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Thread: Roethlisberger says no rift developing with Haley

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    Roethlisberger says no rift developing with Haley

    Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says no rift developing with Haley

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#axzz27dt29vth

    By Alan Robinson

    Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012,

    Ben Roethlisberger insists there’s no rift with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, even though he adopted some of Bruce Arians’ terminology to call no-huddle plays Sunday in Oakland.

    Roethlisberger said Tuesday he imported signals that were in Arians’ playbook but not in Haley’s, although they have since been added. Some interpreted Roethlisberger’s postgame comments about the improvisational play-calling as favoring Arians’ offense to Haley’s.

    “I really didn’t think it would get blown up as much as it did, and I know some people are saying that I’ve been resistant to Todd,” Roethlisberger said. “But it’s one of those things that we went to Todd, and it’s in the playbook now. It was simply a signal that I used with our receivers on two different occasions. One was on the fourth-and-1, we got the ball to Mike (Wallace). The other one was later on third down to Emmanuel (Sanders). We converted both plays. It worked out.”

    Wide receiver Antonio Brown said Roethlisberger merely simplified things to save time.

    “He’s really good at that stuff, (when) he gets an opportunity to see a defense and communicate with us, and communicate with us in verbiage that he’s comfortable with,“ Brown said. “Same plays, same concepts, just a different way of saying it and (we) come out in a different formation.”

    Still, asked about his close relationship with Arians, who is now the Colts’ offensive coordinator, Roethlisberger said, “We talk every week.”

    • Steelers linebacker James Harrison went through his first full practice Tuesday since having arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 15, although he also took part in most of the Labor Day practice. Harrison’s knee problem kept him out of training camp, and he hadn’t practiced the past two weeks. Harrison posted a Twitter message reading: “Just finished my first day of full practice; hopefully, everything goes well (Wednesday).” The Steelers also hope to get back safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) when they play the Eagles on Oct. 7. Polamalu also said he practiced Tuesday.

    • Raiders players were given baseball bats with the message “Steelers vs. Raiders, Bring the wood” before the Steelers game, according to the Sacramento Bee. Defensive end Richard Seymour said, “(The coaches) gave us the bats early in the week and told us to keep swinging.”

    — Alan Robinson

    Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz27dtv5zZU
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    This Season Has Lots Of Positives Despite Steelers’ Woes
    September 26, 2012 11:45 AM

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/...steelers-woes/

    By Matt Pawlikowski

    Certain moments define a season. For the Steelers, without a doubt the second half of the game against Oakland was that moment — at least thus far.
    pitss vs oak This Season Has Lots Of Positives Despite Steelers Woes

    When a head coach decides to have his offense go for it on a fourth-and-one play within chip shot field goal range, it says it all. Confidence is lacking in his defensive squad.

    Once the most feared unit in the NFL, the Raiders made the Pittsburgh defense look like a pop Warner team by scoring with ease on five consecutive possessions.

    On two occasions this season, elite quarterbacks were able to make adjustments and shred the Pittsburgh defense, with a big reason for this being a lack of pressure and predictability.

    Both Oakland’s Carson Palmer and Denver’s Peyton Manning admitted afterward they knew what Pittsburgh was doing. Through three games the secondary has just one interception and the unit has just five sacks.

    But don’t call it a demise just yet. Through three games, the team ranks seventh in yards allowed per game, and while both Manning and Palmer had field days, the team still ranks fifth in passing yards allowed, just 191 per game.

    Pittsburgh has started the season many others times at 1-2, but just once since 1992 when they have done so has the team posted a better record than 9-7.

    While the defensive collapse in two of its first three games has been unprecedented by a Dick LeBeau-coached squad, there have been many positives in the Steel City.

    Todd Haley’s pick as offensive coordinator came under media and fan scrutiny. In three games the Steelers have dominated time of possession and have spread the ball out well.

    Tight end Heath Miller has four touchdown receptions, and is tied with San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis for best in the league. He is on pace to eclipse his single season best of 76 receptions with 80 and also on pace to score 21 touchdowns. The team record is 12, held by three players, the last being wide receiver Hines Ward.

    Linebacker Larry Foote was brought back to help provide leadership in the Steelers lockeroom. With veteran linebacker James Farrior gone, Foote without a doubt has been the defensive MVP to this point. Through three games, he leads the team with 23 tackles, one forced fumble and also has a sack.

    Drew Butler’s stats as a punter, just over 41 yards per punt, aren’t the greatest, but this stat stands out: Five of his 11 punts have been inside the 20-yard line and returns on them have been just over five yards.

    Linebacker James Harrison tweeted on Tuesday that he did his first full practice of the year. Also, safety Troy Polamalu practiced and said he would be back to play in the Oct. 7 game against the Eagles. Both of their returns can’t come soon enough, but will they be enough.

    Players to watch after the bye

    Steve McClendon: He drew praise for his play in the pre-season but has been an afterthought in the regular season. Sunday against the Raiders he played in just three series. Considering the Steelers’ problems getting pressure on the quarterback from its front seven, McClendon needs to step his game up.

    Lawrence Timmons: While the Steeler linebacker has 11 tackles, he has pretty much been invisible on the field this season. Timmons needs to step his game up a notch, especially if Harrison is AWOL into October.

    For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Steelers news, see CBS Sports Pittsburgh.

    Molon labe

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    Five observations on Steelers' loss to Oakland

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/five-observations-on-steelers-loss-to-oakland/article_9e1b8823-3fe6-59e6-9bd3-8c02e8ae3560.html

    Marcio Jose Sanchez
    Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden, right, runs with the ball past Pittsburgh Steelers' Ryan Mundy on a 64-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)











    Posted: Monday, September 24,

    By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

    The Steelers’ buzzword this week is chew. “We have to chew on this for a while,” said tight end Heath Miller, echoing almost word for word what coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday after a 34-31 loss in Oakland. “We’ve got to chew on it for two weeks,” added defensive end Brett Keisel.
    Based on the choice of words by Miller and Keisel, Tomlin chewed out the Steelers after a second straight road loss. It was well-deserved, because just as they did in Denver on Sept. 9, the Steelers failed to make game-winning plays in the fourth quarter against the Raiders. As they wait until they play again on Oct. 7, the Steelers must chew on the fact that they are a 1-2 football team in third place in the AFC North. Times NFL writer Mike Bires takes a closer look at the Steelers as they enter their bye week:
    BLAME IT ON THE DEFENSE
    It was noble of Ben Roethlisberger to absolve the defense for folding once again down the homestretch. “We’re one,” he said. But he’s wrong in this case. Blame this loss directly on the defense.
    In the Raiders’ first two games, they scored 27 points (14 vs. Chargers, 13 vs. Dolphins). But against the Steelers, they scored 34.
    What’s especially alarming is that the Steelers’ defense has offered little resistance in the second half of both losses. They may have blanked the Jets over the final 30 minutes of their Week 2 win. But in Denver and in Oakland, the Steelers failed to make one defensive stop in the second half.
    The Broncos and Raiders finished off all their second-half possessions against the Steelers with points: touchdown, touchdown, field goal, touchdown, touchdown, field goal, field goal.
    Not once did the Steelers’ defense create a turnover or even force a punt in the second half of their two away games. That’s unacceptable.
    Granted, all-star linebacker James Harrison (knee) has yet to play. A starting safety didn’t play in the two losses (Ryan Clark in Denver, Troy Polamalu in Oakland). But is that really an excuse for the defensive meltdowns? No.
    The bottom line is that the defense vastly has underachieved. That includes the players and coordinator Dick LeBeau.
    ZERO COMMITMENT TO THE RUN
    Last Tuesday, Tomlin expressed disappointment in the Steelers’ running game. “It needs to be an asset for us moving forward,” he said. However, that message rings hollow.
    In Oakland, the Steelers rushed for a 54 yards, a season low. That’s 209 less than the Raiders allowed last week against the Dolphins.
    But out of 70 snaps against the Raiders, the Steelers really ran the ball only 19 times (Roethlisberger’s 8-yard gain came on a scramble when his pass protection broke down).
    On their first possession, the Steelers threw the ball on their first four plays. On their second possession, they threw on the first eight plays.
    That’s OK if Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley want the Steelers to be a passing team. And if passing the ball allows them to put 31 points on the scoreboard, so be it. But Tomlin or Haley should never say they want the running game to be better if they don’t give it a fair chance.
    And maybe this running back by committee plan isn’t working out. None of the RBs have rushed for 50 yards in a game, or carried more than 12 times in a game. It’s hard for a back to get into a rhythm if he’s not even on the field for two consecutive series.
    LAND OF THE STAR QB?
    After three weeks of the season, no division has better quarterback play than the AFC North.
    Based on passer ratings, three of the top nine QBs are Roethlisberger (second at 109.2), Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton (fourth at 105.0) and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco (ninth at 101.1).
    Roethlisberger is tied for first in the league with eight touchdown passes. Dalton and Flacco are tied for fifth with six.
    Within the division, the only team with quarterback problems is the 0-3 Browns. Brandon Weeden, a rookie, ranks 30th in the league with a 60.7 passer rating. Weeden has already thrown six interceptions, or the same amount as his three AFC North counterparts combined.
    With Flacco and Dalton leading the way, the Ravens and Bengals share first place in the division at 2-1.
    (Earlier this year, Flacco claimed he’s as good as any QB in the league. He reiterated that claim before Sunday night’s win over the Patriots in an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas. “Yes, that’s what I think,” Flacco said. When asked if he’s on equal footing with the great Tom Brady, Flacco said “No doubt. When I step on that field, I feel like I’m at home and I feel like I’m the man.”)
    TIGHT ENDS: NFL’s GO-TO GUYS
    The other day when asked about Heath Miller, Roethlisberger said his goal was “to get him to the Pro Bowl.”
    Based on three games, Miller has an excellent chance to be a tight end on the AFC’s roster. He’s already caught four touchdown passes. He’s scored the first TD in each of the Steelers’ three games.
    If he continues that pace, Miller will score 21 touchdowns. While that’s not going to happen, Miller could break the Steelers’ single-season record of 12 TD catches currently shared by three wide receivers (Buddy Dial in 1961, Louis Lipps in 1985 and Hines Ward in 2002).
    Roethlisberger obviously has a high degree of trust in Miller, just as several other QBs have developed with their tight ends.
    Miller and Vernon Davis of the 49ers lead the NFL with four TD catches. Of the eight players who’ve caught three TD passes, five are tight ends – Tony Gonzalez of the Falcons, Dante Rosario of the Chargers, Martellus Bennett of the Giants, Jimmy Graham of the Saints and Kyle Rudolph of the Vikings.
    ONE MORE THING
    Three of the Steelers’ defensive goals this season were to sack opposing quarterbacks more often, cause more turnovers and limit the number of big plays.
    They are 0 for 3.
    They have recorded only five sacks so far (they’re tied for 21st in the league). Defensively, they only have two takeaways: LaMarr Woodley’s fumble recovery in Denver and Ryan Clark’s interception in Oakland. They’ve allowed two long touchdown plays: Peyton Manning’s 71-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas in Denver and Darren McFadden’s 64-yard TD run in Oakland.
    The Steelers can only hope the return of Harrison and Polamalu will turn things around.

    Molon labe

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    Big Ben adapting to Haley's offense

    September 27, 2012

    The Altoona Mirror



    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/co....html?nav=5187


    PITTSBURGH - Ben Roethlisberger wasn't sandbagging. At least, not intentionally.
    The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback really did have concerns about how long it would take to develop the rapport necessary to execute Todd Haley's gameplan without drawing the ire of his sometimes combustible new offensive coordinator.
    Turns out, it took less than a month.
    While the Steelers (1-2) are off to a sluggish start, the arranged marriage between Roethlisberger and Haley is blossoming. The quarterback ranks second in the NFL with a 109.2 rating and is tied for the league lead with eight touchdowns while completing 68 percent of his passes, five points above his career average.
    So much for the concerns about whether Roethlisberger and Haley could co-exist. The two certainly look like they're on the same page through the season's first three weeks.
    Whether he's running things out of the no-huddle, firing off a quick hitter to one of the deepest receiving corps in the league or using his legs to extend plays long enough to make something happen, Roethlisberger looks like he's been working with Haley six years, not six months.
    "He's made very good decisions," Haley said. "When you see us in quick mode, when the ball is coming out on three-step timing, he's been tremendous."
    Even if Roethlisberger's been forced to holster a bit of his inner gunslinger. Defenses have challenged him to stay patient, taking away the deep stuff and making Roethlisberger settle for shorter passes instead of allowing him to let it fly.
    Rather than trust his arm, Roethlisberger is trusting the system. The results have been spectacular.
    "I think he's playing as good as any quarterback in the league," wide receiver Mike Wallace said.
    One who isn't afraid to just make things up as he goes. When Oakland went to press coverage on fourth down in the first quarter last Sunday, Roethlisberger used a hand signal held over from Bruce Arians' tenure as offensive coordinator to communicate with Wallace about a specific route.
    Wallace turned the play into a first down, one of two instances Roethlisberger went old school during a 34-31 loss. The quarterback raised some eyebrows after his 384-yard, four-touchdown performance by hinting he ditched Haley's playbook in the second half.
    Turns out, he didn't, clarifying on Tuesday he talked to Haley afterward about the hand signals, which are now a permanent part of the offense.
    "I know there's some people out there that were saying that I'm resistant to Todd," Roethlisberger said. "It's one of those things, we went to Todd and it's in the playbook now."
    Call it a show of the growing confidence Roethlisberger and Haley have in each other. At times, Roethlisberger has been almost surgical in his approach. Save for a couple of late-game gambles in a season-opening loss to Denver, the quarterback and the coordinator have been in sync.
    "He knows when he's hearing my voice in his headset and giving him a call that I'm putting him in the best position for him to succeed," Haley said. "I have to trust him that when I make the call, he's going to make it work. At this point it's been really good and I expect it to continue."
    Having a seemingly endless number of targets, helps. The only skill position player who hasn't caught at least one pass this season is rookie tight end David Paulson.
    When defenses have put most of their attention on Pro Bowlers Wallace and Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger has no trouble hitting fullback Will Johnson wheeling out of the backfield. The team's third-longest play from scrimmage so far isn't a bomb to Wallace but a 26-yard toss from Roethlisberger to a player who wasn't even in the league a year ago.
    "Ben's in complete control out there," left tackle Max Starks said. "Instead of trying to feel his way through and trying to understand this or that, when he goes out there, he knows what he wants to do."
    Maybe it's just the final step in a nearly decade-long process that's seen Roethlisberger win a pair of Super Bowls but also make his fair share of headlines for his off-the-field transgressions.
    The precocious kid who derailed a title defense in 2006 by wrecking his motor cycle and was suspended four games in 2010 for violating the league's personal conduct policy turned 30 last spring. He earned his bachelor's degree from Miami (Ohio) in May and is expecting his first child with wife Ashley this winter.
    While not exactly thrilled with the way the team handled Arians' departure - the Steelers said Arians "retired" in February only to watch him get hired by the Indianapolis Colts a few weeks later - Roethlisberger didn't pout.
    Though he and Haley aren't unlikely to be BFFs anytime soon, they're starting to produce the kind of numbers that are reminiscent of the eye-popping totals the Arizona Cardinals put up in 2007-08 when Haley was calling the plays and Kurt Warner was turning Larry Fitzgerald into a superstar.
    The Cardinals ended that 2008 season in the Super Bowl, where all Haley could do is watch from the sideline as Roethlisberger led the game-winning touchdown drive in the final moments to give the Steelers their sixth championship.
    Now Haley and Roethlisberger are on the same side in Pittsburgh's pursuit of a record seventh ring, the fiery coordinator and the sometimes stubborn quarterback creating harmony one play at a time.
    "Ben can be explosive and he's off to that start right now and it's pretty awesome to see," Starks said. "It's awesome to see that maturation when he's on all cylinders."

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    Sunday against the Raiders he played in just three series. Considering the Steelers’ problems getting pressure on the quarterback from its front seven, McClendon needs to step his game up.
    So the author states he only played in 3 series the entire game (I beleive it was only a few plays total) but then says it's his fault for not stepping up his game. What a joke. Bash him if he doesn't play well, but only after he's actually gotten a chance to play.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    So the author states he only played in 3 series the entire game (I beleive it was only a few plays total) but then says it's his fault for not stepping up his game. What a joke. Bash him if he doesn't play well, but only after he's actually gotten a chance to play.
    Yep. Pretty difficult to "step up your game" when you're on the bench.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    So the author states he only played in 3 series the entire game (I beleive it was only a few plays total) but then says it's his fault for not stepping up his game. What a joke. Bash him if he doesn't play well, but only after he's actually gotten a chance to play.
    Not McLendon's fault when he was only in for three plays. It is the fault of the person calling the plays who only had him out there for three plays. That is especially unacceptable when it is so obvious that Hampton doesn't have it anymore and can barely move.

    I love how when the offense was struggling for the past few years it was always the fault of the offensive coordinator. Now that the defense is struggling it is the fault of the players. It would be funny if not for the fact that it is that kind of mindset that will ensure we never really fix the problems which are complacency, predictability and lack of innovation.

    Past performance is not a predictor of future success. That is playing out in spades with our defense this season.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Not McLendon's fault when he was only in for three plays. It is the fault of the person calling the plays who only had him out there for three plays. That is especially unacceptable when it is so obvious that Hampton doesn't have it anymore and can barely move.

    I love how when the offense was struggling for the past few years it was always the fault of the offensive coordinator. Now that the defense is struggling it is the fault of the players. It would be funny if not for the fact that it is that kind of mindset that will ensure we never really fix the problems which are complacency, predictability and lack of innovation.

    Past performance is not a predictor of future success. That is playing out in spades with our defense this season.
    Do you think it's the defensive line coach or LeBeau who determines the defensive line rotation? I always assumed it was the defensive line coach. Just like I always assumed it was the offensive line coach who chose the lineup on the offensive line. Does anybody know?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ikestops85 View Post
    Do you think it's the defensive line coach or LeBeau who determines the defensive line rotation?
    It's LeBeau. The defensive line coach is subordinate to him, no?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBR96A View Post
    It's LeBeau. The defensive line coach is subordinate to him, no?
    Then with your logic it's Tomlin. The defensive coordinator is subordinate to him, no?
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