Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Ben Roethlisberger waits for OC's call
ESPN.com news services
Ben Roethlisberger wasn't happy when the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to part ways with Bruce Arians, his longtime offensive coordinator. Now he's still waiting to hear from Todd Haley, hired to call the offensive plays for the team next season.
"He still hasn't called yet," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Monday of Haley, who was hired by the Steelers on Feb. 9. According to the newspaper, Roethlisberger had a "discouraged" tone to his voice.
Roethlisberger spent about five minutes at the Steelers' facility Monday, the newspaper reported. Steelers coaches leave for the scouting combine Wednesday so it's unlikely the quarterback and Haley will meet this week.
However, team sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday night that Haley and Roethlisberger have met and talked "recently."
Roethlisberger acknowledged last week that he's been talking to people around the league about Haley and the response has been "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 said last week.
The Steelers let Arians' contract expire and then termed his exit from the team as a retirement. Arians, however, later accepted a job as the Indianapolis Colts' new offensive coordinator.
Pittsburgh ranked in the top half of the NFL in offense over the past three seasons but finished 12th this past season and a disappointing 21st in scoring.
Haley was fired as the head coach of the Chiefs on Dec. 13, after going 19-26 in two-plus seasons with Kansas City, leading the team to the 2010 AFC West title. He finished third in AP coach of the year voting that season with the league's top rushing offense.
As offensive coordinator of the Cardinals two years before that, Haley's offense was second in the NFL in passing.
At his introductory news conference earlier this month, Haley addressed the transition that Roethlisberger is facing and said he doesn't anticipate problems working with his new quarterback.
"Transition is always a little -- I wouldn't even say difficult -- but there's an uncomfortable aspect to newness," Haley said. "But that's not always a bad thing. I think it'll be a great thing in this case, and he's going to figure out that we're just trying to make him as good as he can possibly can be.
"Not many players that I've known have ever had an issue with that."
Information from ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press was used in this report.