Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said recently that he and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have a better relationship than they did last season, an assessment that Haley agrees with and extends to the rest of the offense.
Haley said that he had a hard time coming in to coach a team that wasn’t trying to start over offensively, especially when it came to communicating with the players already on the roster and tailoring the offense to their best attributes. Haley believes that the experience has helped him realize the best way to move forward in his second year with the team and that he’s seen a major difference in comfort levels all around.
“It’s night and day,” Haley said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You can’t speed up the process of getting to know people that you haven’t previously known. But through time and experience, trust is built, and you get to know, and I think that’s what’s kind of going on. I’m not speaking for anybody else, but I think everybody’s more comfortable, and that’s the way it should be. I know that it’s night and day for me. … That’s the key this year going forward, is the trust level needs to continue to build, coach to coach, coach to player, player to player, player to coach. That’s when you get good, when … there’s give-and-take trust, you’re going to get stuff done.”
There were plenty of reasons beyond Haley’s discomfort why the Steelers offense failed to reach the desired level last season, with injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and several running backs right at the top of the list. If the team is able to stay healthier this year, the increased comfort on both sides should give them a chance to experience more success than they had last season.