While the talk of the week has been on Ben Roethlisberger’s play and future, including by yours truly, Todd Haley doesn’t seem nearly as concerned as the rest of us. Speaking with reporters yesterday, Haley said he hasn’t seen any dropoff with his quarterback’s play.
“I haven’t seen any dropoff in Ben,” Haley said via Steelers.com. “It’s been the other way is what I’ve talked about. I’ve seen him grow each and every year.”
Physically, Roethlisberger looks fine but in practice, he’s having one of his toughest seasons. He’s completing just 61.5% of his passes, the lowest mark since 2006, and he has seven interceptions, obviously influenced by last week’s five pick debacle in a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Haley then explained the offense’s issues and why no one on that side of the ball is playing well.
“Unfortunately, just how this year started. We haven’t quite, any of us, played up to potential. For a lot of different reasons. It might be game situations. Have a lead or being a little on the safe side, a lot of different reasons. Last game was a bad game.”
Haley concluded by saying he didn’t want to place the focus too much on Roethlisberger’s status because of the tough challenge the Kansas City Chiefs pose this weekend.
The Steelers’ offense will certainly have to kick it into high gear against a Chiefs’ team averaging 32 points per game, hitting the 40+ barrier twice this season. The run game is strong, led by Kareem Hunt, and they’re getting big plays through the pass game.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is averaging under 20 points per game and have only put up more than seven points in one quarter this year, the worst mark in the NFL. They’ve yet to touch 30 points in a game, one of 11 teams who haven’t yet. Teams who haven’t include: Arizona, Cleveland, and the Jets.
The silver lining is that Roethlisberger and the Steelers generally have success against the Chiefs, beating them twice, including once at Arrowhead, last season. It’s a group that plays best when no one gives them a chance. And that’s pretty much what’s happening this week.