Roethlisberger, Haley friction returns


When the Steelers were winning, the talk of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley not getting along subsided.

Now that the Steelers have lost two in a row, sliding out of the playoff picture, the dysfunction has begun to return.

Asked after Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins about the lack of a running game in the second half a season-killing loss to the Dolphins, Roethlisberger had this to say (via Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network):  “No idea.  Coach Haley’s over there.  You can ask him.”

Perhaps more telling was Roethslisberger’s response to the question of whether changes need to be made on offense.  Per Kinkhabwala, Roethlisberger declined to answer.

At this point, it would be a surprise if Haley returns.  Especially since the Steelers have made it clear that Roethlisberger will be back.

Even if Roethlisberger isn’t, the Haley experiment is failing — like many thought it would.  If coach Mike Tomlin won’t be taking the fall, someone else needs to.  That someone else likely will be Haley.

63 responses to “Roethlisberger, Haley friction returns

  1. If it comes down to one or the other…goodbye Todd Haley!

    Yet another poorly called game today by Haley after some recent improvement…Haley is the logical fall guy.

    If he wasn’t so abrasive, and worked to be accomodating, he might be OK for another year.

  2. I’m sorry but how do you take this comment as “friction”? Ben doesn’t draw up the plays, haley does. So when asked about something HALEY calls, wouldn’t it be just to say HALEY is responsible? He didn’t say ANYTHING wrong…
    The media needs to relax.

  3. It’s crazy to keep either one of those lousy coaches. They should have penalized Tomlin for being in breach of his contract and made him pay for their next coach out of his own pocket. That would be getting a good money deal by getting a huge upgrade and making an example out of guys that don’t respect their high profile jobs and the money that comes with it.

    Total failure and absolutely shocking to me what is going on in Pittsburgh.

  4. Seriously Haley needs to go!!!! Been calling for them to can ass since week 2 vs the Jets last season. His offense scheme blows…how Kurt Warner flourished under him is beyond me!! Let’s not forget that when we were winning Ben was calling most of the plays as he was mostly using No-Huddle. The Allstate Mayhem Guy in Todd Haley had better be fired of Ill be pretty well angry if were stuck with his sorry excuse of an offense/coach!

  5. Listen very carefully outside. I hear silence.
    The March of Pittsburgh ends in an finger pointing contest

  6. Man, I said this wayyyy before we even cut Arians loose — back when there were an enormous number of spoiled Steeler fans wrongly construing where fault should lie. Ask that bobzilla character if he now understands how confused he was.

    The Steelers’ offensive problems were primarily OL-related (injury, talent, development) — and not due to Arians’ ineffectiveness or his schemes.

    And planting Roethlisberger and the rest of the entire offense back at the bottom of the learning curve — was beyond foolhardy.

    Nice work, bobzilla (and those like you). Watch out what you ask for — you might just get it.

  7. {“At this point, it would be a surprise if Haley returns.”}

    The only thing better than this would be if it said, ‘At this point, it has been decided that Haley won’t return.’

  8. Haley sucks as a human and a coach, and the Steelers D sucks as well, so who do you fire Haley or LeBeau? it’s sad though, no one fears the Steelers D anymore.

  9. I question a lot of Haley’s play calling, though I do believe they need some help on offense. I am surprised Haley wasn’t gone along time ago.

  10. I’m not a Big Ben apologist but it sounded like he wasn’t going to address play calling because he knew the media would try to blow it into some sort of controversy. Looks like that was going to happen regardless of how he answered the question.

  11. I was wondering why LeVeon Bell wasn’t used in the running game when we finally pulled ahead. One week Haley uses it to much when its not working then against Miami stop using it when it was working! Seems like Haley tries to figure out how to make us lose. Wonder if he is getting backat us for the win against the cards in the SB. Yes I think Haley is that petty and vengeful. Just look at his lawsuits and napkin signing to get his take on life. But who is out there as OC who is any better. Really looks like letting Arians go was Steelers biggest coaching mistake ever. Back to back coach of the year nominations with two different teams!!!

  12. Harp on the OC all you want, drafting and cap management are what is KILLING this team.

    Every year we take several highly-touted OL who go down almost immediately (or take another player out). We got Troy Polamolu playing linebacker because we simply don’t have the talent to execute the schemes that we used to live off of. Both offense and defense are dysfunctional due to severe limitations of players available – either injury or ineffectiveness have nullified any advantage we might get out of scheme or guile.

    We got five or more players eating up a huge balance on the cap, and none are contributing due to constantly being injured; and when they are not hurt, they are getting burned or out-manned at their positions (or are pulling their best Casper the Ghost impersonations).

    We gotta get rid of the cap mess, and start drafting players that demonstrate moxie and toughness on game day. No more underwear olympic champions.

  13. It is SO simple: Big Ben must be involved in the decision of Offensive Coordinator. Synergy Matters!

  14. Haley is far from the only problem in Pittsburgh, though you have to wonder why hire a coordinator who was an utter failure as a communicator in his head coaching role in KC…Roethlisberger is far from an elite quarterback as he has to have great line play and skill position play to succeed…See his Superbowl performance…Curious to see if the Steelers continue to react poorly to the Mike Wallace departure and continue to overpay for Antonio Brown who can’t be counted on to catch consistently…

  15. And the Steelers march on into mediocracy for many years to come! On the bright side you have the first coach to be named special teams player of the week by the NFL with his touchdown saving move against the Ravens! Steeler Pride – haha

  16. Time for a house cleaning!

    Fire Tomlin, Haley and make LeBeau retire.

    Bring back Ken Whiz (who SHOULD have gotten the job last time).
    Have Kirby as the OC, bring back Russ Grimm to coach the O-Line.
    Promote Keith Butler to DC, and bring Kevin Green back to be LB coach.

    Trade Ben to Arizona or Minnesota, put Woodley, Troy and Ike on the trading block. Allow Ziggy Hood and Ryan Clark to leave in free agency.

    Re-sign Worilds and Cortez Allen. Allow Sanders to leave as well.

    Coaching problems?
    Cap issues?

    Lets say, 1st and 2nd for Ben. 2nd for Troy. 3rd for Woodley. 5th for Ike.
    That becomes 2-1st’s, 2-2nd’s, 1-3rd. Add a 3rd comp pick for Wallace, 4th for Lewis and that gives us 11 picks in the first 5 rounds.

    PLUS enough cap space to maybe bring in a FA or two.

  17. They ought to get rid of Big Been, Tomlin and Haley and start over. The whole organization has become a joke. They rely on the “6 trophies in the lobby”. Well the trophies in the lobby don’t play on the field. Your D-Coordinator is past his prime also. It’s time for a complete blowup. 2 no winning seasons in a row. Come on, Rooney you’re in denial here!

  18. Initially I thought it was a bad move by the Steelers to sign this guy. Their problems are on the offensive line and bringing in someone who is also very opinionated does not mix. You can’t make a souffle out of roadkill.

  19. it’s a real shame. we have a franchise QB in his prime and we’re wasting it on old poor defense, choking receivers, bad coaching and bad play calling. if I was ben I would ask to be traded. he deserves better than this. dan rooney, kevin Colbert and mike tomlin have made some awful choices and have run this once great franchise right into the ground! and they will never fire tomlin cause they would owe him about 11 million dollars on his contract. I am sure that ben and haley will be having words. that is what happens when you lose to teams that in the past were gimme wins. titans, raiders, dolphins. etc… can you imagine losing to the dolphins in December with snow flying and the playoffs on the line? lol. oh wait a second that wasn’t a nightmare I had while I was sleeping????? it was real!!!

  20. i think coaches have to much say on plays. why can’t an experienced qb say ok to the coach and then at the line call a different play especially in situational football…

  21. So you’re saying the Rooneys are protecting Big baby Ben and Tomlin and will let someone else take the fall for their insufficiencies? Be glad Haley. Seems to have worked out just fine for Arians.

  22. Haley has done a great job. All the steelers offense does is score. Their o-line has gone through more men than Jenna Jameson. It’s the defense that is killing this team. Furthermore, Ben won’t get along with anyone who isn’t named Bruce ariens and if you ask BA….they didn’t get along that great either (at least from BA’s perspective).

  23. Oh yea letting Tomlin throw Haley under the bus would be the smart thing to do. Make sure the bus driver backs up and runs over him again.

  24. Are you kidding me Big Ben?? So this season, when Haley was trying to run the ball TOO much and not putting the ball in Roethlisberger’s hands, Old Ben complained then. Now that the games are his to lose, and surprise, surprise, Pittsburgh is still losing, now he thinks they should be running more? Anything to get that blame spotlight off yourself Ben, yet you want that spotlight when you’re winning. Man up.

  25. And might I add the steelers spent a lot of their time in the no huddle. When Ben is in the no huddle he calls the plays. Now…when things are going ok, why does Ben take credit? And when things go bad, why does Ben say Haley is calling the plays?! Make up your mind and man up.

  26. The aging defense is the bigger problem, the couldn’t make a stop when needed yesterday. The poor line play was more the issue then the play calling early on in the season, but too many WR screens per game.

  27. Every time the stillers lose the search for the boogie man begins.

    Their fans always have to have a scapegoat to explain a loss because it’s never because they’re short of talent or the simple fact the other team beat them.

    4 weeks ago they were ready to run Big Ben out of town, before that Tomlin, now we’re back to Haley.

    News flash, the stillers aren’t that good.

  28. This Haley-Roethlisbooger war is absurd. Sounds like spoiled Big Ben just wants to be the first to run to the owners and tattle-tale on Haley whenever they lose, and then puff out his chest everytime they win. What a big baby! He’d better hope he retires a Steeler. No other NFL team would tolerate such a divisive drama queen.

  29. as Raylen Givens says “you meet an a-hole in the morning you’ve met an a-hole- you meet another a-hole in the afternoon then maybe your the a-hole.”

    — 2 OC’s in 3 years? so who’s really the problem?

  30. As much as the blame falls on Haley as the OC for the play calling alot of the blame should fall on Tomlin, as the HC Tomlin has the ability and authority to make input on the play calling during the game. If Haley isn’t running the ball enough as the HC Tomlin has the power to walk over and say ” Start Running the Ball More!” yet he does nothing but stand on the side line looking cute for the cameras. Again yes Haley needs to go but alot of the blame needs to fall where it should fall and that’s on the shoulders of the Inept Head Coach!

  31. So ,this is what an Organization that prides themselves of Pride, Dignity and High Standards that the rest of the league envy handles things? Think I’ll pass. Thanks for playing.

  32. It was a valid question. PIT inexplicably abandoned the run after Q1. Bell was 15 for 61, 4.1 avg. 40 of those yards were in the first quarter. Why was his number not called more? Was it because PIT went down by 3, Haley panicked, and started calling more passes?

    Ben was also valid in deferring the question to Haley. How should Ben know why the run wasn’t called more? Sure he can audible, but I’m pretty sure it’s more desirable that the OC make the bulk of the offensive play calls.

    Nope, Ben must be trying to throw everyone under the bus, because he’s completely responsible for losing the game.

    Note to Seahawk fans…let it go.

  33. punkscotty says:
    Dec 9, 2013 7:07 AM
    Are you kidding me Big Ben?? So this season, when Haley was trying to run the ball TOO much and not putting the ball in Roethlisberger’s hands, Old Ben complained then. Now that the games are his to lose, and surprise, surprise, Pittsburgh is still losing, now he thinks they should be running more? Anything to get that blame spotlight off yourself Ben, yet you want that spotlight when you’re winning. Man up.
    At no point this season was Haley accused of running the ball “TOO much”. PIT was playing from behind most games and had to pass. Fun fact, but don’t let this stop you from mashing your keyboard…most carries in a game by Bell – 23 (@CLE)

  34. Tomlin doesn’t have the power to hire and fire his own staff. He didn’t hire Haley and he won’t be the one that fires Haley.

  35. When the Rooneys hired Tomlin, they gave him full authority to hire and fire staff. While Art II may have suggested it was time for BA to go, Haley was Tomlin’s hire.

    The head coach is also a key voice in player personnel decisions. Colbert and Cowher worked as a team–one that was very successful. The combination of Colbert and Tomlin has not been particularly successful.

    At this point, the Steelers need to make some significant changes in coaching and player personnel. If Tomlin’s job is safe, then he needs more guidance from the Rooneys and Colbert going forward. Haley’s system is sound, but he doesn’t seem to be the right guy to run it. With the right coach and players–linemen, backs, defenders–we can get this thing on track. Ben has demonstrated that he’s still capable of leading the team. But the team has to surround him with the right personnel. My guess is that Khan can work out the financial details.

  36. Dear Mr. Rooney,

    I am writing to kindly ask that you retain the services of your fine staff. Specifically, please keep Mr. Tomlin, Mr. Haley and Mr. Colbert for as long as humanly possible.

    Raven Nation

  37. didn’t steeler fans bitch for years about arians? couldn’t wait for him to go. you get haley everyone cries about him and cant wait for him to go . I don’t get it..

  38. Of all games..Now Haley chose to air it out a snow storm..when Bell was running well in the 1st half ..But if any one lost this game it was the Defense ..the Offense did it’s job

  39. nickster, I like the thought put into it, but even I (big homer) think you’re unrealistic to expect a 2nd for troy and a 3rd for Woodley. Though I do think Ike would command better than a 5th.

    And Ben would command a 1st, 2nd and 3rd – assuming that value equals more than $120M, comparatively speaking.

  40. no one is giving up high draft picks for any of those guys. i will concede and say ben is playing very well this year. but you arent getting a 1 2 and 3 and you know it my man. the other two..not happening either. and for the record, i would pretty much say the same if it was flacco, suggs, and webb

  41. I thought the offensive has been playing well enough. Haven’t we been scoring enough points too? If you think back since the start of the year…was it the offense or defense that has lost the games?

  42. @nickster31
    I can appreciate your thought process, but there’s not a team in the league that would give up 1st or 2nd rounders for Roethlisberger or Polamalu. Look at Reed this year, GMs are done paying for just a name…

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