PDA

View Full Version : Roethlisberger, former coach downplay feud



fordfixer
01-22-2009, 02:24 AM
Roethlisberger, former coach downplay feud
Thursday, January 22, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09022/943595-66.stm

Ken Whisenhunt and Ben Roethlisberger chose their words on the topic of each other this week as if they were contract attorneys, or even sweethearts.

"That was a very good relationship with Ben," Whisenhunt professed in Arizona.

"Coach Whis is a great coach," Roethlisberger oozed in the locker room yesterday.

No snide comments, no ruffled egos, no refusal to acknowledge the other as they set to clash next week in the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

Actually, it has been mostly a one-sided affair since Whisenhunt left the Steelers in 2007 as their offensive coordinator and Roethlisberger's tutor for three years to become head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Roethlisberger was the one who snubbed Whisenhunt before and after the Steelers' loss in Arizona in '07. It also was the quarterback who took issue with things Whisenhunt said shortly after the coach left the Steelers.

The two worked together, if not always amicably, when the Steelers went 13-0 behind the rookie quarterback in 2004, won the Super Bowl in '05, and then went belly-up in many ways in '06. The latter season produced an 8-8 record and poor statistics for the quarterback during a time in which he experienced a traumatic motorcycle accident in June, an appendectomy 10 days before the start of the regular season and a concussion during the season.

"I just saw physically in the pocket there were some things you could just sense he wasn't as confident as he was the year before," Whisenhunt said in February2007. "A lot of that I think was because of recovering from the injuries and having some doubts of whether he was 100 percent healthy or not."

It seemed innocuous, but Roethlisberger did not appreciate those comments and said as much.

"I don't agree with Whis. There were a lot of things I didn't agree with Whis about, and that's another one.

"Coach Cowher always came to me and asked me how I felt and I was always 100 percent honest with him. I was always honest with the doctors … I don't think anything was rushed. I think I just didn't play well. I had a bad year. I'm sure Whis had a bad year once in his career."

The sarcasm of the last comment would not be his last on the topic. New coach Mike Tomlin thought it important enough that he talked with Roethlisberger about it before the Steelers played at Arizona in the fourth game of the 2007 season. Roethlisberger promised him he would not say anything to rile anyone up.

"I am not going to bash anything about the last year or any of the years," Roethlisberger said during the week before that game. "We won a Super Bowl and were very successful. Of course, I am going to be happy with the system I am in now."

On a conference call that week with the media in Phoenix, Roethlisberger was asked if Whisenhunt was as tough on him as he apparently was early that season with Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart.

"I know what Matt's going through," Roethlisberger answered, laughing.

Whisenhunt said he did not know how to interpret that remark.

"Is that good or bad?" the coach asked. "I think Ben had a couple of perfect passer ratings and I think he won a Super Bowl, so if that's a product of it, then that's not bad."

Roethlisberger was harsher on Whisenhunt in that 2007 training camp when he compared him and his style to his new offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians.

"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."

Roethlisberger avoided Whisenhunt before that 2007 game in Arizona, and came under criticism for it. He sent a text to his former coach a few days later, apologizing for not saying hello or shake his hand, and there has been little more on the matter since then.

It appears there will be just as much this week and next, too.

"I am just happy that coach Whis and Russ [Grimm] and coach Spence [Kevin Spencer] and the rest of the guys are over there," Roethlisberger said yesterday.

Said Whisenhunt: "I certainly respect the player that he's grown into. I hope that our time together contributed a little bit to that. He was always very good with me and worked very hard. I was very lucky to have him as a quarterback especially my first year as a coordinator and what we were able to do."

What fun is that?

Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette

Oviedo
01-22-2009, 08:58 AM
"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."


This is a telling statement and if many would like to recall the fans were saying the exact same thing. The only way we got away with that offense is because we had the best big back in NFL history in Jerome Bettis. Once Bettis retired the offense had to change but now we should fire our OC at the end of the season.

Maybe the next OC can take us back to the "good old days."

Iron Shiek
01-22-2009, 09:28 AM
"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."


This is a telling statement and if many would like to recall the fans were saying the exact same thing. The only way we got away with that offense is because we had the best big back in NFL history in Jerome Bettis. Once Bettis retired the offense had to change but now we should fire our OC at the end of the season.

Maybe the next OC can take us back to the "good old days."

Well unlike you, I find these comments completely ironic. Ben may have thought he wasn't going to be handcuffed, but I don't think he anticipated being leg shackled. Granted the line is part of it, but adjust for crying out loud. 3 step drops seemed to work pretty good when they were used.

As for the good old days....they are long gone. I don't want Arians fired for not pounding the ball. Moreso for his lack of adjusting, not using his weapons to the best of his ability (which can be argued seeing as many think its Ben's fault), and not putting a goddam FB in front of FWP all season. Oh, and doing the same 3rd/4th and 1 run to the inside left that constantly gets stuffed and lost us the Colts game at minimum.

But whatever, we were 12-4, he aint going nowhere and Ben likes him. Frustrating...

Oviedo
01-22-2009, 09:45 AM
"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."


This is a telling statement and if many would like to recall the fans were saying the exact same thing. The only way we got away with that offense is because we had the best big back in NFL history in Jerome Bettis. Once Bettis retired the offense had to change but now we should fire our OC at the end of the season.

Maybe the next OC can take us back to the "good old days."

Well unlike you, I find these comments completely ironic. Ben may have thought he wasn't going to be handcuffed, but I don't think he anticipated being leg shackled. Granted the line is part of it, but adjust for crying out loud. 3 step drops seemed to work pretty good when they were used.

As for the good old days....they are long gone. I don't want Arians fired for not pounding the ball. Moreso for his lack of adjusting, not using his weapons to the best of his ability (which can be argued seeing as many think its Ben's fault), and not putting a goddam FB in front of FWP all season. Oh, and doing the same 3rd/4th and 1 run to the inside left that constantly gets stuffed and lost us the Colts game at minimum.

But whatever, we were 12-4, he aint going nowhere and Ben likes him. Frustrating...

Organizations rarely fire key staff who contribute toa successful play off run. While many think I may be a Arians supporter the fact is I really don't have any affinity for him particularly. I just realize whoever has that job will be the subject of scorn on this board like all Arinas predecessors were.

I agree the reality is that Arians isn't going anywhere.

Iron Shiek
01-22-2009, 11:32 AM
"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."


This is a telling statement and if many would like to recall the fans were saying the exact same thing. The only way we got away with that offense is because we had the best big back in NFL history in Jerome Bettis. Once Bettis retired the offense had to change but now we should fire our OC at the end of the season.

Maybe the next OC can take us back to the "good old days."

Well unlike you, I find these comments completely ironic. Ben may have thought he wasn't going to be handcuffed, but I don't think he anticipated being leg shackled. Granted the line is part of it, but adjust for crying out loud. 3 step drops seemed to work pretty good when they were used.

As for the good old days....they are long gone. I don't want Arians fired for not pounding the ball. Moreso for his lack of adjusting, not using his weapons to the best of his ability (which can be argued seeing as many think its Ben's fault), and not putting a goddam FB in front of FWP all season. Oh, and doing the same 3rd/4th and 1 run to the inside left that constantly gets stuffed and lost us the Colts game at minimum.

But whatever, we were 12-4, he aint going nowhere and Ben likes him. Frustrating...

Organizations rarely fire key staff who contribute toa successful play off run. While many think I may be a Arians supporter the fact is I really don't have any affinity for him particularly. I just realize whoever has that job will be the subject of scorn on this board like all Arinas predecessors were.

I agree the reality is that Arians isn't going anywhere.

And I just remember being in this same position last year (not the super bowl obviously but close to the offseason) thinking, "Well maybe Arians will review the entire year in its entirety, see things that worked and didn't work, and adjust and come out with a kick a$$ game plan for the year while making weekly adjustments." It really didn't happen the way I had hoped. I expect the same thing.

I just get sick of seeing our offense struggle so bad when the year prior (even though Ben endured 637 sacks) it was so explosive. And while I rail on Arians some, I understand its a combination of things. But his questionable calls at times irk me.

sd steel
01-22-2009, 12:58 PM
[quote]"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."


This is a telling statement and if many would like to recall the fans were saying the exact same thing. The only way we got away with that offense is because we had the best big back in NFL history in Jerome Bettis. Once Bettis retired the offense had to change but now we should fire our OC at the end of the season.


Maybe the next OC can take us back to the "good old days."

Well unlike you, I find these comments completely ironic. Ben may have thought he wasn't going to be handcuffed, but I don't think he anticipated being leg shackled. Granted the line is part of it, but adjust for crying out loud. 3 step drops seemed to work pretty good when they were used.

As for the good old days....they are long gone. I don't want Arians fired for not pounding the ball. Moreso for his lack of adjusting, not using his weapons to the best of his ability (which can be argued seeing as many think its Ben's fault), and not putting a goddam FB in front of FWP all season. Oh, and doing the same 3rd/4th and 1 run to the inside left that constantly gets stuffed and lost us the Colts game at minimum.

But whatever, we were 12-4, he aint going nowhere and Ben likes him. Frustrating...

Organizations rarely fire key staff who contribute toa successful play off run. While many think I may be a Arians supporter the fact is I really don't have any affinity for him particularly. I just realize whoever has that job will be the subject of scorn on this board like all Arinas predecessors were.

I agree the reality is that Arians isn't going anywhere.

And I just remember being in this same position last year (not the super bowl obviously but close to the offseason) thinking, "Well maybe Arians will review the entire year in its entirety, see things that worked and didn't work, and adjust and come out with a kick a$$ game plan for the year while making weekly adjustments." It really didn't happen the way I had hoped. I expect the same thing.

I just get sick of seeing our offense struggle so bad when the year prior (even though Ben endured 637 sacks) it was so explosive. And while I rail on Arians some, I understand its a combination of things. But his questionable calls at times irk me.[/quote:3w4kbi72]
The truth of the matter is whoever our current OC is, he won't be good enough in the eyes of the fans if we don't score TD's every series. The grass is always greener, until you jump the fence. Obviously every play is designed to work, and if all the players execute a majority of all plays called will work. But the easiest scape goat for a failed play or a failed series or a lost game is always the OC.

I find it funny that we are 14-4, with the hardest schedule ever, and people are still calling for the firing of Arians and Zierlien. Yet people will say what a feat it was to have such an awesome defense with that schedule. Being that we had a relatively new line with many injuries, only really 3 proven receivers (Hines Holmes and Miller), and many injuries in the backfield, where our feature back and our number draft choice have been out a majority of the season, and we are in the Super Bowl, is a direct reflection of the coaching staff, whether you like them or not. That schedule had us facing the toughest defenses in the league, and we are one game away from being crowned Champions. There is no reason to bad mouth the coaching staff IMO. Do I agree with all the play calls? No, but calling for firings of the Coaching Staff after we made it to the Super Bowl with the toughest schedule ever is idiotic at best.

Oviedo
01-22-2009, 01:15 PM
Playing the toughest schedule in NFL history and some of the toughest defenses in the NFL has nothing to do with our offensive struggles. Losing Mendenhall for the season and FWP for a large part of the season has nothing to do with our offensive struggles. Losing 2 starters on the OL, having two first year starters and having Colon play out of positions has nothing to do with our offensive struggles. Last year with all essentially the characters involved was just luck. Ben got a lucky 32 TDs and FWP rushed for a lucky 1400 yards.

The problem is the playcalling and nothing else. Dozens of other OCs are waiting to step in and take the offense into the top 10. Next year I need to get the special Direct TV function that displays the called play on my TV at home before the snap so I can better understand what is being done wrong with playcalling. Anyone know how much that costs? :stirpot

sd steel
01-22-2009, 01:29 PM
Playing the toughest schedule in NFL history and some of the toughest defenses in the NFL has nothing to do with our offensive struggles. Losing Mendenhall for the season and FWP for a large part of the season has nothing to do with our offensive struggles. Losing 2 starters on the OL, having two first year starters and having Colon play out of positions has nothing to do with our offensive struggles. Last year with all essentially the characters involved was just luck. Ben got a lucky 32 TDs and FWP rushed for a lucky 1400 yards.

The problem is the playcalling and nothing else. Dozens of other OCs are waiting to step in and take the offense into the top 10. Next year I need to get the special Direct TV function that displays the called play on my TV at home before the snap so I can better understand what is being done wrong with playcalling. Anyone know how much that costs? :stirpot

You can't get that through DirectV, but I heard it's free if you come to this site, or and other Steeler fan site for that matter. :lol:

Mister Pittsburgh
01-22-2009, 01:43 PM
Roethlisberger was harsher on Whisenhunt in that 2007 training camp when he compared him and his style to his new offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians.

"We were so predictable -- run on first, run on second, throw on third-and-long -- and that killed us," Roethlisberger told USA Today Sports Weekly. "Last year, if we took a shot downfield and it was incomplete -- or, heaven forbid, intercepted -- we weren't throwing it again for a long time. And since we knew we were only throwing 15-20 times, we were so careful with doing this and that.

"It will be nice to know that Bruce isn't going to handcuff us."

Wasn't that the exact gameplan we were running in the second half with a 2 point lead against the Ravens....who by the way had over half of their starting secondary out of the game, had looked like crap against the pass the entire first half, and have one hell of a run defense?

LasVegasGuy
01-22-2009, 01:48 PM
Wasn't that the exact gameplan we were running in the second half with a 2 point lead against the Ravens....who by the way had over half of their starting secondary out of the game, had looked like crap against the pass the entire first half, and have one hell of a run defense?


What are you talking about second half? We have been running this crap offense all year.

FWP for 1 yard on 1st down.
FWP for -2 yards on 2nd down.
Ben to throw on 3rd and 11.

Sound familiar??????????? We have a quarterback we are paying 100 million dollars to so he can hand it off. I just don't get it. When we ask Ben to put together a game winning drive he does it. Is it wrong to run your offense like that the whole game. I don't get this brain dead Arians.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-22-2009, 01:57 PM
Wasn't that the exact gameplan we were running in the second half with a 2 point lead against the Ravens....who by the way had over half of their starting secondary out of the game, had looked like crap against the pass the entire first half, and have one hell of a run defense?


What are you talking about second half? We have been running this crap offense all year.

FWP for 1 yard on 1st down.
FWP for -2 yards on 2nd down.
Ben to throw on 3rd and 11.

Sound familiar??????????? We have a quarterback we are paying 100 million dollars to so he can hand it off. I just don't get it. When we ask Ben to put together a game winning drive he does it. Is it wrong to run your offense like that the whole game. I don't get this brain dead Arians.

We have run a very uncreative offense the entire season. The second half against baltimore was the worst this year though. You would have thought we were up by 3TD and just running out the clock.

I just don't get it at all. Arians is a retard, plain and simple. About as creative as a dead deer smeared on the turnpike. Just nothing but stink!

LasVegasGuy
01-22-2009, 02:09 PM
[quote="Mister Pittsburgh":1ch83jhz]

Wasn't that the exact gameplan we were running in the second half with a 2 point lead against the Ravens....who by the way had over half of their starting secondary out of the game, had looked like crap against the pass the entire first half, and have one hell of a run defense?


What are you talking about second half? We have been running this crap offense all year.

FWP for 1 yard on 1st down.
FWP for -2 yards on 2nd down.
Ben to throw on 3rd and 11.

Sound familiar??????????? We have a quarterback we are paying 100 million dollars to so he can hand it off. I just don't get it. When we ask Ben to put together a game winning drive he does it. Is it wrong to run your offense like that the whole game. I don't get this brain dead Arians.

We have run a very uncreative offense the entire season. The second half against baltimore was the worst this year though. You would have thought we were up by 3TD and just running out the clock.

I just don't get it at all. Arians is a retard, plain and simple. About as creative as a dead deer smeared on the turnpike. Just nothing but stink![/quote:1ch83jhz]

No argument here. The playcalling in the 2nd half was pretty bad. I mean we are all used to bad playcalling from Arians but I agree this was over the top horrendous.

3rd and 1 empty the backfield? I mean just tell the Ravens we aren't running it.
15 seconds left in the half and you throw a 5 yard pass over the middle with no timeouts? Another good one was FWP alone in the backfield, then you send (forgot who it was) in motion and drop him in front of FWP. Basically, telling the Ravens here is our lead blocker the running play is to FWP. I can go on and on with Arians predictability.
Has this guy ever tried a trick play? With Whiz we tried one or two a game and most of the time one of them went for big yardage.

Djfan
01-22-2009, 02:36 PM
And I just remember being in this same position last year (not the super bowl obviously but close to the offseason) thinking, "Well maybe Arians will review the entire year in its entirety, see things that worked and didn't work, and adjust and come out with a kick a$$ game plan for the year while making weekly adjustments." It really didn't happen the way I had hoped. I expect the same thing.

I just get sick of seeing our offense struggle so bad when the year prior (even though Ben endured 637 sacks) it was so explosive. And while I rail on Arians some, I understand its a combination of things. But his questionable calls at times irk me.

This is the situation stated better than I have ever heard, even when I said it.

I agree with this 100%.

One thing I want to add is that during the POs and a few games before, they have been doing much better on execution than what I have seen yet this year. So with the execution being better we should be dong way better, right? But we're only doing a little better IMO. Now fix the odd play calling, and incorporate more of our talent guys into the planning. That way we have a vastly improved offense, one that measures up to the talent level so many of us think we see.

When Ben no longer has to rely on (note I said "rely on". He will always use his sandlot skills) his sandlot skills, we will have an offense like we all think is sitting there already, waiting to come forward.

100$handshake
01-22-2009, 06:29 PM
The Third and 1 empty backfield shotgun set positively mystified me. But obviously the Ravens defense knew they didn't have to pay any attention at all to the run. I mean come on..it's third and one ! Most teams use a short yardage formation !