Blog Entry

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:51 pm
Can Haley make Roethlisberger a better quarterback? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

There has been some consternation by Steelers fans -- if not flat out gnashing of teeth -- over the news that Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. Haley, whose dad served in the Steelers' personnel department from 1971-1990, replaces Bruce Arians, who "retired" (read: was fired) last month.

It's not that Haley hasn't had success as an NFL assistant, it's just that his abrasive style doesn't seem to mesh with "The Steelers Way." Put differently: Haley's sideline demeanor is 180 degrees from that of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. That alone isn't an indictment against the man; he is a football coach, after all. Yelling and screaming is more coming than not. And one of the reasons Arians was let go was because he had become too chummy with franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Why chumminess was a concern when the Steelers had gone to two Super Bowls (winning one) under Arians and regularly had a top-10 offense still remains a mystery. But this is a transient business; coaches get fired all the time. Just ask Haley, who was canned during the 2011 season after less than three years as the Chiefs' head coach, where he went 19-26.

Before Haley's arrival in Kansas City, he was a successful though sometimes combative coordinator in Arizona. One of the league's most mild-mannered players, former quarterback Kurt Warner, can attest to that.

"It doesn't matter where you stand on the totem pole," Warner, who played for Haley with the Cardinals, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"If he sees something you can do better, he lets you know about it. That was a reason for our success."

In general, that's all well and good. But it's not like Roethlisberger was struggling to find himself on the football field. He entered the "elite quarterback" conversation several years ago and other than debilitating injuries, he remains one of the league's most dangerous players. He did that under Arians. Whether that success continues under Haley remains to be seen.

"I enjoyed playing for him," Warner continued. "I'm a guy who loves to be challenged in a lot of different ways, and that's what Todd is about. He pushed me and wanted me to be great. He pushed the guys around me to be great."

As for all the sideline ranting and raving, Warner doesn't think it will be a problem.

"It's not about the yelling and screaming; I'm OK with that," said Warner, who along with teammates, got into it with Haley.

"He just wants you to do the right thing. Instead of getting offended, maybe you have to look at yourself and say, 'OK, that's a legitimate concern.' That's the way you get good. That's how you stay great. He will be good for Ben, not that Ben needs a lot of help. He's a great quarterback."


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Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:45 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

This looks like the beginning of the end for the Ben Roethlisberger era. Haley is more conventional and when he realizes Ben cant play conventional NFL football he will look elsewhere. It's probably a good thing for the steelers.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 3:05 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

griftin and ravens,
If you must know, the Chiefs were #1 in rushing during 2010 season.  Haley seems to know which offense will be the teams' strength and will to cater to that...

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:55 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Did you ever consider that the report of "the Steelers want to go back to running the football"...was all bull shit?? Dont ya think it could have been just an excuse to fire Bruce?? Stop thinking "reports" are truth!!!

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:02 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

This is a disaster waiting to happen.  If im not mistaken don't the Steelers want to go back to running the football?  Haley was a good O coordinator in Arizona, for a passing team.  If Rooney and Tomlin want to run the ball, how does Haley help?  He didin't do too good without Larry Fitzgerald/Anquan Boldin combo.  And sorry, Mike Wallace is no Larry Fitzgerald, and Brown is not better than Boldin.  The Steelers need to go back to running the ball, having Ben scramble around for his life on a broken play and throw the ball after 6-10 seconds when the DB can no longer cover and the play breaks down.  Ben is not a pocket passing QB, Period, he is not a Kurt Warner/Brady/Manning.  Ben improvises to make big plays, and does it well, unfortunately the Ravens have seen it too often, in too many big games.  I think Tomlin will clash with Haley, and he will be out within two seasons, Haley that is..... 

Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:37 pm

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

I think it's a good thing.  Ben hasn't progressed in several years.  He's still makes too many mistakes.  Yes he's won Super Bowls and I think he gets a pass because of it but the guy has the potential to be a HOF QB.  He just hasn't taken that step to the next level that you would expect from a 8 year QB.  Look at a guy like Rogers. He's excelled and has passed Ben.  Look at Eli.  He's too is passing Ben in development.  Look at the relationship O'Brien had with Brady.  If Brady screwed up he let him know to the point where they were arguing on the sideline.  You just don't see that in Pittsburgh.  It appears more like Arians coddled Ben.  "That's OK we'll get 'em next time."  Well, this team has to potential to go to the Super Bowl and win it every year so there should be a sense of urgency to get it done now not when Ben's in his mid 30's.  There's an old saying that you're either getting better or your getting worse and despite Ben's Pro Bowl type season it's hard to argue that he's taking steps back rather than forward.  Not all Ben's fault for sure and the fact that he wants to lead this team by example with his gutsy play while injured but still Ben has to realize that maybe he's sacrificed his own developement for the good of the team and this is just the type of move that needed to be made in order to get that back on track.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:40 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

He's just calling the plays people....relax!! Who gives a rats ass about his personality....he calls a good game...period!!

Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:03 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Arians was Ben's buddy more than being hardlined with him about what he needed to do to improve, even if that means handing the ball off and getting back to the play action which worked so well.   Haley will be better, although I would of rather of gotten Hue Jackson but it is what it is.  

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:24 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Steelers fans now learned an important lesson: be careful what you wish for. They wanted Arians gone, and he's gone now, but the replacement may be even worse for them.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:14 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

haley is a lunatic, when it comes to critizing the players if that's what you want for Big Ben then so be it!

Since: Oct 20, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:16 am

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

How is Haley going to make Big Ben better? Ben is already great without him. Injuries in the running game and Ben being hurt was there dimise this season. Its not like he is a young veteran or a rookie who needs work. Ben can run his own offense better then Haley ever will. Doesnt take a rocket scientist to know he can throw downfield to Wallace and Brown..

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