At the start of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp in Latrobe, PA, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger confessed to actually being frustrated with Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his play calling during the 2012 season.
The Roethlisberger-Haley relationship was viewed under a microscope from the very start. Haley’s offensive philosophy was a bit different from what Big Ben and the rest of offense was used to in previous years. In 2012, Pittsburgh’s overall offense was ranked 21st in the league. Two years prior to Haley’s arrival in the Steel City, the offense was 12th and 14th in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
Injuries did play a part in the Steelers’ decline in statistics, but making the adjustment to Haley’s offensive approach probably was a bigger factor.
Roethlisberger mentioning last year’s frustration really isn’t breaking news. Big Ben bringing this to the surface is like telling everyone that the sky is blue. Everyone who follows football knew that Roethlisberger was frustrated with Haley and his way of doing things.
It started with Big Ben referring to their offense’s “dink and dunk” approach. His aggravation heightened during a Week 15 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys when Roethlisberger questioned Haley’s play calling late in the game. There is even the fact that Big Ben admitted to using the verbiage of Pittsburgh’s old playbook during no-huddle situations on the field.
All of these actions were indicators that Haley ruffled Roethlisberger’s feathers. No it didn’t escalate to the level of drama that most of us wanted and predicted, but the fact remains Haley and Big Ben were not seeing eye-to-eye last season.
Now year two of the Haley era is underway, and things look to be more harmonious. Roethlisberger and some of the other Steelers offensive players have met with Haley and changed the wording of a number of plays. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for Pittsburgh to return to being more of a productive offense.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+