Todd Haley Wises Up, Tweaks Pittsburgh Steelers’ Playbook

By Clyde A. Speller
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Around this time last year, all of Steeler Nation was skeptical of the arrival of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and how quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense would adapt to his style of play. At times, things were a bit shaky between Haley and Roethlisberger, but nothing ever escalated to the point where total disaster was the result.

Now with one season under his belt, Haley has decided to make some adjustments to the Steelers’ offensive playbook. No, he isn’t changing any plays. Haley is changing some of the verbiage of the plays so that Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense can better comprehend what’s being communicated.

In 2012, Roethlisberger admitted that he would call plays in the huddle while making an audible in the terminology that was used by former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

“When Todd [Haley] came in, it was the exact same play that we had the past couple of years, but it was called something completely different,” said Roethlisberger. “It was just hard for us to make sense of something completely new.”

When Haley was asked if changing the names of the plays would help the offense, he replied in a positive manner.

“The terminology is why I think everybody is a lot more comfortable. Where the input comes in is something I love … you want your marquee-type players, your big [guys], to have input because they’re the ones out there facing the live bullets.”

Switching the verbiage of the plays so that the players who played under Arians can fully understand what to do is something that Haley should have done since day one as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator. Who knows, that one little change could have been the difference in making the postseason and finishing 2012 with an 8-8 record.

Well, no use in crying over spilled milk. The fact remains Haley is now cleaning up the mess, and hopefully this change will make Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers’ offense a high-powered one in 2013.

Clyde A. Speller  is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+

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