It has been nearly a decade since Todd Haley arrived on scene and infamously installed the ‘Rosetta Stone’ offense, a reference to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who at the time was clearly not thrilled about the firing of his friend Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator, and their bringing in an outside coach to change an offense he felt was working.
But he ultimately adapted to the Haley offense, and then Randy Fichtner built on that with Roethlisberger over the last three years. Now Fichtner is gone, and Matt Canada is here. Yet there are no more debates about whether or not anybody has met anybody or who is learning what. It’s all zen in the Steelers’ offensive install these days. And lots of talking.
“We’ve had quite a few communications. He’s come over, we’ve talked”, Roethlisberger told reporters yesterday when speaking to the media, about Canada, via video from the team’s website. “I told him that I know this is your offense, and he’s like, “no, no, this is our offense’, but I’m like, “no, it’s yours’”.
“I’m just really trying to do everything I can to be open to the new challenge and say, “okay, I’m learning. Okay got it, got it’”, he added. “If something is confusing or something doesn’t quite make sense, I say, “talk to me, tell me how I can better understand this, or how I can learn this, or learn the formation names, or what is your trick to learning things’”.
The relationship between the quarterback and the offensive coordinator is vital for any team. The two don’t have to be best friends (sometimes that’s even a bad thing); they don’t really even have to like each other very much. But they do have to collaborate, and Roethlisberger and Canada seem to be doing that just fine.
“We just have been constantly communicating”, he said. “He has been really good about, ‘hey Ben, if there is something you don’t like, just let me know and we can talk through it or throw it out’. It’s just been communication. I think communication is key to anything, I’ve said that before. That’s what we have been doing and I think it’s going really well so far”.
Roethlisberger has been preaching communication for the past several years, in actuality, pretty much ever since the offense started getting younger around him and it dawned on him that he’s now the leader of the group by default.
He’s now 39 years old, and he’s the example for everyone else. He sets the tone. If he wants everyone else to buy into the offense, then he has to buy into it as well. And it’s not as though he can sell anybody on the prior model, when he himself talked on multiple occasions about how much of their success was ‘drawn up in the dirt’.
They may draw stuff up in the dirt this year, but if they do, it’s going to have a different name than it did in 2020.