Hall of Famer
Roethlisberger likes the revamped offense
Ben Roethlisberger didn't entirely like the offense, its nuances and terminology. Neither did some of the assistant coaches. Most of all, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn't totally like it, either.
So, after the Steelers tumbled into the bottom third of the NFL in offensive production last season, Haley went about reworking the system he brought with him to Pittsburgh following nearly three seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs' head coach.
The Steelers officially began practicing that reworked offense as they went through the first of 13 team practices Tuesday, and Roethlisberger said everyone involved likes this package better.
The quarterback did not disclose the changes or even hint at them —“You'll have to wait until the first game,” he said — but it was obvious he seemed more comfortable with the offense than he did at any time last season.
“There's been some changes this offseason in some of the offensive philosophies, playbook and some things that I think are good,” Roethlisberger said as he began his 10th season with the team. “It's some compromise from all the different position coaches, the running back coaches, the line, and quarterback coaches. I think we've taken a little bit of everything and made it a lot better.”
He added, “You can ask anybody on offense that, including coaches, and they'll tell you that we all like the way the offense is and where it's going.”
The Steelers did not permit their assistant coaches to talk to the media Tuesday, so Haley was not available to detail alterations that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders believes were necessary after the Steelers tumbled to 21st in total offense last season. They were 12th in 2011, 14th in 2010 and seventh in 2009, all under former coordinator Bruce Arians, last season's NFL Coach of the Year.
“Last year, coach Haley was in his first year bringing his system here and it was our first year in his system. We were off a little bit and it was obvious on the football field,” Sanders said. “This year, we're working hard to not allow that to happen again so that we can score points.”
There was considerable speculation at the start of last season how well Roethlisberger would work together with Haley, who was seen as more of a taskmaster and potentially more abrasive than Arians, who was close friends with the quarterback.
While there was no public feuding or finger-pointing, Roethlisberger was critical of the offense following an overtime loss to the Cowboys on Dec. 16 that ultimately cost the Steelers any chance of making the playoffs. Roethlisberger subsequently apologized.
On Tuesday, it was Roethlisberger who disclosed the offensive changes. “(Running backs coach) Kirby (Wilson) and Randy (Fichtner, the quarterbacks coach) and guys really wanted to contribute and get some points and some things across that they felt could help this team. We all did,” he said. “It was nothing about, ‘Let's change this offense.' It was about, ‘How can we get better?' We're making strides to be better.”
Did Roethlisberger specifically request any of the offense be reworked?
“There were some things,” he said, laughing, without offering any further explanation.
That offense will have a different look now that Sanders has replaced wide receiver Mike Wallace, who signed with the Dolphins, and second-round pick Le'Veon Bell will push Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman to start at running back. And either Mike Adams or Marcus Gilbert will slide over from right tackle to the left side to replace Max Starks.
“Obviously, we're going to miss Mike as a person, friend and teammate,” Roethlisberger said. “(But) we've got to be ready to move on.”
Ben Roethlisberger had input in Steelers’ offensive changes
Posted by Curtis Crabtree on May 30, 2013
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger feels more in-tune with the direction of the Steelers’ offense this year under offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Steelers made some changes to the playbook and Roethlisberger has spoke well of the tweaks that were made.
According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, Roethlisberger isn’t just happy because of the changes but because he had a say in what the changes would be. Kinkhabwala spoke with running back Jonathan Dwyer who said Roethlisberger met frequently with Haley to discuss the offensive philosophy of the team. He added Roethlisberger “has a lot more power” this year when it comes to the direction of the offense.
Roethlisberger said he feels more comfortable in the offense and that he can communicate the plans more effectively than a year ago.
“We’re growing and we’re learning and we’re communicating,” Roethlisberger said. “This year, more of us know what’s going on, so we can coach each other up instead of always having questions, going to coaches to get answers.”
Despite the issues with the Steelers offense last year Roethlisberger still had a productive season. Roethlisberger completed 63-percent of his passes for 3,265 yards with a 26-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio in just 13 games.
Amazing what happens when you put ego aside and stop acting like a petulant child because your buddy got canned...
Originally Posted by Slapstick
The reason I'm asking is because Ben has been saying the same thing about our offense for the last 5 years.
Compare his comments this year vs. his comments last year regarding this offense...
I guess Haley finally called and talked to Ben.
Ben Roethlisberger now embracing Todd Haley, Steelers' offense
By Aditi Kinkhabwala
Reporter, NFL.com and NFL Network
Published: May 29, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- Happy quarterback, happy team?
Somewhere between that ugly December day in Dallas and Tuesday morning, Ben Roethlisberger decided he liked the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense. The skepticism is gone, the sometimes-churlish remove has left and the Steelers, in their second week of organized team activities, can definitely sense it.
"You can tell out here in practice," center Maurkice Pouncey said. "With Ben taking that bigger role, it's going to be a lot of help to us."
By "bigger role," he means "ownership." Roethlisberger spoke last week about a collective, from coordinator Todd Haley to assistants and players, tweaking the offense. Tuesday, running back Jonathan Dwyer said it was No. 7 who had very real input, who met repeatedly with Haley, who talked through what could work that didn't last year and who now "has a lot more power." Roethlisberger, in typical fashion, said "No," when asked if he could detail his input or the changes -- but he smiled when he said it.
And he did offer this: "We're growing and we're learning and we're communicating. This year, more of us know what's going on, so we can coach each other up instead of always having questions, going to coaches to get answers."
For all of his crazy dynamism and all of his successes, Roethlisberger has never been a film-room rat in the mold of the Manning brothers or Tom Brady. When Haley came in last year, replacing Roethlisberger's buddy Bruce Arians, there was an obvious -- and occasionally cringe-worthy -- feeling-out period. Fast-forward a year, and there were Haley and Roethlisberger, after practice broke up, talking casually on the fields behind the Steelers' facility, loose and -- gasp -- smiling.
Dwyer said there's a better relationship there. Pouncey agreed. And for as much as receiver Emmanuel Sanders likes to maintain that the Haley-Roethlisberger disconnect was a media fabrication, even he acknowledged there's a different vibe this year.
"They've grown to know each other, their families and things of that sort, so of course they've grown to get comfortable with each other," Sanders said.
The net result of that and of the time invested in meetings, Sanders said, is Haley giving Roethlisberger more control at the line of scrimmage. Roethlisberger won't be calling his own game, but he has more leeway in making check-downs and hot reads -- things he wasn't doing much of last year.
"Coach Haley came last year, and they were trying to get acclimated," Sanders said. "Coach Haley didn't know him and he didn't know Coach Haley. The more and more comfortable they get, the more and more control he's going to give Ben."
And so, there is a spring in the start of the Steelers' spring. A year after managing the 21st-best offense in the NFL, Pittsburgh is installing some outside zone, aiming to stretch the width of the field and open up those cutback lanes for backs. As for the length of the field, sure, the Steelers' biggest playmaker went off to join the Dolphins in Miami (where he's still speaking without thinking and then taking to Twitter to take it back). But for as blazingly fast as Mike Wallace is, these Steelers have speed, too. And Sanders, flush with confidence after the Steelers matched the Patriots' offer to him, was unapologetic about it.
"I ran a 4.3, Antonio Brown ran a 4.3, (rookie Markus) Wheaton ran a 4.3," Sanders said, ticking off 40-yard dash times. "We all can run, we all can stretch the field."
Roethlisberger lobbied to keep Sanders when the Patriots tried poaching him. And Tuesday, Plaxico Burress similarly threw his faith behind Brown, boldly saying the 24-year-old "can be one of the most feared receivers in the league this year."
Most everyone likes their team in May. Yet Burress was so convincing when he called tough veteran Jerricho Cotchery "Mr. Consistency" and then promised that the Steelers have everything they'll need on the receiving end in-house already.
Of course, sometimes a quarterback can make a superstar receiver. (See: Annual leading wideouts for Brady, Tom or Manning, Eli.) And a happy quarterback definitely can make happy teammates.
Hall of Famer
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: ‘It’s ‘Our’ Offense’
PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger checks in with Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan’s Vinnie & Cook for an update on the team during its Organized Team Activities.
Roethlisberger updates some of the differences he has already noticed in offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s schemes.
“I think last year it was new for all of us, so it was Todd’s offense that he brought to us,”
Roethlisberger said. “This year, I would say it’s more ‘our’ offense. We’ve added things, we’ve deleted things, we’ve all kind of put in our input, players and coaches. Todd’s open to change, and the things we need to improve on to be the best we can be, I feel we’ve done a good job of improving on.”
As the team around him gets younger, Roethlisberger reports that he is embracing more of a leadership role in the Steelers’ locker room.
“I’m enjoying the opportunity to be a different kind of leader than I’ve been the last couple of years. I pulled aside a couple of young guys today, said a few things to them, and I really felt like it resonated with them,” Roethlisberger said. “To see these guys look at you and have an almost fatherly look towards you–man I’m really old!–It’s fun.”
Roethlisberger reacts to not having Charlie Batch in the quarterback room anymore, wishes ex-teammate Max Starks well in San Diego, and has an encouraging update on injured tight end Heath Miller’s rehab process.
Go to the website and listen to the full interview.
Last edited by SteelCrazy; 05-30-2013 at 02:58 PM.
Ehh... it's still too early IMO. Not sure what is so amazing about Ben and Haley tweaking a few things in May.
Originally Posted by Slapstick
How many times have we heard about a tweaked offense being better for Ben? How many times have we heard Ben talking about being a different type of leader?
IMO it's the same old same...
is there another veteran QB out there that doesnt want any of his input included in a new offense. or being able to use the same terminology as they had for years?
easy to see why the offense struggled at times last year