Roethlisberger speaks on Haley hire, state of offense


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Todd Haley has been hired, met with his new colleagues on Mike Tomlin's coaching staff, with members of the front office and finally with the media at noon today.

Another Steelers employee was looking forward this morning to his first meeting with the new offensive coordinator: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

"I haven't talked to him," Roethlisberger said at the Steelers training facility where, 20 minutes later, Haley would be introduced at a press conference just down the hall as the team's new offensive coordinator.

"I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about him,'' Roethlisberger said during an interview with the Post-Gazette. "Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion."

Roethlisberger admitted he was "shocked" when he learned Bruce Arians was not offered a contract renewal as offensive coordinator. He said coach Mike Tomlin has since kept him in the "loop" about his search for Arians' replacement, although he had no input into who that would be.

Now, the quarterback is anxious about what offense Haley might run -- whether he will chuck the Steelers offense that has evolved from Mike Mularkey to Ken Whisenhunt to Arians in favor of his own, whether he will maintain the Steelers offense or whether there will be some type of meshing of the two.

Haley was not definitive about his offensive plans during his press conference, just that he would "start with a clean slate.''

"It would probably be easy for him to do," Roethlisberger said about Haley possibly choosing to stick with his offense. "I don't know if it would be easy for us to learn it. We're so young on offense and the most talented room in this whole building is probably wide receiver, no disrespect to anyone else. And they're also really young."

"They're still the tip of the iceberg in this offense and they did as well as they did last year. And they're just getting to the point that 'OK, this makes sense to me.'

"That was my biggest talking point to Mike and those guys -- I would hate to just throw everything out and start over because I feel it would set us back two or three years because these guys are just starting to get it.

"I hope we don't have to start over and if we do, you know what, here we go. Let's do it. We'll do it. We're not going to complain about it. But I would hate to have to set certain guys back who are doing so well right now."


Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com First Published February 9, 2012 7:30 PM


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