Big Ben is riled up, again
Posted by Mike Florio on December 10, 2013
Like Peyton Manning, there’s a chance Ben Roethlisberger is happy only when he’s unhappy about something.
Last month, reports that the Steelers quarterback possibly wants out of Pittsburgh pissed Ben off — and sparked a winning streak. Now that the Steelers have lost a pair of winnable games in a row, Ben is upset about something else.
He doesn’t like the perception that he took a shot at offensive coordinator Todd Haley after Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins.
“It’s unbelievable,” Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, via ESPN.com. “It gets blown up and it’s by reporters that come in there and ask the dumbest questions after a game, and it makes it ridiculous when they only take part of your answer.
“It was taken way out of context. There is absolutely no issue between Coach Haley and I. I love where this offense is right now.”
As we’ve explained once or twice (or 50 times), there’s a huge difference between taking a quote out of context and isolating a quote. Isolating a quote in a way that doesn’t give it a different meaning when lifted out of its context is fair.
Here’s what Roethlisberger said that created the sense problems linger, via Adita Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, when asked about why the team got away from the running game in the second half against the Dolphins: “No idea. Coach Haley’s over there. You can ask him.”
Roethlisberger now says that the suggestion to pose the question to Coach Haley wasn’t intended to be a reflection on the man to whom Roethlisberger referred reporters.
“They take one little blurb of a whole sentence and it was not directed at Coach Haley, like ‘Go ask him, I don’t know why we didn’t do it,’” Roethlisberger said Tuesday. “It was, ‘He’s our coordinator, if you want to ask questions about play calling, go ask him about it. He’s the guy that calls the plays. If you want to ask me about the no-huddle and I’m calling [plays], then you can ask me.’”
That extra context isn’t doing much to change our own perception that Roethlisberger’s answer reflected frustration with Haley’s play calling. Otherwise, Ben would have shared some of the nuggets he has picked up during the past two years of working directly with Haley to help explain why the offense did what it did in that situation. Or maybe Ben would have provided some of the insights he acquired while talking to Haley during, you know, the game.
“In no way shape or form was the comment directed negatively at him,” Roethlisberger insisted. “I think the offense is as good as it’s been in a long time. We’ve got guys doing some great things. I genuinely am enjoying this offense and what Coach Haley is doing and where we’re going. We’re getting [better] every week, and I think we can keep getting better.”
That doesn’t explain why Roethlisberger also reportedly declined to answer the question of whether he thinks changes need to be made on offense.
Maybe the media was unfairly taking his non-answer out of context, too.