I meant to get this up the other day, but in case you missed it, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger recently sat down for a one on one interview with ESPN reporter and former Steeler running back Merril Hoge. In the interview Roethlisberger talked about the recent restructure of his contract, the potential loss of restricted free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace and is recent meeting with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Hoge asked Roethlisberger about why he decided to restructure his contract and Ben replied, “Well I wanted to help the team. Anything I can do to help clear up some space. Obviously we were over the cap and I did it last year as well. They come to me, and it\’s kind of a no-brainer for me, because if I can alter my contract and renegotiate it and do some things to help the team out so we can sign some other guys, I\’m all for it. One of the big reasons I wanted to do it is to get Mike back here and I don\’t want to see him go. He\’s such a huge part of our offense and who we are in our identity and we need him back.”
Hoge then asked Roethlisberger if he has talked to Haley about some of his concerns about the new direction that the offense might take under Haley to which Ben replied, “Unfortunately we cant. We cant talk football. We have sat down and talked about golf, because he is a big golfer. We talked about his kids, about him being here as a ball boy. I didn\’t know that he used to be a Steelers ball boy a long time ago. So we\’ve been able to talk, just kind of personnel level, which I think is good. It\’s good start to hopefully a good relationship. I hope he doesn\’t wipe the whole slate clean and start brand new, because then it would be a challenge. But if he comes in and tweaks things even more, but keeps that skeleton going of what we have, then I think we can just hit the ground running.”
While I admire Roethlisberger for restructuring his contract, let\’s not lose sight that he benefited from it in getting his
money up front (yes, bad choice of words I agree. Better choice of words is guaranteed up front.), and he did not lose anything by doing it. That is not a knock on him by any means, but I just wanted to clarify that. As far as his comments about the future of the offense, he has made it clear several times now that he is against Haley wiping the slate clean, but I am willing to bet that Haley takes those comments with a grain of salt. While the terminology might not change much, Haley said that himself, the overall offense certainly could and probably will. Haley is a very “my way” type of coach, he will keep what he deems needing to be kept and throw out what he deems is not needed.
None of the comments that Roethlisberger made during this short piece were earth shattering and I expect he will echo these seem comments over the next few months. He should be well aware however that they will fall on deaf ears. Hoge, who is one of his good friends, will listen to him, but that might be about it.