What is going on between the Steelers new offensive coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger? That's the question of the moment raging all across Steelers-land right this moment.
Roethlisberger, an outspoken supporter of Pittsburgh’s former OC, Bruce Arians, has yet to talk to Todd Haley and while the new CBA forbids coaches from requesting meetings, it doesn't stop them from reaching out to players and talking. The fact that the two haven’t spoke since Haley's hire on February 9th speaks volumes to a possible divide among the two men most responsible for making that unit click.
"He still hasn't called yet," Roethlisberger said with a discouraged tone Monday.
Haley, the former coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, was brought in by head coach Mike Tomlin in direct response from word up the food chain that the Steelers should get back to becoming more balanced offensively. Over the past few seasons under Arians, the Steelers offense has gone a slow but steady morph into a pass first team, a move that has worn thin with the Rooney family, who are more firm believers of the running game.
"I think Mike [Tomlin] and I certainly agreed coming off the season that we need to run the ball more consistently to get to where we want to get to," Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an interview earlier this year. "So that's part of the thinking in the offseason: We need to figure out how to get better running the football."
This change of philosophy, along with the Arians dismissal, has left the Steelers franchise quarterback in a surly mood. This mood, combined with no communication with his new OC, is going to be a major storyline this offseason, especially when it seems that Haley is blatantly ignoring his star QB as he has reportedly chatted already with back-up QB Charlie Batch and wideout Antonio Brown.
Only time will tell if this is going to be a big issue but the early forecast isn't looking good.
Teams with returning head coaches can start their nine-week offseason workout sessions no earlier than April 16.
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