If you’re a successful NFL franchise that has a Quarterback with a proven track record of winning, you are going to want to listen to what he has to say. After all he is the leader on the field and a leader in the locker room. His actions on or off the field affect that entire team, like it or not. You pay the man $100 million dollars and he’s lived up to his end of the bargain so far in his career. You can debate the off field issues yes but on the field he’s a winner. Two more Lombardi’s added to the trophy case and another appearance last year reaffirm his importance to the team.
Art Rooney II and Mike Tomlin will want to hear what Ben has to say about their new Offensive Coordinator, make no mistake about it. Thinking otherwise just doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s important for your QB to be comfortable with the guy calling the plays. They work together constantly and build the playbook around putting Ben and the rest of the offense in a position to excel. If the two are at odds it’s just going to create discord among the team. Ultimately yes, Ben is an employee and will do what he’s told but it’s in your best interest to try and find a match where both parties can benefit from each other. Now, just because the team should want to listen to what Ben has to say, it doesn’t mean he is the end all be all. They will take into account what he feels the candidate should do and who it should be but ultimately Big Ben is not running the Steelers front office. That’s never been the case; the team just doesn’t work like that. Nobody is bigger than the franchise, no matter what your name is. When Ben went to bat for Bruce Arians 2 years ago, it wasn’t a matter of “Ben said it so we’ll agree with it”. Ben wanted to keep Bruce around because he felt they were on the cusp of something great, a prolific offense capable of scoring at will. It would be foolish to think that they didn’t also talk to Bruce and let him know what they wanted out of the offense in the future. The Rooney’s may not talk about it much in public but rest assured they have the pulse of their team. Ben may have helped the situation but he didn’t force their hand.
It’s widely assumed that Ben is pushing for Randy Fichtner to be named the new OC but Tomlin is clearly taking his time interviewing and researching multiple candidates. No timetable has been set and other than the Todd Haley interview, they’ve said nothing officially about any other candidates. Perhaps in the end it will be Randy, or maybe they are waiting on Kirby Wilson to recover from his injuries in the house fire. Maybe they go with Hue Jackson or Alex Van Pelt, or some name nobody is expecting. No matter who it is, Ben will give his input, and that’s how it should be, but in the end he’ll be ok with the decision and the Steelers will move forward.