How did we survive last year without OTAs?

One day into the Steelers’ 2012 OTAS  and we already have a QB – Offensive Coordinator controversy.

It seems pretty obvious that Ben Roethlisberger is doing the best he can to communicate to his bosses that he thinks hiring a new offensive coordinator was a bad idea and could end up being productive.

What he’s been saying might be called whining.

But he may also be right.

Especially about the counterproductive part.

Based on what he said yesterday, he is getting the message that he’s going to be expected to stay in the pocket more.

That could be the classic case of watching out what you wish for.

Ben Roethlisberger stuck in the pocket is Neil O’Donnell — capable of being a good NFL quarterback.

Outside of the pocket he’s one of the most dangerous and productive quarterbacks in NFL history.

Maybe it’s a matter of degrees and, by the time the season gets here, there will be a compromise that still gets Roetlisberger on the perimeter to make plays but also gets him to make a quick read, throw and avoid the rush.

If nothing else, the new coordinator makes training camp and the preseason games a lot more interesting.




  • Mike V

    I like the idea of Ben being made uncomfortable with his current situation. Change is good for people because it gets a person thinking again. A new OC will be good for Ben and the Steelers.

  • Bobzilla

    What’s with all your name calling? Is that a liberal thing?

    Quarterbacks are not responsible for their teams’ records. they are only responisble for running a productive and efficient offense. Last season, Newton personally accounted for 35 TDs: 21 passing and 14 rushing. Those numbers placed him among the league-leaders.
    There are three phases to football: Offense, defense and special teams. Until quarterbacks play all three phases, they should not be burdened with win/loss records.

    Dan: You are just too damn smart for this blog. Maybe you ought to start one of your own…
    Oh … wait …
    Never mind.

  • Bobzilla

    My mind is made up: Roethlisberger is NOT an elite QB.
    He’s an average to good QB who depends heavily on a top-3 defense. Elite QBs are few and far between: P. Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers and Newton.
    The above-mentioned don’t get their coordinators fired by leading offenses that produce TDs. Pretty simple.
    Roethlisberger has regressed into a Sanchez, who, according to ESPN, is on the verge of being replaced by Tebow.
    I’m not suggesting that Roethlisberger should be under fire in Pittsburgh. What I am suggesting, however, is that he should not be above some scrunity. He’ll never be as good as the local sports media (and you) think and say he is.
    What does Byron Leftwich have to do with any of this? The Steelers are 4-1 the past two seasons with someone at quarterback not named Roethlisberger.
    Defense. Defense. Defense.

    • Dan

      Cam Newton has played one year and his team went 6-10. You’re insane for calling him an elite QB.

  • JoeBod

    If you really think that playbooks aren’t different, you should stop watching football (or actually start watching football)…

    If coaching didn’t matter, there would be no coaches…

  • Frank

    Every time I’ve heard Roethlisberger open his mouth during this offseason, he was either whining about the hiring of Haley or the new playbook, comparing it to rosetta stone earlier in the month. I can only imagine what he will be blabbering about after a few losses. I actually feel bad for Haley. I think Niblick hit the nail on the head with his assessment of this entire situation.

    Side note: Haley using a FB full time? I like him already.

    • Matt

      Roethlisberger can’t win. If he says nothing to the media, he is an uncooperative jerk. If says what he feels, he is a whiner. If he says some positive fluff, he is full of shit.

      • Bobzilla

        Roethlisberger can’t win?
        That’s a good one.
        When have the local sports media ever accused Roethlisberger of being a jerk? When have the local sports media ever blamed Roethlisberger for contributing to a loss?
        Bob Pompani has already gone on record, predicting that Roethlisberger and the offense will flourish this coming season. Kiss of death.
        But regardless of what transpires on the field in 2012, Roethlisberger will always be in a no-lose situation. Pompani, Ron Cook, The Tribune-Review, The Post-Gazette and a cast of dozens at KDKA-FM radio will see to that.

        • Jeff

          Why is everybody so concerned with what BR has to say – where’s the Wallace talk? That arrogant jerk thinks hes Fitzgerald.

          • Bobzilla

            There’s no “Wallace talk” probably because Wallace doesn’t have a leg to stand on. He has zero leverage. He either plays or sits.

        • John Steigerwald

          I believe I called him a jackass and a bad citizen on this blog’s very first post.

          • Bobzilla

            Yes, you did.
            All I’m looking for from the local sports media is fair and balanced reporting; some accountability for a quaterback who continues to post numbers even worse than those belonging to much-maligned Mark Sancheze.

          • Bobzilla

            Roethlisberger: 21 TD passes in 2011. Sanchez: 26 TD passes.
            Crash: Try to stay current.

  • Tim

    They ran a bunch of bubble screens last year to get the ball out of Ben’s hands quickly. Nothing new on that front. There will be plenty of opportunities for Ben to scramble and make plays when they are in 3rd and long.

  • Niblick

    I don’t think anyone should pay attention to what Ben says. Unless you are in the locker room and see things for yourself, anything Ben says has to be questioned. In my opinion, what it seems that he is doing is just protecting himself from failure. If he complains now and things don’t work out then he is safe. If things do work out well, then he is a hero for making it work. I don’t play pro football, but I seriously doubt that Haley’s playbook is all that much different than Arian’s. Haley didn’t reinvent the wheel when he got here.

  • oksteeler

    If they try to make him be strictly a pocket QB that is stupid. If they’re telling him he has to make quicker reads and get the ball out and actually run a play instead of sandlot make something happen, that’s something he should have been told a long time ago.
    If he doesn’t want to have to learn a new playbook, then he can cry me a river.
    I never minded Arians as much as most. I thought he came up with some good game plans. I just always thought him and Ben as a combination wasn’t always for the best. So I didn’t think a new coordinator was a bad thing. I’m not sold on Haley though as he’s always seemed like a loose cannon.

  • JoeBod

    Didn’t they do this to Kordell? Will Ben end up with beer poured on him?

    • Bobzilla

      Probably not. Beer is a lot more expensive now than it was in 2002.

    • Jeff

      Nah, Not unless BR throws interceptions on screen passes and such.

  • Zeus

    You are crazy. He’s slim, almost to 2010 level. There are plenty of photos all over the web of Ben since last season, he’s in real good shape for this time of the year. I’d say he’s 235 just by looking at him.

    • Bobzilla

      Roethlisberger hasn’t been 235 since the 7th grade!!! His face is ballooned to ridiculous proportions. He looks like the fat chick character in “Shallow Hal.”
      Seriously, Roethlisberger has made owning a big-screen TV mandatory.

      • Zeus

        His face has freaking steel plates in it you simp.

        I’ll let the pics and media who actually see him do my talking for me.

        You can sit there and weep for Leftwich.

        • Bobzilla

          Hi Crash … Long time, no see. Those steel girders inside your beloved BIG Benny’s face are expanding…
          I just saw Roethlisberger on TV on Tuesday. His face is beyond HUUUU-GE.
          I realize you and the local sports media have proclaimed Ben the face of franchise, but the size of that face is scary …

          • John Steigerwald

            Crash got through because we changed the site. That’s been corrected. He’s obsessed with me and will never go away and he’ll keep trying new screen names and as soon as he’s spotted he will be blocked and/or trashed. It’s too bad because he makes some good points. He just can’t do it without getting personal.

  • Bobzilla

    I’ve not heard Roethlisberger say anything about Haley demanding that he stays in the pocket. What I gather, based on his comments of yesterday, is that after nine seasons he feels he should not have to learn a new playbook. Frustrating is the word he used. This is history repeating itself: Bubby Brister vs. Joe Walton…
    Did you notice that Big Ben has sprouted about three extra chins since last season? All that golfing in the offseason has really paid off.