Nov 17, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (right) talks with offensive coordinator Todd Haley (left) on the sidelines against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 37-27. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Showdown: Pittsburgh Steelers Have Hands Full with Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley

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It was no secret that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley weren’t getting along during Haley’s first season.  That suspicion has never gone away,  though it’s been continuously disregarded by the Steelers PR, coaches, and even Roethlisberger himself at times.  Despite what the team brass tells Big Ben to say in front of a microphone when asked directly if he gets along with Haley, the evidence is stacked in favor of these two getting along as well oil and water.  After Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Steelers new all-time TD pass leader added more fuel to the fire that he and OC don’t see eye to eye.  This thing is coming to a head, and the Steelers will have to deal with it as soon as the 2013 season ends.

Haley’s game plan and situational awareness came under fire once again, and when asked about what Roethlisberger thought about some of the play calling after the first scoring drive, Roethlisberger had this to say,

Their scheme, I don’t know, there was no particular reason[.... ] No idea. Coach Haley’s over there. You can ask him.

Ben has been sending up little flares like this for the last two seasons.  Just when you think everything is all hunky-dory between these two because the team is winning, the offense does some pretty… well let’s face it… some pretty stupid things during a game followed by these kinds of comments from the leader of this football team (Ben not Tomlin).  I think it’s pretty clear that these two really don’t get along and are not on the same page about this offense.  How they’ve gotten this far is a testament to how much Ben loves the Steelers and is willing to work with an offensive coordinator that appears to be lucky he knows how to dress himself every day.

Or does Ben really want to stay for the rest of his career?  He’s stated as much, and there’s no reason not to believe him even though there is a sect of Steeler Nation that seem to take pride in raking this guy through the coals week in and week out no matter what he does.  Would there ever be anything or anyone that would compel him to want to leave the ‘Burgh?  Perhaps an inept and stubborn offensive coordinator?  Perhaps one that is coaching the offense so poorly that the Steelers will be lucky to see the playoffs during the rest of Ben’s contract?

Dec 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Miami Dolphins won 34-28. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Now I’m not going to go all Ian Rapoport on all of you, but I honestly believe that the Steelers and Art II are going to have Ben Roethlisberger in their office with a pretty ornery Roethlisberger telling Art, “It’s either him or me.”  You can be pretty darn sure that it won’t be Haley stepping into Art’s office saying that.  What has Haley done to give him the backing to give the team owner an ultimatum?  But Ben.  Ben has two Superbowl wins, a 10-4 playoff record, and more comeback wins than you can shake a Terrible Towel at.  That’s a lot of clout.  So is his $100 million dollar contract that says he’s worth every penny and every snipe at his offensive coordinator.

Yes indeedy.  Not many may anticipate something like this happening, but I’m fully confident that we’ll be hearing news from Steelers central sometime in February that will more than likely be the firing of Todd Haley.  And, it will come from Ben walking into Rooney’s office and giving his own ultimatum.  It won’t be because he wants to leave Pittsburgh.  But, if he wants to have any shot at a career that sees more than three Super Bowl appearances, he knows well enough that Toddy Haley is not the answer.

 

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