Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says any notion that he’s angry about the decision to bring in Todd Haley as offensive coordinator, replacing Bruce Arians, is misguided. But Roethlisberger doesn’t completely understand what will change in Pittsburgh, either.
Roethlisberger said on the Rich Eisen Podcast that he hears others saying that Haley will turn the Steelers into a smash-mouth offense, or that Haley will rein Roethlisberger in. But Roethlisberger says that when he talks to Haley he doesn’t hear those things.
“I get a little confused at times because I know so much has been made about us quote-unquote throwing the ball too much, or we’re going back to Steeler football and running the ball more,” Roethlisberger said. “But in these meetings I’ve had with coach Haley he’s all about the no-huddle, and using our wide receiver weapons, and throwing the ball, and stuff like that, so I’m still confused. I’m not sure what’s going to happen yet.”
Haley has a reputation around the NFL for being anything but a players’ coach, but Roethlisberger said he’s going into his relationship with Haley with an open mind, and without any preconceived notions about what Haley will be like.
“You have to form your own opinion, and we’re starting to do that, starting to develop a relationship and we’ll see where it goes,” Roethlisberger said.
As for Arians, Roethlisberger said he cares for his former coach personally, and that’s the reason he felt bad seeing him go.
“Change doesn’t happen a lot in Pittsburgh,” Roethlisberger said. “They just don’t have a lot of changeover. So any time you lose a coach, a player — it would be uncomfortable, even, to lose an equipment guy or a training guy because everybody in Pittsburgh is family. So of course it’s going to hurt you and of course change is difficult. But people made such a big deal about us being upset, hissy fits, and nothing like that happened. It’s just you hate to see anybody that’s your family leave. So that was the tough part.”
It remains to be seen whether working with Haley will also be tough for Roethlisberger.