Ben Roethlisberger on status of Todd Haley
Ben Roethlisberger once again denied the idea of a serious rift between himself and Todd Haley. While not specifically and directly endorsing the return of Haley for a seventh season as Steelers offensive coordinator, Roethlisberger did allow that he is in favor of continuity for one of the NFL better offenses.
“I think that the important thing is we got a really good group here that includes coaches and players, a special group,” Roethlisberger said during his weekly KDKA FM radio segment. “The least amount of change, the better. That goes for players, coaches and everything we don want big changes. We right there. We on the cusp (of a championship).”
The Steelers had the NFL No. 3 offense this season and set records during Sunday playoff game, albeit in a 45 42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that ended their season.
It was the fourth consecutive season the Steelers ranked in the top 10 in the league in yardage, but Haley has taken criticism from fans for playcalling during the playoff loss. There also is seemingly constant reports of friction between the coordinator and his soon to be 36 year old franchise quarterback.
Roethlisberger, in part, denied that on his radio show Tuesday, as he has at several points over the years. However, it is important to note that when asked a question about his relationship with Haley, Roethlisberger spoke for more than 50 words about how Haley status is not his decision before his remarks about continuity.
It also should be noted that if Haley who has an expiring contract does not return, Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner is widely considered to be a top candidate to replace him. Roethlisberger and Fichtner both have often said they have a good relationship.
But Roethlisberger said that he and Haley met alone Monday in Haley office and shared some laughs during their conversation. Roethlisberger said they agreed they should be “proud” of the offense production this season, especially the way it improved as the season went on.
While Roethlisberger said there “absolutely” were times when the relationship was sour, he said that happens with all players and coaches.
“I don think it was as big a deal as the outside world made it or the media made it or whoever perceived it to be,” Roethlisberger said. “You always will have rifts be it player to player or player to coach. It not just Coach Haley and I, or coach Randy or (offensive line coach Mike Munchak), there always issues in a competitive field like we have. Everyone is trying to win and everyone is doing the best they can. You might butt heads at times, but that doesn mean there any problem or any personal problems.
“It happened with (former offensive coordinators Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians).
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