The Steelers gather for the start of organized team activities on Tuesday and all eyes will be on the offense.
It’s the first time new offensive coordinator Todd Haley will get to work with the entire offense on the field and the first time that we’ll see what kind of changes he plans after taking over from the fired Bruce Arians. It will also give us a chance to see how well Haley gets along with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a relationship that has already been heavily scrutinized.
The scrutiny started when Roethlisberger and Haley took a couple of weeks to meet for the first time after Haley got the job and continued this month when Roethlisberger said he was still “confused” about Haley’s plans for the offense. Roethlisberger spoke to KDKA TV in Pittsburgh on Monday and said that talk about a problematic relationship have been overblown.
“People blew it way out of proportion,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s something new, we’re getting to know each other … There’s no trouble between us at all. When you get a comfort level of like eight years of the same thing and then you change it, it’s just something different, so I’m not saying I don’t like the playbook or anything like that,” Roethlisberger said. “Some of the stuff is really – some of the concepts are awesome, it’s just getting an understanding of something new.”
One thing Haley did in both Arizona and Kansas City is build an offense centered around the team’s strengths. In Arizona, that was throwing the ball with Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald while the Chiefs featured a run-heavy attack built around Jamaal Charles. Given the presence of Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace (when he gets his contract squared away), it is hard to believe the Steelers will get too far away from the passing game they’ve employed in recent seasons.