It probably won’t be too much longer until we find out the fate of Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley now that the team’s 2017 season has come to a disappointing end. However, until that decision is made, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger attempted to downplay any talk about him no longer being able to get along with Haley during a Tuesday interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“I talked to Coach Haley yesterday and we talked in his office, just him and I, and we sat there, and we sat down for a while and talked and laughed about the season and just how proud we both were of how far we came as an offense,” Roethlisberger said. “You know, you look early in the season and we were a middle of the road to the bottom half of the road team, offensively speaking, and just to be able to come out as the number three or top three or five offense, and all the games and all the things that we were able to accomplish this year, just how proud we both were of everything that was accomplished by this offense. And I’m just really kind of excited about what we have potentially moving forward.”
Roethlisberger’s recent sit-down with Haley aside, the quarterback did admit on Tuesday that he and Haley have had their share of differences with one another and that he believes they’ve been able to work through them all.
“I don’t think it was as big of a deal as the outside world made it, as the media made it, or whatever was perceived to be, if you will,” Roethlisberger said about his perceived current rocky relationship with Haley. “You’re always going to have rifts, if you will. That’s player to player, players and coaches. It’s not just a Coach Haley and I or Coach Randy and I – Coach Munch, there’s always issues. In a competitive field like we have, where everyone’s trying to win, and everyone is trying to be the best they can be, you might butt heads at times. It doesn’t mean that you have any problem, any personal problem, and we laughed about that yesterday, too.”
The quarterback then continued.
“When things were perceived that we had all these issues, and there were times that maybe there was an issue, but we would go into his office and we talked, and we would work it out and we’d iron it out and everything was fine. And that happens with lots of coaches. It happened with me and B.A. [Bruce Arians] with [Ken] Whisenhunt. It’s not a new thing, it’s just is perceived as a bigger deal than it really was.”
All of that politically correct stuff aside, I personally don’t think that Roethlisberger wants to continue playing for the Steelers if Haley continues to be the team’s offensive coordinator. If anything on Tuesday, I think Roethlisberger just tried to distance himself from potentially being the person that people point to as the reason why Haley’s contract wasn’t renewed, should that ultimately wind up being what happens.
“I don’t have any control over the coaching staff – who’s hired and fired and obviously, that’s very apparent in the few years ago when B.A. was gone,” Roethlisberger said. “You know, everyone said we had a great relationship and he was still let go as well. So, that’s up to the coaches and Mr. Rooney and that’s fine. I mean, I go play football and I play for whoever I need to play for.”
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to commit on the future of some his current coaches on Tuesday and he refused to do so.
“I don’t know where these roads are going to lead, some conversations needed to be had, some contracts are up, certain contracts aren’t,” Tomlin said. “I’m not ready to discuss that at this point. A part of that, gaining that understanding, is those conversations and so forth. So, you’ll hear about them as they unfold, I’m sure, if there’s anything to be heard, but not there yet, no.”
Tomlin was then asked if he’s currently content with how Roethlisberger and Haley interact with each other and if he can see that as a relationship that will be able to move forward.
“I’m gathering information on all relationships and things of that nature,” Tomlin said. “That’s what this assessment is about. So, I’m not ready to state opinions about the nature of any of our relationships, whether I’m assessing it in terms of what transpired, or what’s going to transpire moving forward. That’s the process that I’m in right now.”
In short, we’ll have to let this process play out over the course of the next few days or weeks until we find out what Haley’s fate it.