With the Steelers having hired Todd Haley as their new offensive coordinator, many expect significant changes to be in order for the 2012 season. Haley likes to run the ball, and it remains to be seen how Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh receivers are going to react to that. On one hand, running it more could help preserve Big Ben’s health. That would be a plus, but the NFL is an extremely pass-happy league now and the Steelers have had success with Roethlisberger throwing it. Perhaps that is why it seems that there’s a hint of sarcasm in Big Ben’s voice when he discusses the upcoming season.
“And like I said, every day’s getting a little bit better, and we’re learning — and we’ll be running the ball a lot this year, so fans should be happy,” Roethlisberger told Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
It’s been no secret that Roethlisberger is unhappy with the change. When pressed further and asked if he thought the plan was to attack opponents on the ground more, he simply reiterated his point.
“That’s the way it seems,” he said. “I know the fans want it, so it looks like they’ll be getting their wish.”
He also simply said, “Who knows?” when asked if the Steelers would sling it around a few times given all the talent they have in the passing game. It’s tough to judge when you weren’t present for the actual interview, but Roethlisberger certainly seems bitter. The audio can be heard here for a better understanding of his tone.
Every quarterback wants the ball in their hands and the Steelers have had great success doing things a certain way for almost a decade now, so you can understand why Big Ben is threatened by the prospect of a major change. Whether or not he and Haley can coexist will be a storyline to monitor in Pittsburgh in 2012.
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