Haley Doesn\’t Sense Roethlisberger Is Struggling With Learning Curve Of Offense

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has made references to the word, “change”, quit a bit since Todd Haley took over as the new offensive coordinator. Early on in several of the media interviews that the Steelers quarterback has given, he has referred to needing Rosetta Stone to grasp those changes. On Wednesday it was Haley that dropped several uses of the “change” word in his Q & A with the media.

While Roethlisberger has taken several veiled jabs through the media as to what he doesn\’t seem to like about the new offense, which is mainly been the prospects of running the ball a lot more, he also has said that learning the new offense has been frustrating at times. “It was frustrating. It gets frustrating at times. But we\’ll keep learning,” said Roethlisberger following the Steelers first OTA practice a few weeks ago.

While Roethlisberger might be frustrated, Haley said today during his session with the media that he hasn\’t sensed any concern from his quarterback as it relates to his learning curve of the offense. “I haven’t sensed any of that concern, at least me personally,” said Haley on Wednesday. “He’s in here, he’s working hard. He’s into it — even the days when he hasn’t practiced, he’s over my shoulder, talking, commenting, discussing and those are all, that’s what I’ve seen out of all the good quarterbacks — really good quarterbacks — I’ve been around act like. And I’m just excited about his and our opportunity. He’s a guy who’s been a very good player and we’re going to try to keep that going and get even better.”

Roethlisberger, who was absent from the Wednesday practice because of a personal reason, seems to be picking up the offense just like everyone else according to Haley when asked specifically how his veteran quarterback is doing with the offense. “Just like everybody else. He is learning and is concentrating and working hard on it and is making progress,” said Haley. “He is obviously a great player and will continue to be a great player. I am excited about the opportunity of working here with Ben and really all these guys. It is really a good group of quarterbacks.”

When asked if there is any apprehension to the changes from any of his players, Haley used the “change” word himself several times in his response. “It is not for me to answer, really. Change is not always comfortable and we said that right out of the gate,” Haley said. “Sometimes when there are changes and there were changes and that’s a way to keep guys on their toes and keep their focus on the understanding of what the goal is and that is to win Super Bowls. Win one this year is our goal. That won’t change. We are going to have to do it predominantly with the guys we have here. They are into it, competitive and competing against the defense, which is fun to watch on some days yet we are still keeping it in a learning phase of getting the guys to understand it conceptually and philosophically on how we are going to play.”

So there you have it. More uses of the word, “change”, and Haley states that he hasn\’t sensed Roethlisberger is having problems picking things up. Haley continued on in the interview, which you can read the full transcript of at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that basically football is football and that the terminology used is the only real issue after teaching the philosophy of what the offense will be. While Roethlisberger might be frustrated having to learn a new set of calls, acronyms and word associations, of which the old ones were most likely of his own creation, it is not like Haley is asking him to reinvent the wheel. Let\’s face it, the route tree is the route tree and many, if not all of the running plays, will be the same staple that we have seen for eons. It keeps coming back to verbiage and language, and thus you can see why Roethlisberger keeps making the Rosetta Stone references.

The frustration of Roethlisberger should be subsiding some as the Steelers wrap up their final OTA session this week. Next week is mini-camp and that is when Haley will run the entire offense back through all that they have installed over the course of the last three weeks according Haley. I am sure we will hear much more use of the words “change” and “frustrated” during the interviews next week, and they likely will come out of mouths\’ other than Roethlisberger\’s as well.

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