Enough Already: No Rift Between Steelers’ Rothlisberger and Haley


September 16, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley (left) talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

I’m on the Steelers management side here. To continually ask the inflammatory question about the relationship between a veteran quarterback and the team’s new offensive coordinator is just stirring the pot. ENOUGH ALREADY! Let it go. No one has asked if Mark Sanchez has a rift with Tony Sparano, the Jets’ new offensive coordinator. No one has asked if Tom Brady has a rift with Josh McDaniels, the Patriots’ new offensive coordinator. I am sure that this all stems from Ben’s comments during the off-season when he was more truthful with the media than he maybe should have been. I’m sure that both these other quarterbacks have had their growing pains too, but they aren’t getting constantly questioned about it.

Hines Ward made a good point on Sunday night. In some ways the relationship between Bruce Arians and Roethlisberger was unfair to the other players. But consider this, Roethlisberger only has had two offensive coordinators in his NFL career. He matured as a quarterback under Arians’ tutelage. Arians departure from the Steelers’ organization was handled in a confusing fashion and came as a surprise to the quarterback. Roethlisberger did not realize that Arians’ stock within the organization had fallen so low before Arians departed. Unfortunately, the quarterback gave the media some tantalizing sound bites. They are like the gift that keeps on giving because they just keep coming up, in one way or another.

But, seriously, we need to move on. Roethlisberger has the highest 3rd down rating and his interception rate is not through the roof this season. So, maybe there are some growing pains, but something is also going right for Roethlisberger. Looks to me like the other quarterbacks who have new offensive coordinators are having growing pains too, but no one is pointing at the relationship between them. Why? Because neither Sanchez nor Brady made statements against the departure of their former coach. Roethlisberger has a reputation of not saying the “right” things in front of the media. Honesty is one thing, but sometimes it’s like giving a dog a bone. The media just won’t let go.

Arians has moved on to a new position and new challenges and most Steeler’s fans wish him all the best. I am among them. Roethlisberger will always have a great personal relationship with him, as it should be. But, let’s give Haley a chance. The Steelers are nearly halfway through their season and Roethlisberger’s performance has left fans with little to complain about. I am happy that Hines Ward spoke out about Arians and the relationship. Maybe this statement will help put things in the past. It’s time to focus on the future.