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Warner: Haley will challenge Ben

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With Todd Haley officially in as the Steelers’ new offensive coordinator, here are two questions to ponder: when will he have his first confrontation with Ben Roethlisberger and will it be public, say even at an OTA practice?
One thing the Steelers don’t have to worry about in the near future is Roethlisberger getting too chummy with the coach running the offense or wielding too much influence when it comes to the offense.
The Steelers couldn’t have swung the pendulum any further than they did when they hired Haley to succeed Bruce Arians.
That is at least the case when it comes to their franchise quarterback. And that is precisely the point of the change the Steelers made at offensive coordinator, as clumsily as they executed it.
The organization clearly thought it needed to shake things up a little with Roethlisberger and the offense. If it can navigate the tricky part -– getting Roethlisberger to buy into a new coach that will get in his face -– Haley might be just what an offense that underachieved last season needs.
Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner -– the one that led a second-half rally in the 2008 Super Bowl only to get trumped at the end by Roethlisberger –- credited Haley for helping him resuscitate his career in Arizona.
Haley’s coaching style can be as subtle as a cold glass of water thrown in the face, but Warner said it is effective. In a phone interview Tuesday Warner said the best advice he can give Roethlisberger is to get to know Haley –- and to understand that Haley wants to win as badly as anyone.
“He’s a coach that demands a lot of his players,” said Warner, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network. “He’s a coach that’s not afraid to challenge guys regardless of where you stand in the hierarchy, how long you’ve been there, what your contract is, what kind of success you’ve had.
“For me I got to know Todd and I got to understand that when Todd (lost his temper) that was out of his passion for the game, that was out of his passion for wanting our team to be great and wanting our team to accomplish more than we should have and sometimes that leads to those outbursts. Sometimes that leads to questioning guys in certain situations and I’m OK with it.”

Here are some other observations Warner shared about Haley, with whom he is still close:

On Haley as an offensive coach
“He’s a guy that’s innovative, that’s willing and open to change and do things that he feels can lead to success even if it’s not something he had done in the past. And he’s a guy that loves to push players on the football field as well as in the classroom and I think that’s a huge key. For him, it’s not just physical, he wants to push the envelope mentally too and challenge guys with new things, new things that can make them and the team better. I loved all of those things about him.”

On potential downside to Haley’s coaching style
“The unfortunate thing is I don’t think enough players have thick skin in this business where you can realize that a coach gets on you, embarrasses you or challenges you and it’s not always a personal thing. It’s not always about you as an individual and it’s not deeper than that. Sometimes, it’s ‘Hey I need more from you right now. I need you to battle for us. I need you to get in your playbook more. I need you to do this better.’ I love that and I think that was a big part of our success (in Arizona) because we never had a great football team but him along with the rest of the coaches pushed our guys to be great and to not settle. Any player can benefit from that if they’re open to that style and open to somebody challenging them in that way.”

On what he would tell Roethlisberger
“Everybody sees the outburst on the sidelines and hears about some of those things and they get scared away by that persona. They don’t really understand it and don’t really know what it’s all about. All I would tell those guys is you always have to figure out where a coach is coming from before you can read too much into certain characteristics or certain antics that they have. That was always my goal too, to be great and it challenged myself to be great and it challenged others guys to be great. When you know that and understand where it comes from, that it’s not a personal attack, I think if you want to be a great player then you’re willing to take that on and you have to have thick skin.”

– Scott Brown

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Comments

  1. Matt says:

    This sounds great. The offense got way too overconfident and was awful this season. It’s great if you like your OC Ben but when you are 22nd in the league in scoring with several pro bowl talents that is pathetic.

    “Sky’s the limit” right,,, 20.3 points per game,,, pathetic,,, below average.

    If Tomlin does not step it up he should fear his job as well. The team never makes good halftime adjustments and he shows no passion or anything on the sideline. He looks like a zombie most of the time. Way too flat!!! Good luck Tomlin basically the Rooneys have just told you to get your act together by this hire.

  2. David says:

    i will critique this move in the won/loss column…… we will see in 10 months , won’t we!

  3. Bon says:

    First of all Haley is not the coach, Tomlin is the boss. Whatever Haley did in Arizona won’t work here. Wisenhunt gave Haley his offense.

    Getting in someones’s face is not professional. Tomlin won’t put up with it.
    LeBeau the best coach is pro football never acts out of turn.

    Joh Wooden won a lot of game at UCLA and never left his seat.

    IF Haley is sucessful, we will see right away. Perhaps by October
    Tomlin I believe will have him on a short leash.

    Of course if the don’t get a new Oline combination that stays healthy it won’t matter much. They also need a couple of backs to replace Mendenhall and Moore.
    I expect that now that Saunders is finsihed they will need another tight end through free agency. They have their hands full

  4. JT says:

    I believe Haley is exactly what Roethlisberger and this receiving corp specifically needs. Arians was brilliant in a lot of ways, but it’s time for change when the play makers consistently fall flat and show little passion.

    Haley will challenge them and keep them on their toes. Plus, let’s balance the offense and learn how to run the ball inside the red zone again. Arians fell in love with the pass which led to our inability to finish drives. Consistency comes from finding a balance on offense not just relying on the pass.

  5. Jimmy T says:

    Hopefully, we didn’t hire a new o-coordinator but our next coach as well.

  6. John G says:

    Read Joe Greene strongly endorsed a change regarding offensive coordinator. One of the things that was a trademark when Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator was calling trick plays at the right time and putting the game out of reach for the opposition when he called them. Remember the Cincinnatti playoff game and Seattle game in the Super Bowl? It seems when he left no one called those plays again. Wonder if Haley will dothat and try to influence the Steelers to get a blocking fullback? Heard the Steelers tried to get former Pitt fullback Henry Hynoski as a free agent after this past years draft draft but he instead chose the New York Giants.

  7. Clarence says:

    Each coach has his own style, but I am concerned with this move… Ben will be forced to get rid of the ball now, I have no doubt in that. Ben will be forced to read the defense better and make better throws, I have no doubt about that. My concern is that Ben will sink into being a prima donna, sulk and just do stuff to prove Haley wrong. I’m also not sold on the fact that Haley will run the ball. I wish we would have waited for Kirby.

    I never wanted to revamp the passing game we had. I just wanted it balanced out with a commitment, not an interest, but a commitment to the run.

  8. Doug Halfen says:

    This has apparently gone unnoticed so far:

    Ben may have lost one golf buddy, but — if things go well — he may have just gained another one. And Haley’s a bit younger.

    I can imagine that, if they’re going to get along, then a healthy number of rounds on a course could do wonders for their working relationship.

    Then again, someone could end up with a 7-iron wrapped around his neck, too! X^D

  9. DBR96A says:

    Kirby Wilson’s rehab will take several months. We should be more worried about his physical condition than we should be about him getting the job as the offensive coordinator.

  10. hammertime says:

    WONDERFUL, BEN THINKS HE OWNS THE PLACE, NOW MAYBE HE WON’T BE THROWING SOME OF THOSE RIDICULOUS INTERCEPTION AND WALK AWAY SMILING ABOUT IT, AND I BET HE WON’T BE LIMPIMG THROUGH 3 OR 4 GAMES SCREWING UP WHEN HE IS NOT 100% EITHER, MIKE TOMLIN ACTED LIKE A WIMP WHEN IT COMES TO BEN, IT WAS SHAMEFUL!!!!!!!! (WITH THAT SAID), “I WOULD LIKE HIM AS HEAD COACH TOO”!!! NOBODY WANTED HIM FOR THIS POSITION, FROM THE MAJORITY OF COMMENTS I SAW, BUT I AM AS HAPPY AS A KID IN THE CANDY STORE RIGHT NOW, GO TODD GO!!!!!!!

  11. Carolina Mike says:

    Been waiting for BA’s departure for a long time…praise the Lord. I think Mr. Rooney knows what he’s doing… hopefully no more “bumble screens”. Go Todd Go!

  12. Martin says:

    I endorse the move think it should be a good one especially if Ben can buy into it. I hope we can do better in the red zone with Haley we should be scoring touchdowns not field goals that what killed us against denver. A team we should not have lost too..See how it plays out in the end if Ben does not buy into it maybe consider trading him with a right package but only the right package.

  13. ben says:

    Tomlin doesn’t like the emotional rollercoaster that’s why we need Haley he is jus that the team was way too flat at times last year Rooney knows Wat he’s doing

  14. Bon says:

    Trading Ben? Why on earth would that be an option? You don’t trade pro bowl QBs because the OC is obnoxious. Tomlin will make sure Haley toes the line.

    Haley’s old man will tell his boy how to act in Pittsburgh, and he also needs to clean himself up a bit. He looked like a street urchin on the sidelines in KC

  15. Carl says:

    Let’s all say it together now-

    “You don’t trade a franchise QB in his prime no way, no how!!”

    That will NOT happen. What should happen is you’ll see Ben get better. He does it in games; he plays his best under a little duress. Now with an OC that will challenge him, I see him rising to that challenge and getting BETTER! If it happens that way, our Offensive will be incredible. Ben is already an Elite QB, lets see what he can do ratcheting it up a notch….

  16. SteelHeart says:

    I love that Rooney dumped Arians – he had to go. Too much talent & not enough scoring….

    As far as Haley – Time will tell. He has shown that he can call a good Offense. His Cardinals almost beat us in Superbowl XL 2005. His biggest task will be getting Ben and the guys to “buy in”.

    Give him a chance – the Rooneys see something – they would not take on Haley just because of his Dad ! Expect a more balanced Offense.

    Go Steelers !!!

  17. FJG35CHS says:

    I think we all need to stop assuming Haley and Ben won’t be able to co-exist… Warner and Fitz loved playing for the guy and they put up some impressive stats w/ him… Just imagine what he will be able to do with Ben and Wallace and Brown and Sanders. The real concern should be where Tomlin stands on all of this… Not a word out of the Coach since he was emasculated by Rooney’s force out of Arians… ???

  18. Braveheart says:

    I was in favor of a change, never was a Bruce Arians fan. But, I dont know what the obsession is with pounding the footbal via the run. You cannot win in today’s NFL running the football. The two QB’s who just played in the SB were ranked #1 and #3 in passing yards. You must have some balance, but you are not going to win just lining up and pounding the football. The rules of the NFL are skewed to pass and pass a lot.

    I will reserve judgement on Haley, the number of wins will tell me how god he is.

  19. Steeltyke says:

    Tomlin might be the boss as stated above but this is a Rooney hire despite what Art 2 has said. Haley won’t be the only one toeing the line as Rooney will make sure that Haley gets a fair crack of the whip. Whilst no one is in any doubt Tomlin is the HC he lets his co-ordinators perform rather than micro manage and if Haley gets it right then Tomlin will be happy to bask in the success.

    Warner is a smart guy and if Ben heeds the advice this could work very very well.

  20. Les says:

    A look at his past coaching stops will tell you Bill Parcells believed in him enough to hire him twice … I think that says something. And I don’t remember Parcell being all that meek and understanding when his players screwed up. I say let’s give him a chance, and I think a little intensity on offense might just bring the best out in Ben.

  21. Rick says:

    Well, he did make the Cardinals offense much better than it was when he was there. And he wasn’t the head coach, a job I think really was not for him.
    Challenging the players to perform better and so on, Kurt Warner spoke well on that. So we will have to see what happens.

    Trade Ben – are you nuts!!!!!

    Hey Hammer, how are ya. Did you break the Caps Lock key on your keyboard? Been all caps for a bit now, just wondering. :D

    Every coach has his style, his way of approaching issues. Tomlin’s is as much different as Cowher’s was. And I would guess Haley’s is gonna be different from BA’s.

    Bottom line, with our talent we should be scoring 30-35 points per game. EASILY

    As for Saunders, we will see just what it was he supposedly took. They were not clear on it, and the Steelers did not comment on it. Is his career over, who knows.


    Everyone get the happy happy email from Godall yesterday? The “we are progressing to a new future, the new NFL is not like the old…” one.

    Be afraid, be very afraid. I wonder what is up next!

  22. Dick says:

    Let’s just remember this is pro football and not college. Pro players can and do react differently to what a coach dishes out. No doubt Todd Haley has the knowledge and experience to be an excellent OC and a kick a– attitude is fine as long as it is measured to the situation. Requisites for any good coach is the ability to communicate just what he wants to his players and he must be a good motivator. I don’t think BA met either requirement. One thing that bothered me through the past season was the seemingly blase attitude of some players who just seemed to be going through the motions. There were some who played up to the standard you want but many did not. If Haley can put the fire in their eyes he will be just what we need. I wish him well and look forward to next season’s run to the Super Bowl.

  23. RI Bucco says:

    As for Ben not adapting to what Haley is going to bring in and “falling into being a primadona”….sorry, I’m just not buying it. I am pretty sure that Ben was shaken up a bit by the hire…how is that a bad thing? The reason to make a change is to MAKE A CHANGE, not hire another version of the man the organization had lost faith in. Secondly, Roethlisberger really can’t afford not to get along with Haley.

    Considering the history of Ben, at this point in his career, he simply can’t afford to go backwards. As Eli has consistently gotten better, smarter, and more mature, Ben needs to stay off the roller coaster that he has been on in his career and cement his legacy. This is his chance. If Ben or anybody else really thinks tha Haley could help Kurt Warner improve, but that Ben doesn’t need it, this team is in trouble. If we merely concentrate on the amount of hits the guy takes, he can’t afford not to get better in the interest of extending his career.

    Another thought on the subject, D. Kovacevic usually hits the ball out of the park, but really whiffed on this morning’s piece. If the organization wanted to hire a junior Arians, they would have. Haley is different…that’s the point. But to take the guy lightly because he yells on the sidelines…are you kidding?
    Also, anyone who has read anything about the way the Chiefs are running things would know that organization is about as lost as the Pirates. Haley is leaving town with the overall trust of the fanbase and the players (see local KC media blogs). Arians is simply leaving with Ben’s.

  24. Bsteel says:

    Steelers fullback John Kuhn let go to Packers and a probowl. Pitt fullback Henry Hynoski let get away to Giants and a Superbowl. All because someone didn’t use a fullback in his offense.

    Former Mountaineer fullback Owen Schmitt is a free agent, if anyone wants to use a fullback in his offense.

    I’m just sayin’.

  25. Dennis says:

    Haley was loved by the KC fans and players.

    Saunders made a mistake with an over the counter stimulant, for got to check with the league. He will be fine. Rookie mistake.

    Never trade Ben, but he needs to tow the company line, he is not running the show and nor should he.

  26. hammertime says:

    What’s with all this BUY-IN Crap, if you Boss at work change the way he want’s things run, you telling me people will have to Buy-IN, NO!!!!! They will do their JOB if the expect to KEEP one, the Player are reponsible for one thing, (AND THATS DOING THERE JOBS) OR ELSE, their postions are hard enough to come by as it is, ANY ONE who thinks BEN, or some players won’ BUY-IN, your knowlegde of the NFL is very limited, Better RICK?

  27. Dennis says:

    With the fullback, we will see what happens after the draft. They will not sign a free agent. They will not draft one. Ater the draft the Steelers always sign one or two UDFA’s that were fullback / H-back types. Let’s see what happens this season, time will tell.

  28. DAME1971 says:

    This was a good move period! someone with balls

  29. Glenn says:

    If Owen Schmitt is a FA, that would be an interesting pick up. The kid was a beast at WVU. If he is still of that caliber, he would improve this running game. BALANCE is the key to making this offense great.

  30. Dejan Shortpants says:

    Give ‘em hell, Haley!

  31. Glenn says:

    “D. Kovacevic…. really whiffed on this morning’s piece. If the organization wanted to hire a junior Arians, they would have.”. [Applause]. Kovacevic is nothing more than an Arians apologist. The Love Child of Rain Man and Forrest Gump is GONE and Kovacevic can’t stand it. He wanted another Arians puppet in his place. Well, Haley might be an ill-tempered sea bass, but he’s no Ben Puppet.

  32. Scott P says:

    I believe the offense will be tougher. 5 years of playing for that idiot Arians has made this unit soft. They must return to their hard nosed, physical style of play. This does not necessarily mean running the ball more. Heck, Hines Ward dishes out more punishment than Mendenhall does. It means being able to impose your will on the defense. It means being ABLE to run effectively when you have to.

    I look forward to seeing what a Pittsburgh guy can bring to the table. There are two things we know about Haley that should inspire confidence. 1) He grew up a fan and knows what Steelers football looks like. 2) His name is not Bruce Arians.

  33. Pete says:

    I like this hire and I like the comments made by Warner. Joe Greene nailed it when he made his comments about the Steelers offense. Greene echoed many of Rooney’s (and fans) concerns about the offense. The Rooneys have done this deliberately. Notice Fitchner was not hired. We had heard Kirby Wilson was next in line but he’s not going to be on the sideline for some time (get well Kirby!).

    With Haley, I don’t think the offense will be one-dimensional or unimaginative. Nor will Mendenhall be given the ball in the redzone just because he’s higher in the pecking order. I think this is what most fans want and it will be interesting to see what Haley brings to this offense. I can’t wait to see this O-line upgraded and what Haley brings. All good stuff Steeler Nation. We’re in good hands!

  34. Camera Man says:

    Will somebody over at the Trib please tell Guy Junker to stop looking up into space (presumably at a monitor) during the internet broadcasts with Ken Laird?

    While I do enjoy the content of some of their discussions, his incessant glancing up into space is very distracting….kind of makes me want to ask him if he is watching Mike & Mike for pointers or something :)

  35. JD says:

    I can’t believe all the spoiled, “know it all” Steelers fans on here saying Ben needs someone to put him in his place, he has too much influence on the team and offense, and him and Arians were too buddy-buddy. It almost sounds like they would be happier if they had another QB like O’Donnell, K. Stewart, or Tomzack instead. We all could kiss the last two Superbowls and any future ones goodbye if that were the case.

  36. Dick says:

    Lots of enthusiasm and good comments here on the Haley hire. It really gives one optimisim for next year. Now, if we can get a good draft!!!! Go Steelers!!!!

  37. K2 says:

    This already makes for an interesting season… Bottom line “Win” !!!

  38. Kevin says:

    Glenn

    Couldn’t disagree more. DK was just showing us who and what we are getting in the full package of Todd Haley. I have never seen evidence of him being a BA apologist.

    That being said, I personally like the Haley hire. I think its exactly the type of change that was needed and I also think he and Ben will be just fine; Haley likes to throw the ball and that’s what Ben wants. That simple.

  39. Dick says:

    Braveheart, I agree with your opinion re pounding the football. I believe the Giants showed that running balance in the SB and, of course, won the game. But, the pass happy Pats came close at the end. Also, it seems like it’s always a heart stopper when you play the Saints as that Brees is something else. So, balance is good, and the running game is important but the NFL is definitely skewed toward the pass. So, you can’t go to far either way, I’m sure most of the guys who are advocating pounding the football might agree.

  40. The Gonsk says:

    Glenn, Now you know what the PG couldn’t wait for Kovecevic to walk out the door.

  41. Jay Walker says:

    My only disappointment is that Haley wasn’t hired to be the head coach.

  42. Dennis says:

    Jay Walker
    My only disappointment is that Haley wasn’t hired to be the head coach.

    Tomlin will coach this team for a long time, because this team wins games.

    So get use to it Jay!!!!

  43. Kevin says:

    Jay

    Are you from Baltimore??

  44. Jay Walker says:

    Kevin: I’m from Pittsburgh, which used to be City of Champions before the standards went to hell.

  45. Will says:

    BA was an above average OC.
    Haley is a different league.
    BA was far too predictable.

    I shouted “no” on the handoff that became the fumble in SB 45 when everyone in the stadium and watching on TV new that BA would call an inside run as it was “working”.

    You can blame Mendenhall, but if you standup a runner in a crowd of defenders, they have a very good chance of stripping the ball. But the defenders knew what the call was. Play action pass was needed. But it was a run formation with the running personnel set.

    That aside, BA was good at player development — the NFL talent is all drawn from the same pool, so how does a team that drafts perenially near the bottom excel at building through the draft. Perhaps Colbert is a genius, but it is really a complete team effort at both evaluating talent and developing it. If you think it is the genius of Colbert, then how do you explain James Harrison? Undrafted defensive player of the year? BA fielded an above average offense that was competitive with replacement level talent. That takes organizational and teaching skills. The Steelers spent their salary cap money on Ben and defensive stars. Not the O-line.

    Time for a change. Get some intellect calling plays, and rely on the fact that the Steelers will curb the excesses. They always do. No one can claim that the Steelers acted precipitously in firing BA.

  46. Will says:

    Horses for courses.
    The d*mn Yankees won championships with martinet Billy Martin then with “players coach” Bob Lemon and then again with Martin. Complacency does not win championships.

  47. Ben and Haley will be fine together once get to know how each think.both there to win championship.but would be nice if got couple big offensive linemens to protect Ben and make running game better and decent fullback who can run and block too

  48. Bsteel says:

    Dear Mill-bloggers:

    Will you please bombard Dejan Kovacevic’s chat tomorrow with questions about the Kirby Wilson fire?

    I mean, what the hell? Why is there no police/fire report about the cause of the fire?

    I don’t care what the cause is. I care about the state of Pittsburgh journalism, sports and general investigative reporting.

    Please bombard DK tomorrow with questions about the lack of finding on the cause of the fire.

    He won’t answer, that’s for sure. But maybe someone higher on the totem pole will see the problem and light a fire under some lazy asses.

  49. DK67 says:

    Bsteel – Let the conspiracy theory go…Tebow didn’t do it!

  50. Scott P says:

    Bsteel,
    It is widely known that Kirby was always in the office no later than 5:00 AM. Isn’t it possible that he was making breakfast and something went terribly wrong? Maybe he nodded off waiting for his bacon to fry. For you to suggest that this man was smoking crack is both ludicrous and irresponsible. Coach Wilson’s life will never be quite the same. What he needs now is our love, sympathy, and prayers. He does not need you dragging his impeccable name through the mud.

    Please cease and desist.

  51. Bsteel says:

    Kaboly reports that Police said Kirby had a grease fire. OK. Done.

  52. SteelHeart says:

    To all of you “Arena football” types….

    Just because Haley will get the Steelers running the ball again does not mean that we will return to a Pound’em offense. We all agree the league has changed.

    But Arians could not run the ball very well. And he only ran out of run formations – and told Mendenhall that he needed to run inside.

    the Offense will be a lot more balanced and consistently dependable this year. And the OLine will perform better because of it.

    Big Ben said he doesn’t know much about the running game (his comments). For a QB in his 8th season, that is unaccceptable. Rooney made the right decision. Just like his hero Elway who won 2 SBs once they had a running game, BB would profit immensely from learning more than just “Arena football” – or better yet “school yard football”.

  53. Bon says:

    Arians was a coach not a running back, he ran out of all formations. Where do you get your information? Mendenhall has to run inside and outside, He’s not Willie Parker.

    Who says the offense will be more balanced?

    The Steelers are built to spread the field and pass the ball.

    I’ll take Ben over anyone else. He plays hurt. He wins.

    Do ya think Brady and Brees know the running game?

  54. Imp'nArn says:

    This just my observation: Arians seemed to run the ball now and again as an afterthought, or because he felt like he just had to do it, even if he didn’t want to. The run wasn’t used as a weapon. The Steelers have had great success over the years with the strategy of getting a lead, and controlling the 4th quarter with the run. Arians teams couldn’t do that because he didn’t take the run seriously and neither did the Steelers opponents. Haley doesn’t have to run more, just make the running game a fearsome weapon that other teams respect–and can’t stop.

  55. Rick says:

    Love ya Hammer. Easier on the eyes. :D

    Why would Ben know a lot about the running game. Now just where or what is that coming from? All he needs to know is to hand it off properly, do fakes properly, and let O-LINE block, along with our missing FB.
    Sure, he can audible into a run from a pass, change the play. All of that is going to be interesting this season with the new OC. Will Ben be allowed to do as much as he did previously?

    Passing game, running game – BOTH begin with O-line. We need them healthy and good or better. No “head games” Kemo (Mr Holding Ruins Good Plays), or “I stopped because I was to let him pass…” J. Scott (ref Colts game where he could have fallen on Feeny and prevented a fumble).

    Omar to Rams as GM. While maybe good for him, he would be missed for his magic with salary cap manipulations. Not gone, but good fortune to him if he does.

    Combine soon, wonder how that will shake out.

    McFadden and Battle released, who’s next?

    We draft in what spot? 20th, 22nd?

  56. Carl says:

    We draft 24th this year. We get the lowest pick of the teams that lost Wildcard weekend due to us having the best regular season record of the the teams that lost that week.

    Don’t know the exact order, but basically: 2 teams in SB, 32 and 31, 2 teams lost in Championship weekend, 30 and 29, 4 teams that lost Divisional weekend, 28, 27, 26,and 25. Leaves us at #24.

  57. paulie raspa says:

    We cannot be a pass oriented offense. As Lebeau stated back 3years ago the D cannot be on the field longer than 33minutes. Ben has been hit hard more than any qb in the league. We cannot have him throw 35+ times per game and expect to win and keep him healthy. This is not madden football or fantasy league stuff. We need to Run the Damn ball period ….37 rushes per game will set us up for #7!!!!

  58. Scott P says:

    I agree with Paulie. The Steelers defense is built to work in conjunction with a ball control offense that takes time off the clock and limits the other teams possessions. Some will argue that the Steelers under Arians had pretty good “time of possession” numbers. It is not all about T.O.P. More importantly, it is about limiting the number of possessions that you give the opponent. Every time you give the other team the ball, they have a chance to score.

    You can have 35 minutes TOP by having five 7 minute drives, or ten 3 and a half minute drives. Which is better? At the conclusion of your possessions you have to give the other team the ball one way or another. Is it better to give the other team the ball 5 or 10 times?

    The number of times the opponent touched the ball increased dramatically under Arians in comparison to Whiz. Think about all of the last minute losses the team suffered in 09. Think about the Steelers come from behind playoff victory over Cleveland when Arians was running that offense.

    Look at how the Patriots Defense has suffered since they became pass happy. I could go on and on. The Fouts Chargers, Marino Dolphins, Warner Rams, Brees Saints.

    The more pass happy you are on offense, the more chances to score you will give the other team.

    Pretty simple logic if you think about it.

  59. Paulie Raspa says:

    Scott — I appreciate the backing. I do feel the Steelers should try to move Pouncey to Guard and Legursky at Center. Just give it a shot and since Saunders just screwed up they will cut him & hopefully draft a TRUE FB!!! This will help allot –
    I know he is an All Pro but my point in this is I would hate to draft another OL in either the the 1st or 2nd round. I do think there will be some Quality Guards than can fill shoes once they cut Komeatu,Essex,Starks (love that guy) & possibly Colon.
    On D — Hamptons days are numbered. I love the guy too but he really is not the same. I think He should lose 40 lbs and on certain situations they can try a STOUT 4 man line with Keisel,Hampton Hood and Heyward. Plus, I thought McClendon played well too!!
    We have big needs in the secondary as Troy is starting to get up there in age along with Clark…. probably 20 years away from seeing another TROY type guy come out of College!!
    Damn, I cannot wait til CAMP!!!!!

  60. mark mcfadden says:

    TEAMS THAT GET TO THE SUPERBOWL AND ACTUALLY WIN ARE TEAMS THAT HAVE 4 AREAS THAT THEY ARE VERY SUCCESSFUL AT. 1) “WINNING THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE” ESPECIALLY ON OFFENSE SO THAT YOU CAN RUN THE BALL SUCCESSFULLY THROUGHOUT THE GAME (OVER 4.5 YARDS PER CARRY MINIMALLY) AND RUN IT SUCCESSFULLY IN THE 4TH QUARTER, AND CAN GIVE YOUR QUARTERBACK TIME TO SURVEIL HIS OPTIONS (GIANTS AND PATRIOTS) 2) “STARTING GAMES FAST” AT BEGINNING OF GAMES SO THAT YOU CAN GET UP ON TEAMS SCORE WISE, THEN YOU CAN BRING THE BLITZ ON ALL 2ND AND 3RD DOWN PLAYS EVEN USING THE RUN BLITZ WHICH WE STOPPED DOING, THIS KEEPS OPPOSING SCORES DOWN AND LENDS TO MORE TURNOVERS AND QUICK EASY POINTS AND THEN FINISHING TEAMS 3) “REDZONE SUCCESS” DEVELOPING PLAYS, AND PERSONNEL TO CREATE OPENINGS AND AND OTHER SUCCESSES IN THE TIGHTER SPACES IN THE REDZONE. 4) “THROWING THE BALL WITH HIGH PERCENTAGE OF 3RD DOWN CONVERSIONS” AND OF COURSE THE BIG PLAYS. IN CONCLUSION: SUCCESSFUL OFFENSIVE LINE, SUCCESSFUL DEFENSE, SUCCESSFUL REDZONE EFFICIENCY, SUCCESSFUL PASSING. WHAT DID WE HAVE THIS YEAR AND WENT 12-4 . . . MAAAAYBE 2 OUT OF 4 . . . ALMOST.

    DEVELOP THE SHORT PASSING GAME, USE BIG PASS PLAYS AND TRICK PLAYS TO SWITCH MOMENTUM AT TIMES, GET MORE PROFICIENT WITH THE LONG BALL (BIG PLAYS AND CONFUSE THEM PLAYS) FIND A VERY FAST TIGHT END WHO CAN OUTRUN SAFETIES AND LINEBACKERS AND CATCH LIKE A BASKETBALL PLAYER WITH HIS BODY. AND PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET BACK TO STOPPING THE RUN.

  61. Imp'n'Arn says:

    I doubt that any Steelers opponent this year schemed that “We have to stop the run.”

    Who would not want a team whose opponents had to scheme to stop the pass AND the run?

    Some commentators here seem to think that the run is outdated and ineffective in today’s NFL.

    Trends come and go. NFL rules continue to change.

    When the running game disappears, so does the NFL.

  62. The Big Z says:

    Based on my formula, it’s still the Patriots’ conference to lose next season.

    Brady + Belicheat > Ben + Tomlin

  63. Ken says:

    The least Rooney could have done was face the music. That’s piss-poor behavior.

  64. hammertime says:

    JAY WALKER, don’t know you, but I like you already, If this team under performs this year, Mike Tomlin will not see 15yrs as Coach of this team like Cowher did, The Rooneys just showed you they are not Stuck in the Past, or the way things were done Back Then, He will be BOOO’ed if this team get off to a slow start, and don’t make the Playoffs, you will see how long he last, Plus, TODD HALEY IS ALREADY THERE!!!!!! ( “My Angel is the Centerfold, the DRAFT is My SUPERBOWL”), Our Defense has fallen off, and needs the Lions Share of Attention, it don’t matter what the Offense do’s, If we can’t Stop the RUN, like we use too, Plus having Trouble with the PASS, (see last Season), this team will go nowhere FAST, so here’s hoping one more time that Management is all over this Fact, And DRAFT NT POE, IF available, Or the next BEST NT In the FIRST ROUND!!!!!!!!!!

  65. Steelbender says:

    While I have no arguement with some of the comments here, I do sense that no one is talking about the affect this will have on the rest of the team. Haley emphasis on the run and moving the chains will go far in the ” eyes” of the defense. The fact that they get off the field and not have to come back out after another 3- out BA series will mean a rested and dangerous defense in the 4th quarter. Being able to run out the last minutes of the game on offense instead of ” praying the tired defense can hold one more time will be a welcome relief for me

  66. Dick says:

    Reading up a little on our new OC, Todd Haley, and you can’t help but be optimistic looking toward a new season. I hope Ben is excited too because I think we are going to see change that will benefit all. He seems to be the kind of guy that if you produce, you will play and, if you don’t produce, you will be gone. That will definitely light a fire under any player who cares. He’s interested in doing what it takes to win and that means scoring points however which way it is done. The players should take to that and I believe they will resulting in better play at another level. Wish the season started tomorrow.

  67. Dick says:

    #56 Mark

    Mark, your plan looks to me like a “recipe for success.” (excellent post) If we are half way there then there is much hope for the future. I believe management sees it the same way and is working in that direction. Let’s hope they can get it done.

  68. Jeff says:

    Draft a young QB and do a 3-way trade with Cleveland and Indy to pick up Manning. Send Ben to Cleveland as part of the deal.

  69. hammertime says:

    BON #53, Look what happen to Brady and Brees, Who the Hell wants to be like them, Thats not STEELER FOOTBALL, and never will be as long as the ROONEY’S own this team, for all their “Passing Fancy”, Both ( BOTH BRADY & BREES) are feelling a little Sick right now, They didn’t win a Thing, and probrably won’t again until they get a good (Running Game) the Steelers won’t Play follow the Leader, They will Be The Leader, thats why we LUV THEM SO MUCH they do what they always do, “AND THATS BEAT YOU DOWN PHYSICALLY” THEN CHOKE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Rick says:

    Sorry, Jeff (#68), that is just plain nuts. Manning is not where we want to be, a fragile older tho good QB.
    Three way trade with Cleveland and Indy, not.

    Agree with above comments, we need to be ABLE to run when we want to, we NEED to be able to be unpredictable AND most of all, we NEED to protect Ben much better than he has been in the past. It isn’t all him, tho I would agree he needs to let a failed play go sooner.

    If we control the clock better, be it via running or passing, the defense will benefit. And we also need to remember that Aaron Smith was so underrated in his abilities to do his job effectively, he was a lot of what made the front 3 click well. Ziggy – read that and step up, you need to achieve what A. Smith did.

    It isn’t headlines, it is results!

    Also, our defense did as well as it could have given the injury situation there. I wonder what it would have been had we not had so many injuries on both sides of the ball. We went 12-4 despite our physical problems. Hmmmm.

    It is D Johnson that should go, Saunders, I am not certain about with regards the violation. He should have caught a few more passes since that was his forte. Johnson just isn’t a FB, was a waste there for the most part. He dropped critical passes all season long, plus missed blocks. He was a BA deal, use a TE as a blocking back.

    Hey Hammer, I agree, but it was we who CHOKED rather than did the choking. Not running up points is like a gentleman’s agreement. I believe that is now passé. Go for the throat on both sides, never relent.

    Make the other team not want to play, whatever it takes to do that. Be it run down their throats, or pass all over them. Score, score and score, then control.

    This past season was frustrating in many ways, just wasn’t good Stillerz (way my grandma used to say it) football.

  71. Craig says:

    Jeff, are you kidding??? Ben is an elite QB. Look at our record this year. 12-4 with a patched up O-line and a QB that was hurt. Do you think Manning (who can’t scramble)would have done better on our team this year?

    The O-line HAS to get better. Kemo has got to go. His penalties have killed multiple drives and his head isn’t into the game. I think Redman is our bruiser and need to split more time with Mendenhall.

    Can’t wait for SEPT!! GO STEELERS

  72. Carl says:

    Jeff at # 68…

    Please read post #15……

    Ok, thanks, stop trading franchise QBs.

  73. Carl says:

    In addition to my comment above, why would any rational person trade IN THE DIVISION a franchise player?!?

    Let’s say for sh*t’s and giggles we were to do that. You have single-handedly solved Clevelands problems (Bad QB play) and provided them with an elite QB that will have a major grudge against us.

    Awesome, now we have 3 teams in the AFC North that can run with us in any game. Bad idea, let them solve their own problems…

  74. hammertime says:

    Yes Rick, we choked, sort of, even though New England lost the Super Bowl (and I hate the Patriots), Bill Bellick had a very good Game Plan for his team, and if not for that Throw by Eli and Catch by Mannigham on the side lines, The Patriots would have beat the Giants, now us, on the other hand against Denver, I thought we had a P-SS POOR GAME PLAN from the Start, we simply looked “Lethargic the Whole Freaking Time”, (LIKE THEY DIDN”T KNOW WHAT TO DO) and was lucky to tie the score, Why Play the Run that deep in Denver territory, Yeah Lebeau may have call the Play, But Tomlin is the Head Coach, if you hold them to a Field Goal by Playing Prevent Defense Deep, we get the ball with a chance to Score ourselves as we had some momentum at the time, I said it then, and I’ll say it now, OUR COACHING BLEW this Game, and BLAME always Start at the TOP, last time I will speak on this, cause it makes me Sick!!!!!

  75. Dick says:

    Jeff, (trade Ben to Cleveland ??????). What are you thinking? Any Browns fan would love that! Ben has 6 or 7 more years as a good, quality, franchise QB while Manning quite possibly is done. Ben will win a couple more Super Bowls before he is done. Get a grip, man.

  76. Chuck says:

    What bothered me most about the Steelers’ offense under Arians was that a pass was too easily recognized as a pass and a run was too easily recognized as run. Too often, the same could be said for predictability, by down, that a play was likely to be a run or a pass.

    Any play in football is more effective when the other side has difficulty in anticipating what’s coming. And here’s another area where Haley can possibly help Roethlisberger improve as a QB. Watch two of the top QB’s in the league (Brady and Peyton Manning) run play action and then compare that to Roethlisberger’s version. Brady and Manning are 2 of the best play-fakers in the game and it clearly makes them more effective QB’s. Roethlisberger’s straight arm, hold the ball out there a few feet from the running back “fakes” are so ineffective, they’re not even worth the effort. Why run play action if the play fake is that obvious?

    It’s not so much a matter of balance between running and passing, but it’s more a matter of keeping the defense “off balance” by not making your run plays and pass plays so predictable. Hopefully, this is something that Haley can improve for the Steelers. There’s nothing wrong with smash mouth football or an intricate, well-timed passing attack. It’s just that their both so much more effective when the defense doesn’t so well know which they’re going to get.

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