he called Haley back.
“It was a really good talk,” Roethlisberger said, describing the discussion as being 10 to 15 minutes in length. “Unfortunately, we can’t talk football right now and that’s one of the big things I wanted to talk about.”
We think some of these teams need to spend a little more time studying the CBA. Especially since Roethlisberger apparently talked football with owner Art Rooney II after offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was fired. And because Roethlisberger said last month that he has been working out with the team’s strength coach, an activity that seems to be clearly prohibited by Article 21, Section 2(a) of the CBA.
There’s nothing in the CBA that prevents a player from choosing to “talk football” with a member of the coaching staff before the official launch of the offseason program. And there’s no mechanism for preventing it from happening. And there’s no way to know whether Roethlisberger and Haley really did “talk football” unless one of them admits it.
Our guess? Someone told Roethlisberger after he blurted out that he had been working out with the strength coach that Roethlisberger had said too much, and so the best guidance for a guy who may not be the sharpest beam in the steel pile was to take the position that no football activities or discussions of any kind have happened.
So in those 10 to 15 minutes, what did they discuss? “[I]t was just me talking to him, about golf, his family, my family, him having been a ballboy here, just things like that,” Roethlisberger said. “It was a good start and I felt it was a good step in the right direction.”
Roethlisberger currently thinks it will be a “good working relationship.” As to whether it will be a “good friendship,” Roethlisberger said, “Who knows?”
It doesn’t have to be a friendship. It just has to work. It may even work better if it’s not a good friendship. Indeed, Roethlisberger had a “good friendship” with Arians, and he got fired.