Haley not concerned with Ben, offense
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 3:54 p.m.
Ben Roethlisberger has made no secret that he believes new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's playbook has been difficult to learn.
But apparently Roethlisberger has yet to voice those concerns to Haley.
Talking for the first time since Steelers' offseason practices started three weeks ago, Haley said Wednesday he hasn't sensed concern from Roethlisberger over the offense.
“At least (not) me personally,” Haley said. “Even the days when he hasn't practiced, he's over my shoulder, talking, commenting, discussing. That's what I've seen out of all the good quarterbacks — really good quarterbacks — I've been around.”
Roethlisberger has sat out or missed three practices. He was absent yesterday because of what Haley said was a personal matter.
Still, Haley said he likes how Roethlisberger hasprogressed.
“He is learning and is concentrating and working hard on it,” Haley said. “He is obviously a great player and will continue to be a great player.”
Haley's biggest concern is with the difference in terminology. To avoid potential problems, Haley went through the team's old playbook and his during the offseason to ensure there would be no plays “that guys are having to translate language-to-language and concept-to-concept.”
“Terminology is the issue, really,” Haley said. “Philosophically, you spell out to your guys how you want to play football, and then it is about them understanding the language. We coaches are creatures of habit. You can go around the league and hear a lot of the same words, but the problem is when they don't mean the same thing.”
Haley said he believes repetition is the biggest asset to learning an offense. Minicamp will be the third time Haley's offense will be installed within a span of a month. Training camp will be the fourth and final time.
“We have a long way to go, but through this stage I feel good about where we are,” Haley said. “I think our guys feel good about where we are.”
Haley addressed other topics:
• About changing the identity of the offense: “We are going to play at our strengths, and what we do well, we are going to try to do even better.”
• About designing the offense to keep Roethlisberger healthy: “One of his greatest weapons is his ability to make plays when things break down. And that will put him in duress at times. But at the same time, it's one of the best things he does, and it's what separates him from all of the other guys in the league, for the most part. So you don't want to take that great ability away from him.”
• About being reserved during organized team activities: “I don't flip that switch until a little later. This is offseason for them. (Time) to just learn and get in shape, get in condition, and then in training camp we'll pick it up a notch.”
• About Mike Wallace picking up the system quickly when he arrives at training camp: “He'll be behind a little bit, but he has to pick it up. We'll make sure that occurs.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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