Ben Roethlisberger had yet to meet with Todd Haley but had some interesting things to say in an interview with the Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette on Thursday.
Ben said he’s received numerous calls and texts from colleagues around the NFL about their thoughts on Haley. “Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they’re letting me know what their interaction with him was — good, bad and indifferent. I’ve heard a lot of things and I’m looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion.”
Big Ben spoke again about how he was shocked that Bruce Arians was not retained but admits Coach Tomlin has kept him in the loop with progress on candidates. How much “in the loop” means is up for debate but he also said he had no input on the decision. Tomlin specified as much in his season ending presser when he was asked that very question, and his response was “none.Many fans debate whether or not Ben should have any input at all regardless of the situation. I personally think your franchise Quarterback should have some input into the decision but obviously not have the final say. The Rooney’s run this team no matter what but Mike Tomlin isn’t just the figurehead that many think he is. He specified as much today at Haley’s press conference, referencing several times “I” and “me” when talking about his search over the last few weeks. It was obvious that he seemed pleased with the hiring of Haley by the smile on his face as he stood off to the side listening to his new coordinator address the Pittsburgh media for the first time. Judging by Tomlin’s introduction of Haley, you get the impressions that he’s fully aware of the recent media storms about Art Rooney II wanting Haley more than he did, etc. so he wanted to put that to rest. It’s no secret that Mike Tomlin doesn’t enjoy talking to the media very much but clearly he took advantage of the situation today to set the record straight.
By reading this interview, which you can see for yourself in it’s entirety here, Ben seems somewhat uneasy in his comments. “I would hate to just throw everything out and start over because I feel it would set us back two or three years because these guys are just starting to get it.” If you’re one who like to try and read between the lines then I’m sure you’re having a field day with that!
Having said that though, Ben is saying the right things for the most part and just wants some information and direction on how things will run going forward. I would too if I were him. They’ve got all offseason to work on the direction of the offense and get familiar with each other. It’s too early to say how successful they will be right now; the official hiring was just announced on Thursday. As things move forward though we’ll be watching for any new information coming out of the players on how the progress is going.