By Colin Dunlap

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – OK, Ben Roethlisberger, you got what you wanted.

Now it’s time to do something big.

No falling short next season. No stuff about miscommunication in regards to the quarterback sneak. No yammering on about who is on the field and who is in the booth. No more petulance or grumbling on your radio show. You got what you wanted — you better turn it into a trip to the Super Bowl next season.

Just after noontime on Wednesday, the Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reported that Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley will not return, as the organization will not renew his now-expired contract.

It has been quite obvious for quite a time that this is what Roethlisberger wanted, as his relationship with Haley had been incredibly icy.

My opinion from the very beginning of the Ben/Haley working relationship has never wavered, and it goes like this: Roethlisberger never respected a guy who never played a down of football calling plays for his offense. And, make no mistake, this has been and always will be Ben’s offense for the entirety of his career. Even when the success and yards piled up, Ben always saw Haley as an outsider who couldn’t at all relate because Haley never played any level of the game. Ben viewed Haley as a glorified video game player, not someone who has ever “been there” and, as such, didn’t feel like taking direction from him was necessary.

That might be an old-school mentality from someone, but I honestly feel that was how Ben approached being coordinated by a guy who never so much played a down for Jim Render at Upper St. Clair High School. I’m not agreeing with Roethlisberger but rather attempting to explain his resistance to being coached by Haley.

As such, that’s all in the past now. One possibility for the Steelers moving forward is to promote quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who has been in that post the past eight seasons. Most certainly, that’s what Ben wants.

Let’s say Ben gets that, or he has some say in who replaces Haley — which he undeniably should. There are no excuses from this day forward, none in the least.

You see, Ben Roethlisberger flexed his muscles and had the Steelers send Todd Haley packing. That’s what happened here. A power struggle arose and Big Ben stood tallest when it all shook out.

In a way, this the greatest thing for Roethlisberger because he rids himself of a guy who he clearly didn’t want to work with. Now, however, it poses a problem I hope Ben is ready for. There is no more scapegoating, no more finger-pointing, no more guy-to-blame when things go wrong for the offense.

Simply, there are no more excuses for Big Ben or perceived impediments to him doing what he thinks is best. Ben is now in the position he wants, but he’s also dangerously in a position where he better succeed and make a run to the Super Bowl. If he doesn’t, it’s 100 percent, squarely and solely, on him. ​

 

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