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mesaSteeler
01-27-2009, 08:14 AM
Truth: Whisenhunt, Roethlisberger not friends
Whisenhunt, Roethlisberger relationship is hard to fathom
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/2009/01/27/20090127bickley0127.html
by Dan Bickley - Jan. 27, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

TAMPA - The truth isn't always told at the Super Bowl.

Anquan Boldin won't tell you how much he despises upper management. Russ Grimm won't admit he was jerked around by the Steelers or that he'd like to squash his former employers like a bug on the windshield of his motorcycle. And if you didn't know any better, you'd think that Ken Whisenhunt and Ben Roethlisberger actually like each other.

They do not. Welcome to the Grudge Bowl.

"I certainly respect the player he's grown into," Whisenhunt said.

The dynamics of this chilly relationship are intriguing. Whisenhunt was the Steelers' offensive coordinator for three years and by definition worked closely with Roethlisberger. He helped Roethlisberger develop quickly, notching a 13-0 record as a rookie starter. The two won a Super Bowl the next year. And then the relationship unraveled.

One month after Whisenhunt was hired in Arizona, the new Cardinals coach was attending the NFL combine in Indianapolis. He was asked about Roethlisberger's trauma-filled season in 2006, which included a motorcycle accident, an appendectomy and a concussion.

"I just saw physically in the pocket there were some things you could just sense he wasn't as confident as he was the year before," Whisenhunt said. "A lot of that I think was because of recovering from the injuries and having some doubts of whether he was 100 percent or not."

That's all Whisenhunt said. That's all it took.

Since then, Roethlisberger has made it clear that he doesn't care for Whisenhunt's methods or his play calling. He said he disagreed with his former offensive coordinator on a lot of things during their time in Pittsburgh. He called Whisenhunt's offense "predictable." He even sympathized with Matt Leinart when the Cardinals' former starting quarterback was enduring some tough love from the coaching staff.

Neither man acknowledged the other when the Steelers came to Glendale in 2007. No handshakes, no hugs, nothing. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that new Steelers coach Mike Tomlin even met with Roethlisberger before that game, just to make sure his quarterback didn't say anything else outrageous.

However, on Monday there either was a sudden thaw in the relationship or the Steelers quarterback opted for a bit of political correctness.

Roethlisberger actually was complimentary toward his former boss, saying, "We are better than straight," and "We text message after games, 'Good job,' " and "It really is true that there is nothing (bad) between us."

If there really is a feud, it seems a bit one-sided and rather silly.

Whisenhunt is a demanding coach unafraid to challenge his quarterbacks. It's why a fumble-prone Kurt Warner was sleeping with a football during the off-season and why Leinart has had his feelings bruised. He's a demanding coach with high standards. He doesn't cuddle. He doesn't coddle.

Besides, the details are irrelevant. All that matters is if the Cardinals can benefit from this strained relationship, and the idea has precedent.

In 2003, then-Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden jumped into his team's last Super Bowl practice and served as the scout-team quarterback. Gruden was so familiar with the opposing quarterback, Oakland's Rich Gannon, that he could imitate all his tendencies.

Gannon was intercepted five times the next day, and after the game, Tampa Bay defenders gushed about how well prepared they were for Gannon's cadence, his preferences and where he liked to go with the football.

We all know Whisenhunt is beyond smart. He's an intellectual with a civil-engineering degree. He must know every bad habit Roethlisberger brings to the football field.

Alas, it won't matter much in this case. Roethlisberger is a different player now. The Steelers are a smash-mouth team that doesn't rely solely on the arm of its quarterback. And all of Whisenhunt's acumen on the subject won't bring Big Ben down when he's scrambling.

Good news is, Whisenhunt also has a lot of experience with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the architect of the Steelers' punishing 3-4 defense and a man Whisenhunt says he loves. That information is going to come in handy.

Reach Bickley at dan.bickley@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-8253. Check out his online column at bickley.azcentral.com.

HometownGal
01-27-2009, 08:19 AM
What's the big deal if Ben and Wiz don't like each other? :noidea:

Good news is, Whisenhunt also has a lot of experience with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the architect of the Steelers' punishing 3-4 defense and a man Whisenhunt says he loves. That information is going to come in handy.


One sided reporting from Arizona, as usual. They seem to forget that Lebeau knows Wis, too, and THAT information is going to come in handy.

fansince'76
01-27-2009, 08:37 AM
So Ben and Whiz aren't the best of buddies? Since when is this news? Well, I guess it is news if you just started paying attention to everything about 3 weeks ago.

markymarc
01-27-2009, 09:47 AM
Oh great another article on how Ben and Whiz aren't best buddies and how Whiz knows so much about Ben and LeBeau's defense. I so can't wait for Sunday and Ben and LeBeau shut up all of these idiots.

tony hipchest
01-27-2009, 12:01 PM
great, another article trying to paint ben as an asshole.

ben is only 26 years old. to put that in perspective, joe flacco is 24.

ben has admitted doing alot of maturing in the past few years and his experience with whiz is part of that. i think both coach and player recognize that.

if theres anything ben regrets its probably snubbing whiz before and after last years match up.

i think that was more of a poor attemt to detatch emotions and keep it business like and professional. it backfired and kinda had him looking like a primadonna.

live and learn

RoethlisBURGHer
01-27-2009, 12:16 PM
Did Whisenhut run a predictable offense in Pittsburgh? Yeah, he did. Part of that was his play calls, part of that was what he knew Cowher wanted.

Truth is, they both held Ben back. Cowher did it, and Whisenhut did it by never attempting to get more control of the offense. I don't think either of them trusted Big Ben.

And it's not like every offensive quarterback and QB get along anyhow...or wide reciever for that matter, look ar Boldin and his coordinator's sideline spat.

I don't think that it's any coincidence that the year after Cowher and Whiz left, Ben through a career high 32 TD's and a career low 11 INT's...both better than Peyton Manning and both numbers only bested by Tom Brady's record season.

Dino 6 Rings
01-27-2009, 01:08 PM
I don't really give a flying fck about this story.

Either Ben does great and has great stats in the Super Bowl this year and we win, or he has a horrible game and we win anyway, or the worst happens...I don't think the Relationship or lack of a relationship between these two men will have any bearing on the game.

Can their Left Tackle get away with Neck Holds for an entire game against Harrison, can their not so great Center, control Hampton alone? Can their Receivers hold on to the ball when they are getting hit harder they have been hit all season? Those are the things that will matter.

Can their Dline stop Willie Parker? Can their Secondary cover, Miller, Ward, Holmes, Washington and spy Moore on 3rd downs? Can they tackle? Can they break tackles? Can they get to Ben? Can they actually tackle him or will they allow him to get out of the pocket and make historic Big Ben Plays?

Can Kurt out think Lebeau? Can Troy out play Fitz? Can Taylor cover for more than 6 seconds? Can our D stuff their Run? Can our Oline pound the ball on 2nd and short?

Can we cover kicks? Can they cover kicks?

These are the things that matter.

Nothing else.

stillers4me
01-27-2009, 01:12 PM
Ben has a good relationship with Tomlin. That's all that counts.

SteelersinCA
01-27-2009, 01:24 PM
I don't really give a flying fck about this story.



:tt02::tt02:

DACEB
01-27-2009, 02:05 PM
All that matters is if the Cardinals can benefit from this strained relationship, and the idea has precedent.

In 2003, then-Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden jumped into his team's last Super Bowl practice and served as the scout-team quarterback. Gruden was so familiar with the opposing quarterback, Oakland's Rich Gannon, that he could imitate all his tendencies.

Gannon was intercepted five times the next day, and after the game, Tampa Bay defenders gushed about how well prepared they were for Gannon's cadence, his preferences and where he liked to go with the football.

We all know Whisenhunt is beyond smart. He's an intellectual with a civil-engineering degree. He must know every bad habit Roethlisberger brings to the football field.

This coupled with the fact that Ben wants to prove himself after the last SB performance has me a tad uneasy.

Pentheon
01-27-2009, 04:09 PM
Alot of peoples offense are predictable..whisenhunt was predictable, and I think arians is too with the run run pass scheme alot of the time...

We get through it though and its cool they gettin along now, I like em both.