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Charlie Batch Hints That Ben Roethlisberger Wasn\’t Allowed To Audiblize Last Season


Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch let it be known recently that offensive coordinator Todd Haley wouldn\’t allow quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to audiblize out of plays at the line of scrimmage last season.

“By not being allowed that flexibility, like Bruce Arians allowed him to have to change at the line of scrimmage to a pass, that frustrated him a little bit,” Batch told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Roethlisberger, as expected, showed his frustration with the new offense several times last year with a few well placed jabs when talking to the media. Following the overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Roethlisberger hinted about not being able to check out of the play that resulted in a wacky touchdown to tight end Heath Miller.

“The play that got called, but they went to a prevent defense so the play that got called wasn\’t a good play. At all and so we just started making a play,” Roethlisberger said following that game.

While Roethlisberger might not have been able to audiblize last season, he was able to call plays during the limited use of the no-huddle. He talked about using self control in not abandoning the run while doing so as early as the season opener against the Denver Broncos.

“I think people need to realize that just because we\’re in the no-huddle and we\’re calling the plays doesn\’t mean I\’m calling all passes,” Roethlisberger said following the loss.

Now that they have worked together for a full season, Roethlisberger and Haley certainly have more trust in one another and the offense. I expect the Steelers quarterback will have a little more free reign this year as far as calls at the line of scrimmage as the two are accommodating each other in more ways than one since last season.

“I think it was big of Todd to say, ‘OK, let\’s change it to things you are more comfortable with,\’” Roethlisberger said. “Not everything went to a change, but it was nice we all got together and sat down and said, ‘What makes sense to you, what makes sense to you?\’”

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Wait…WHAT? Our 2 Time SuperBowl winning QB wasn’t allowed to audible at the line of scrimmage last season??? ummm yea lets change that this season

  • 2443scott

    just hmmmmm ……aches and pains of a new coach happens to every team ..on to year two

  • Mkeller

    I love the Steelers but am just not a fan of Art II. Ran Cowher out of town and has this weird need to put Ben in his place. Todd Haley is an insufferable human being and has zero credibility with the players in the league. Why? because he never played the game on any level!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When Tomlin gives a post season PC and says all coordinators will be back then a week later Bruce Arians is giving an awkward “Hey I guess I’m too old to coach” retirement speech you have to think that has ownership written all over it. Then to hire a coach 180 degrees from what Arians was personality wise all in the quest to smack your franchise QB on the nose with a newspaper? Does that seem productive? Especially when you’re in cap hell with Ben? You have limited time left with Ben….to hell with growing pains! The whole deal was rotten from the get go. Todd Haley has no business being on that sideline other than to hand out water bottles and clean mud off of cleats like he did when he was a kid. Simply ASSININE! If Haley has success, rest assured it’s because Ben is healthy and doing what Ben does……WIN AT ALL COSTS.
    Sorry…I’m just passionate about this particular issue as I simply don’t understand it.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    To add 1 more gripe about Art II, he didn’t prepare the organization well for the new CBA and the flat salary cap. The Steelers spent money and structured contracts assuming the old growth rate on the cap and are now completely cap hamstrung. Art was in the CBA meetings and needed to set future budgets (at the time) accordingly. Clearly, he didn’t.

  • Jason

    I’m on the fence with Haley but to say he has no crediblity with players is false. Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald both raved about him as a coach and person when we hired him. In the first 8 games last year Ben was on pace for something like 34 td and 8 int and wasn’t being hit nearly as much as he was under Arians. Sometimes the classrooms favorite teacher isn’t always the best teacher but the one who let’s them get away with the most (Arians). I’m not here to argue x’s and o’s or claim that Haley is better than Arians but the relationship seems to be improving. At least I hope so.

  • steeltown

    Larry Fitzgerald on Haley: “I think Todd is a great coach. He’s fun to play for. Everybody says he’s a hard ass and this, that and the third, but at the end of the day when Todd came in the locker room he’d give you the biggest hug. He wanted it so bad for us. He prepared so much and he pushed us.”

    You forget Haley took the 2-14 KC Chiefs and in 2yrs won the AFC West..this was after helping ARI go the SB for the first time ever. He’s accomplished some good things.

  • Jason

    As far as Art II I totally agree. He gets more Jerry Jones like every day with all the meddling

  • steeltown

    In 1-2yrs time we’ll be fine, our cap is already projected to be lower next year just like this years was lower than last.. once Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu’s contracts are off the books.. we paid alot to keep our SB Team together to try and make another run.. and we almost did in 2010

    Ike Taylor, Polamalu, Harrison, Hampton, Colon, James Farrior.. these few guys cost A LOT of money

    The worst is over (regarding cap)

  • treeher

    I’ve never been a Tomlin fan. He won two silver footballs mostly with a Cowher team and coaches. Team has declined, I think mostly due to coaching. They have two first rounders and two second rounders on the O line. Granted, they’ve been snake bit by the injury bug (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?) but so have other teams and they’ve overcome it.

  • cencalsteeler

    You can’t help but feel for Ben and his frustrations of last season. Hopefully, that is all behind them now that they have another year under their belt together. But, if issues do arise this season, I hope Tomlin stashed a six pack of beer and a shark week dvd combo pack in case of emergency.

  • Jason

    Thanks for finding that quote Steeltown, I was too lazy.

  • ATL96STEELER

    For somebody that doesn’t like Tomlin you’re giving him a lot of credit…won 2 silver footballs?

    His style doesn’t work for everybody, the team has been in decline, but when you have a large group of players that played in 3 SBs and won two rings, the talent is going to drop off and it has.

    He got to ride the coattails of some great players, but imo the turnover should’ve started after the GB SB loss…they (FO & Tomlin) tried to wring one more title out of that group and it ended on 1 play in OT.

  • Nolrog

    And as a result, he was having one of his best years, until the injury and coming back too soon.

  • Nolrog

    The team has declined because the drafting has sucked and they kept the vets with high paying contracts.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    not so, if for any reason they re-up clark, keisle, larry, troy,
    ziggy, ike, at vet value, we will still have problems into 2016. unless the cap has a significant increase., maybe someone out there has more than passing awareness of cap situation but I don’t think it would be wise to carry the aforementioned players at the going rate,

  • steeltown

    Oh ok so Ben was having a good year as a result of not having the option to audible?? That was scheme, game planning and Heath Miller.
    I think a veteran QB should have the option to audible, I think that goes without saying

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    long term I think Haley will work out, but as we are hearing from one who was there , makes one feel that there are a lot of stupid fans out there that complained and still do , Ben’s fault for this , that and the other. Probably why we saw so many running plays against 8 in the box in the red zone in 2012.

  • RW

    Agreed on both fronts, although lets not get too far ahead of ourselves with the drafts. This year should be more indicative of how Tomlin’s draft picks pan out.

  • steeltown

    The Steelers currently have a 2014 cap number of approx. $128MIL, which of course exceeds the early projected 2014 league cap number of $125 million, but not by much. Add a contract extension (Hood or Sanders) and it goes up some more, but then Ben and Heath Miller will soon be given contract extensions which will be cap friendly through the first few yrs and lower their 2014-2015 cap hits and in turn the overall Team cap as well, you could also include Pouncey in this extension talk..

    Trust that its not as bad as it was 2-3yrs ago, it is slowly getting back to reasonable.

  • Mkeller

    That is absolutely dead on. It was a collective failure on the part of Rooney, Colbert and Kahn to not understand the cap trajectory. As for the sentiment from another poster that all will be fine in 1-2 years….WHAT? They may creep their way out of cap hell but the roster isn’t trending in the right direction. Their young inexpensive talent is letting them down. Some of the young guys need a little more time. But as I see it….ILB still needs addressed. Secondary will be a shambles when the vets go. Shamarko could be fine, Cortez is still an uncertainty based on limited action and injury history the rest are bodies at best, WR will need addressed again in a big way if Sanders moves on, TE needs a major investment as Heath is creeping to the end, DL could all need to be replaced once Keisel goes and of course OT and OL depth in general looks a bit shaky. My point is the coffer’s are a bit dry and they need to start hitting their high draft choices like they did when Cowher and Colbert were working together. Since Tomlin arrived the drafts don’t quite resemble Colberts early years. 1st and 2nd round RB in a non running NFL, not 1 but 2 3-4 DE’s IN THE 1st RD, not 1 but 2 3-4 OLB’s IN THE 1st RD(Timmons was drafted to be one and was moved inside)…just seems out of Colberts character. They need to draft better or develop talent better or this downward trend could spin out of control.

  • Mkeller

    Well keep this in mind. Big Ben. I love him and would extend him just because of what he’s done. But because of his salary restructures they have to extend him next year. So 1/6 of the cap will belong to Ben for most likely 5 more yrs as he will have to AVG close 20 mil/yr as that’s what Flacco received.

  • Mkeller

    I see more Dan Snyder. He isn’t openly running operations but is clearly forcing decisions on his subordinates.
    As far as your teacher reference I understand where you’re coming from. But Ben was doing fine. He liked Arians and was winning tons of games with him. Ben wasn’t running amok. That is complete propaganda. They go 12-4 back to back an treated Arians like a jag-off for what reason? I would be happy to wager that when the Todd Haley era is over you are going to be thrilled. Ben is putting up a front so the questions go away. It’s really quite a shame. It took 20 years after Bradshaw to get a real difference maker at the QB position and Art the II wants to play grab ass with the remainder of his career. Maybe I’m out in leftfield on this whole deal but for whatever reason it frustrates me beyond description.

  • Jason

    I can see your scenerio playing out. I just hope you’re wrong.

  • charles

    It could be that Haley was not just calling the next play, but that he was thinking a couple of plays in advance kinda the way that Bill Walsh did at SF in the 80s scripting the first 30.
    Steeltown I enjoy your input a lot, it is well grounded, but…
    Football is a game of large super athletes. There is the 12th man however. A lot of the fans think that the 12th man is them. It is not. The 12th man is the coach and it is also a battle of minds between Tomlin etal and the opposition. There is a game of chess going on while we are watching the ball. In fact that IS the game. It is why those who quote stats and then propose a theory don’t really understand the game while those who do understand the battle of the minds do it the opposite way. They propose an insight and then back it up with a few stats. Respectfully.

  • Mkeller

    Me too. The good news is I’m wrong a lot.

  • steeltown

    Im not sure if you’re agreeing with me or not…

    In the end, veteran QBs should have the option to audible is the point.. you know, like in a chess game when sometimes your opponent makes a move that you were not expecting so you make an adjustment with your next

  • Mkeller

    Kurt Warner , Fitz and an in his prime Bolden plus an offensive minded HC didn’t hurt.
    I agree the 1 year in KC was a good deal. However, total train wreck thereafter. And the break up….I’ve seen divorces with less acrimony. The guy couldn’t just leave, he disparaged all his bosses on the way out the door and filed a lawsuit claiming his personal phone and office were bugged by his employer. Fitz is a great receiver but Ben is an accomplished QB. This kind of dramatic move at this point of his career just wasn’t necessary. Warner had similar good things to say but he had plenty of but’s to go with it. I really can’t imagine anything changing my opinion on the guy including a SB. Ben made some great throws the other night…..all on instinct after break downs. The older he gets the harder it will be to change. He’s along with the defense are their only hope on an otherwise mediocre team.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I can only agree it is slightly better next year. The first problem is the roster you have for that $128M is not good enough. The second problem is because the cash has already been spent through bonuses and restructuring, there is little flexibility in the moves you can make. There will still be problems keeping young talent and no ability to attract even bargain free agents.

  • steeltown

    His last season in KC they lost Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and starting QB Matt Cassel for the season among others.. losing all your best starters could cause any Team to fall from contention.

    Ironically, in 2012 after Haley was gone they were back to 2-14 like they were before his tenure

  • Mkeller

    All good points. He’s just not my kind of guy and he doesn’t impress me on any level. But hey……I’m going to watch the games anyway and root like hell. But it’s kind of like a rooting for Ray Lewis thing. How could anyone do it…I couldn’t have. I want to like the guys on the team that I root for. I don’t like anything about the guy to be honest. Not calling him a murderer lets get that straight. Just saying…for me…he’s just bitter.

  • steeltown

    ..and im not saying he’s the greatest OC of all time or anything, I guess im just hoping that history repeats itself, meaning historically he’s had great success in his 2nd year

  • Mkeller

    I’m with ya. We all want them to compete and make the season as enjoyable as possible.
    Clearly my problem with the guy is more about personality and about how he got here than it is x’s and o’s.Though I don’t totally prefer his style of offense I’m pulling for his success all the same because I hope the team excels.

  • Johnny Diesel

    I agree with you my man…! I live and breathe Steeler football and I knew the day that they had let go of Bruce Arians it was a huge mistake. And the more details that come out the more and more I dislike Todd Haley. Football is a team sport, and the team with the most talent on it does not always win the super bowl; the team that comes together and plays the best as a team wins, and this includes coaches. Ben and Bruce were like best friends, and how you disrupt that chemistry and think your going to win is beyond me. I really hope the Steelers wake up quick, because for every year they try to keep a leash on Ben is a year we can kiss the Super Bowl goodbye…!

  • greeny

    There isn’t a QB in the league that doesn’t have that latitude including rookies last year. Did you notice corners jumping routes at end of the year. Too much excuse was made of Ben’s injury vs. Haley’s high school level offense. Run run than screen pass

  • greeny

    Couldn’t agree more. If Rooney was going to take another run at a Super Bowl with the same team which he did and rightfully so; you do not fire the OC. So silly. BTW Tomlin is responsible too. He is the head coach. Tell your OC what to do.

  • greeny

    The Value of the team is slipping. They rank middle of the pack now in value. Art II better realize that the value of the team goes as far as Ben takes it. These QB’s only come around once every 50 years. Todd Haley must go. Find a OC that understands the game today and not in 1970. May need to learn now from the Baltimore Ravens as to how run an franchise. They fired their OC in mid season and look how Flacco progressed. Ben is in another league compared to that guy. Why let him rot?

  • charles

    Agreeing mostly. If Haley did not want Ben to audibilize there must be some kind of rationale. Say the first three plays of a series were scripted, two left jabs that set up a right handed uppercut?…..

  • SteelersQTPie

    Get rid of Haley….He’s costing us games and that aint cool

  • Pete

    There’s nothing wrong with Haley. There had to be good reasons why he didn’t want Ben to audible last season and why it’s different this year. Also, Tomlin would’ve had to agree with it. Fans have short memories and forget how much Arians was hated by Steeler Nation before he was politely given the boot.

    I’m all for giving Haley a chance and let him mold the offense. The Steelers are at a sort of crossroads where all-pro veterans are leaving/retiring and replaced by the young and inexperienced. The transition will take time and the Steelers may not have the best seasons during this transition but be patient. As long as Ben lives there’s still a chance for glory. I’m guessing maybe 1 more shot at a ring before Ben retires.

  • sgtrobo

    Haley: Hey Ben, we’re not going to allow you to audible at the LoS
    Ben: what are you going to do, send me to my room? Stick me in a corner? Put me over your knee and spank me?

    someone PLEASE tell me how anybody on the planet could prevent Ben from audibling at the LoS if he wanted to do so? This stinks of a misquote/misinterpretation

  • steeltown

    Oh definitely agree things are scripted more often than not, but in the end take what the Defense gives you.. hell look at Peyton Manning master of reading Defenses and making adjustments

  • ClearSights

    EAGLES!!

  • Doni609

    Haley is obviously some idiot that is in fear of his job, as he should be. People secure in their position in an organization play to the strengths of the org. rather than put constraints on those that make it work. Haley is a fool and based on how this pre-season looks probably won’t be around this time next year. The Rooneys are also fools for their support of the ‘Rooney Rule’ which led to the ‘wind-bag’ Tomlin’s tenure. Tomlin and Colbert must go if we the fans ever want to see a seventh ring in the ‘burgh’. I hate to be blunt but Tomlin is a ‘bum’. Colbert, well he doesn’t even deserve a comment.

  • Doni609

    Haley is a bum, and you’re right ‘greeny’…..this turd would make just a marginal high school coach. I seriously doubt that if he coached in the AK Valley that he would ever have a squad in the WPIAL championship game.

  • Doni609

    OMG ‘Charles’ are you serious? The ’12th man’, the ‘chess game’ behind the scenes……spare me! If it’s a chess game then Tomlin is playing checkers because his thought processes appear to be rather rudimentary. NFL coaches by definition aren’t smart enough to play chess and the ’12th man’ is a myth, Grown men running around out there making between 1 and 4 or 5 million bucks a year don’t even hear the sheep in the stands making all the noise; they’re too busy thinking about what they’re going to do after work…..duh. You’re obviously a fool if you buy into that chess game bullsheet and the 12th man drivel. Been visited by the tooth fairy lately?

  • Bob Graff

    Some one who knows what there talking about. Haley is an idiot, Colbert has managed this team into the dirt. Tomlin needed to insist on only the highest quality coaches, BUT we went out and got a bunch of crap. I just hope it doesn’t take too long to recover from this B.S.

  • Bob Graff

    Every one knows Haley has control issues. The only reason he’s here is daddy. He’s a complete moron, just watch his plays they make no sense.

  • sgtrobo

    ok, great. My point stands, tell me how Haley is going to tell Ben not to audible, and how he’s going to enforce it.

    1. Ben audibled throughout the season last year.
    2. If Ben audibles and Haley didn’t want him to, WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

    serious question. How could he possibly enforce this?

  • Bob Graff

    When Ben wants to audible it’s obvious, he does things like call time-out in the middle of the first quarter. Ben’s very effective at no huddle , Haley doesn’t allow this to happen. Let’s put it this way who would you want calling the shots, your 2 time Superbowl QB or some daddy’s boy that’s never played before[he went to college on a golf scholarship] And be honest Ben did audible some last year but his selection of plays from Haley’s offense is idiotic

  • sgtrobo

    “Haley doesn’t allow this to happen”

    explain that.

    1. Haley’s not on the field
    2. Ben is about 5″ and 60 lbs heavier
    3. Ben is a 2-time SB winning franchise QB.

    HOW IS HALEY GOING TO ENFORCE THIS?

  • charles

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