Make no mistake about it – the Steelers are Ben Roethlisberger’s team! He is without a doubt, like it or not, the poster child for all things Black & Gold.
Roethlisberger is many things. He’s tough, gritty, determined and relentless. That said, Ben is also a bit unorthodox and he’s not the most technically sound quarterback.
He isn’t the cleanest when it comes to his 3, 5 and 7 step drops. He doesn’t have a very quick release. He isn’t consistent when asked to deliver passes into tight windows and despite his size there are several quarterbacks who have bigger arms than Ben.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Roethlisberger is a winner.
His winning is in large part tied directly to his ability to make plays when plays seemingly break down. Roethlisberger’s receivers know their quarterback and consequently, they extend plays and their routes fully aware of Ben’s unique escapability.
That is what opponents fear most when defending against Big Ben.
That is when he delivers his biggest punches.
And consequently it makes the hiring of offensive coordinator Todd Haley puzzling.
Haley is a disciple of Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense. He requires his quarterbacks to be precise in their drops, get the ball out quickly and make accurate throws to receivers sifting through heavy traffic. Think Kurt Warner!
This doesn’t play to Roethlisberger’s strengths and opponents will be all too happy to see Ben stay in the pocket and get the ball out of his hands. And if the new approach isn’t successful you have to wonder if Roethlisberger will push back and revert to his comfort zone. And if he does, how will the volatile Haley respond?
Of course the man responsible for all of this is head coach Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin is without a doubt an outstanding leader yet a questionable game manager. Roethlisberger is talented and head strong and probably has a bit more influence on what the club does than his teammates. How else do you explain HIS decision to play on a very bad wheel in 2011? Mix in Haley’s explosive personality and you have a potentially very combustible situation.
This place could be about to blow!
A skill set and a system that might not be compatible.
An offensive coordinator who more than likely aspires to be a head coach again as of yesterday.
Personalities used to having their ways could clash.
Add it up and it puts the 2012 season at risk.
Add it up and hiring Haley doesn’t make sense.
Buckle up Steelers fans. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.