When the Steelers pushed out offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and tried to pass it off as Arians voluntarily retiring, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was disappointed, as the two have long had a close relationship. Now the Steelers have hired Todd Haley to replace Arians, and Roethlisberger isn’t sure what to think.
“I haven’t talked to him,” Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about him.”
It’s not surprising that Roethlisberger has heard both good and bad. Haley is widely regarded as a smart game planner and play caller, but he’s also widely regarded as a difficult person to work with. When Steve Breaston, who has played for Haley in both Arizona and Kansas City, referred to Haley as “not always a butthole,” that was high praise compared to what many others have said about Haley.
For his part, Roethlisberger said he’s hearing plenty from people he knows around the league, but he’s going to withhold judgment about Haley until they’ve had a chance to work together.
“Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they’re letting me know what their interaction with him was — good, bad and indifferent,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ve heard a lot of things and I’m looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion.”
Still, Roethlisberger said he was “shocked” that Arians wasn’t brought back. If Roethlisberger and Haley can’t develop a rapport, things could get difficult in Pittsburgh.