There were a few times last year that the Pittsburgh Steelers offense looked like they were not only having communication problems, but an understanding of the play that needed to be execution. The change in verbiage last year might have been the cause of some of those problems, but wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Wednesday morning in an interview on 93.7 The Fan that more than anything else, they were uncomfortable as an offense.
“Last year was our first time in the system and guys were really uncomfortable at times in the game, because we didn’t really understand where he [Todd Haley] wanted us to be,” said Sanders. “Ben [Roethlisberger] didn’t really understand certain plays. So this year, now, it’s year two, we’re familiar with the system, and we’re familiar with Todd Haley’s personality, and where he wants us to be, and things of that sort, so I’m looking forward to us taking off.”
Sanders said he thinks the offense has no choice but to grow in year two and his comments about what happened last year are not overly surprising due to all the change. During the offseason, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talked about how the coaching staff was taking more input from him this year and that they had even reverted back to some of the old verbiage used prior to Haley\’s arrival in an effort to ensure everyone knows not only what the play call is, but their assignments as well.
Sanders talked Wednesday about how even the wide receivers are able to have input this year with Haley in addition to Roethlisberger.
“Now, I feel like with Richard Mann and the guys like Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico [Burress], we\’re kind of going to him and telling him exactly what we like and what we don\’t like,” said Sanders. “And not only that, he\’s open minded to a lot of things. He tells us all the time he just wants to get it right. He just wants to put points on the board. I think he\’s starting to get comfortable with us also.”
Sanders who would later say in the interview that he would be playing the flanker position in the offense this year, is poised for a big year and being as this is a contract year for him, it would be advisable for him to achieve his goal of 70 catches for 1,000 yards.
It\’s good to hear Sanders say that Haley is not only more comfortable with the players this year, but open to their ideas and suggestions. Everyone on the offense no longer seems to be uncomfortable with Haley and his offense, so as Sanders said, “It has no choice but to grow.”