Friday, May 31, 2013

Roethlisberger, Haley Open To Change And Coming Together

by Jayden and Jason

"Last year, it was Todd's offense he brought to us. This year, I'd say it's more our offense....Todd's open to change."

Those words were spoken by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger when asked if he felt he had more ownership in the offense this season. Big Ben's comments seem to not only reflect a more comfortable quarterback, but a happy one.

“We’re growing and we’re learning and we’re communicating,” Roethlisberger said. “This year, more of us know what’s going on, so we can coach each other up instead of always having questions, going to coaches to get answers.”

NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala spoke recently with Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer, who said that Big Ben had been meeting with Haley to discuss the offense and, subsequently, Big Ben “has a lot more power” this year regarding the philosophy of the offense.

Dwyer said he sees a better relationship there, as did Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Both have alluded to the fact that a level of familiarity has bred a level comfortableness - not contempt.

"You can tell out here in practice," Pouncey said. "With Ben taking that bigger role, it's going to be a lot of help to us."

"They've grown to know each other, their families and things of that sort, so of course they've grown to get comfortable with each other," Sanders added. -

Big Ben's embracing and having a share in the direction of the offense is beneficial if not paramount. A shorter, quicker passing game, and a stronger running game, is exactly what he needs. Injuries have gotten the best of Big Ben and the Steelers the last couple of years and aided in the team's failures.

Big Ben sycophants won't want to hear this, but he is neither as fast as he used to be (not that he was ever confused with Michael Vick) nor is his body able to recover from the weekly pounding he tends to take. Far from fragile, yet no longer as formidable, either.

Point blank, Big Ben is needed on the field for the entire season. As we've written before, the road to success begins with Big Ben accepting the change. That means all phases and criteria of what Haley is trying to accomplish on offense have to be met. And according to the franchise quarterback, that's exactly what has been done.

"There has been some changes....It’s some compromise from all different position coaches, running back coaches, line and quarterback coaches. I think we’ve taken a little bit of everything and made it a lot better. You can ask anybody on offense that, including coaches, and they’ll tell you that we all like the way the offense is and where it’s going."

What could this all mean for the Steelers? Hopefully it means a happy No. 7 - the Ring, not the just quarterback.