Reporting Bob Pompeani
PALM BEACH, Fla. (KDKA) — Ben Roethlisberger was a Bruce Arians backer and lobbied hard to keep him in place as the offensive coordinator.
When that didn’t happen, it took a while for Roethlisberger and Haley to connect – they waited a week and a half before they met and now that working relationship is under way.
There’s a contrast in style between Arians and Haley who is known to be tough on his players, especially quarterbacks.
“We all have swings in emotion. We all use different coaching techniques,” Tomlin said. “I’d agree that he does have a reputation in that regard, but I’m not going to prejudge him. Like any good coach, I’m sure he’s prepared to be whatever the group needs him to be.”
Tomlin says he doesn’t expect smooth sailing in the quarterback-offensive coordinator relationship, but he believes it will be a productive one as time goes on.
He was impressed with Haley – very impressed during the interview process.
“The way he embraces the standard that is the Pittsburgh Steelers – I think that’s something that you can’t quantify, something – that’s an intangible that you can’t quantify that I think is going to help us,” Tomlin said.
“I think that when somebody legitimately understands and embraces what comes with being part of our organization, I think it’s a leg up,” he added. “I saw similar things in Carnell Lake a year ago and I’m always going to be attracted to that because this is a unique place. I want men that embrace the legacy.”
Roethlisberger’s legacy so far has been his ability to keep plays alive at times to his own detriment. Art Rooney II said Ben’s style needs to be tweaked. Tomlin doesn’t necessarily agree.
“I don’t think we’re at that point. I think that, you know, that point’s maybe somewhere in the future – you acknowledge that, you know. He’s probably as old a guy as we got on the offense, so it’s something to be said for that, but I don’t think we’re at the point where we think he’s diminishing physically to the point where he has to alter his game from that perspective.”
“He runs around for 12 seconds and throws a 70-yard touchdown, I like it,” he continued. “When he gets hit and injured, you don’t like it, so I’ll sincerely say it depends on the outcome of the play. .. He’s got a unique skill set and it benefits us and benefits him. Let’s just continue to focus on utilizing it for good.”
Tomlin says the Steelers do plan on bringing in another quarterback whether through free agency or the NFL draft.