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mesaSteeler
02-12-2012, 12:43 AM
Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

By Joe Starkey
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Steelers' clumsy coordinator shuffle clearly was aimed at making one man a lot less comfortable.

The quarterback.

That is what makes this drama so compelling.

How does Ben Roethlisberger respond to getting slapped around a little? The organization that granted him nearly unlimited power to play as he saw fit -- heck, to play when he saw fit after his ankle injury -- is trying to reclaim a portion of said power.

And there is no delicate way to do that.

So get your popcorn ready. It's either going to work to spectacular results or blow up in their faces.

Applaud the high-risk, high-reward philosophy that has often served the Steelers well. Question their methods. Enjoy the cabaret.

In hindsight, one can see the power-strip process beginning the day after the loss in Denver, when coach Mike Tomlin was asked how much say Roethlisberger would have in whether coordinator Bruce Arians was retained.

"None," Tomlin said, sharply.

Days later, team president Art Rooney II said he'd like to see Roethlisberger "tweak" his game.

The Steelers then "shocked" Roethlisberger -- his word, which he has used repeatedly -- by firing his friend Arians in the most insulting way imaginable.

They tried to pass off the move as a "retirement," but before Arians could collect his gold watch, he was working again -- now as the Indianapolis Colts' offensive coordinator.

Kardashian-Humphries marriage: 72 days.

Arians retirement: eight days.

Steelers' silence: priceless.

We still don't know for sure who orchestrated Arians' ouster. The Steelers have not seen fit to clear up the confusion.

Maybe Rooney and Tomlin were more up front about it with Roethlisberger than they have been with the public. The way things are going, though, you have to wonder if they've even told him yet.

Tomlin didn't exactly find a wallflower to replace Arians, either.

Quite the opposite: He brought in Haley's comet.

And you don't think this organization wanted to rock Ben's world?

I like hard-core Todd Haley's resume. He has been successful using different approaches. Lots of pass. Lots of run. He also isn't afraid to get in players' faces, and elite ones such as Larry Fitzgerald swear by him (and often swore at him).

But that doesn't mean this will be a slam dunk. There is no predicting the result when massive egos collide.

For now, Roethlisberger and Haley will apparently spend some time marking their territory.

Haley, for example, did not seek out Roethlisberger upon showing up at Steelers headquarters. Here's hoping they meet sometime before the season opener.

Roethlisberger upstaged Haley's introductory news conference Thursday by choosing an hour earlier to give his first extended interview since the Arians firing.

It really is great theater.

It's a tightrope walk for the Steelers, too, because we're talking about the meal ticket here.

The Steelers need Roethlisberger way more than he needs them.

Remember, Roethlisberger is the main reason this franchise snapped its quarter-century Super Bowl drought. It had gone 25 years without a championship-level quarterback.

He also is the primary reason Tomlin has become a top-tier NFL coach making millions of dollars.

Everybody knows it's a quarterbacks league. Without one, a coach is doomed. With a great one, he almost can't help but thrive. Just ask Ken Whisenhunt.

And be sure of this: Roethlisberger will be the reason Haley does -- or does not -- become a head coach again.

It all depends on how this marriage works out.

I assume Haley is smart enough to be open to the ad-lib style that makes Roethlisberger unique. But the Steelers also believe Ben needs to play a tamer, smarter game. They want him to stay upright for the next several years (blockers, anyone?). They want him to get rid of the ball faster.

That is understandable. Commendable, even.

Was this the right way to go about it?

Time will tell. It always does.

Get your popcorn ready.

Joe Starkey can be reached at jraystarkey@gmail.com or

Read more: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_781267.html#ixzz1m8wuuazB

kan_t
02-12-2012, 01:53 AM
The way the media spin it, I think Ben is going to kill Haley.

OX1947
02-12-2012, 03:16 AM
First of all, Big Ben isn't that smart. He is a cliche machine for a reason. He is one of the worst interviews I have ever seen. Second, and most importantly, Rooney's know exactly what they are doing. When Art II says Ben needs to tweak his game, that means STOP running the **** around for 10 secs every other play. Once in a while, fine, but this jungle ball is costing us games where he isn't playing healthy.

ETL
02-12-2012, 09:21 AM
Beware of "WTF" Haley. I predict he will chew Ben alive and spit out his bones. Haley wins this one.

FrancoLambert
02-12-2012, 10:04 AM
The Steelers decide that changes are necessary to improve and it becomes a "power struggle?"
The offense, terribly inconsistent and at the same time consistently inefficient, clearly needed a new direction.
The OC who couldn't/wouldn't adjust schemes or attack modes based on matchups or personnel needed to be replaced.
The Steeler mistake was calling it a "retirement," it should have been labeled " we're going in a different direction."
There's concern that our QB will pout and not buy in to Haley's hire and reputation for accountability.
Ben's approach and attitude (which has been so-so) will reveal a lot about how much he has "changed."
Ben's game doesn't need to be " tweaked?" Remember the Browns game when Ben injured his ankle....that play should have ended a good 5 seconds before he was hurt.
If he's "all about winning" time will tell for sure. Stop the whining. Your golfing, card-playing buddy is gone.
The offense needs to improve.......work towards that end.........period.

Edman
02-12-2012, 10:46 AM
You can scream "Fix the O-Line" until you're blue in the face. The O-Line needs improvement, but don't ask for the impossible. They're not going to block a pass rush for for 6-7 seconds. The average time Ben spends holding onto the ball playing Cowboy. Extending the play is great. But Ben has regressed into relying on it all the time. We saw against New England that Ben can be a quick release guy. But we haven't seen it since. So it makes you wonder if it's inability or plain unwillingness.

Ricco Suavez
02-12-2012, 10:52 AM
First of all, Big Ben isn't that smart. He is a cliche machine for a reason. He is one of the worst interviews I have ever seen. Second, and most importantly, Rooney's know exactly what they are doing. When Art II says Ben needs to tweak his game, that means STOP running the **** around for 10 secs every other play. Once in a while, fine, but this jungle ball is costing us games where he isn't playing healthy.

You would not call Brady "not smart" yet he is the cliche speaker supreme. These guys know that the media is just waiting to pounce on some Freudian slip. This article has had more twists and spins in it than a Frankie Avalon 60's movie.

Curtain_of_Steel
02-12-2012, 11:19 AM
Well i guess slowly the fact that the Rooneys don't walk on water will slowly come out thaty are just like the other owners, they have just been tefloned over the years, ;ol

I still do not see a power struggle occurring. If they want to call out Ben for play that for the most part is not his fault, than put an OLINE in front him that can actually stop someone.

Steelers are slowly getting in a very good cap position. With some key cuts and a couple restructuring, they can easily sign to Oline players. The problem is, the steelers don't sign Oline players, lol. Because they think they can draft oline players, lol. They need to build 1 side of the line, preferrably the blind side. Than keep the 2 best remaining for other side and a couple back ups.

If they want Ben to stay in the pocket and not move around, than he will be sacked 100 times in 2012.

Kingmagyar
02-12-2012, 12:29 PM
Love Starkey calling him "Haley's Comet" Catchy name.

TRH
02-12-2012, 01:44 PM
Oh, for crying out loud. There's no basis for facts about any of this.

The only DRAMA going on is the one that the foolish Pittsburgh beat writers are entirely stirring up. STOP ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tony hipchest
02-12-2012, 02:48 PM
Oh, for crying out loud. There's no basis for facts about any of this.

The only DRAMA going on is the one that the foolish Pittsburgh beat writers are entirely stirring up. STOP ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yeah its sensacionalism at its finest.

the early exit aberation playoff game is dead and buried. theres no late playoff exit to talk about.

all of our injured players or players on the cusp of retirement, may not be wanted back anyways.

the draft is still 2 months away and we have no pressing needs at the sexy skill positions worth talking about.

other than arians rightfully getting the boot (which many people have been expecting for the past 2 seasons anyways) there is absolutely nothing for them to write about and sell papers.

they pretty much have no other option other than to create smoke where there is no fire.

LVSteelersfan
02-12-2012, 04:00 PM
yeah its sensacionalism at its finest.

the early exit aberation playoff game is dead and buried. theres no late playoff exit to talk about.

all of our injured players or players on the cusp of retirement, may not be wanted back anyways.

the draft is still 2 months away and we have no pressing needs at the sexy skill positions worth talking about.

other than arians rightfully getting the boot (which many people have been expecting for the past 2 seasons anyways) there is absolutely nothing for them to write about and sell papers.

they pretty much have no other option other than to create smoke where there is no fire.

They need to be writing about the Penguins and leave the Steelers alone now that the season is over. Report on the salary cap stuff which is relevant but leave alone the relationship between Ben and Haley until they actually start working together. This is just a bunch of useless conjecture at this point in time. The Steelers are well on their way to solving the salary cap. That is news I want to read about.

FrancoLambert
02-12-2012, 04:47 PM
No power strugggle here. Just a tweak to Ben and Tomlin from management (certainly from the Rooneys but what about Colbert).

Speaking of which, where did Colbert stand on either keeping or firing BA?

I can't recall much discussion about his position......any thoughts?

Michael Vick's Dog
02-12-2012, 11:10 PM
Oh, for crying out loud. There's no basis for facts about any of this.

The only DRAMA going on is the one that the foolish Pittsburgh beat writers are entirely stirring up. STOP ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree.

tanda10506
02-13-2012, 01:11 AM
First of all, Big Ben isn't that smart. He is a cliche machine for a reason. He is one of the worst interviews I have ever seen. Second, and most importantly, Rooney's know exactly what they are doing. When Art II says Ben needs to tweak his game, that means STOP running the **** around for 10 secs every other play. Once in a while, fine, but this jungle ball is costing us games where he isn't playing healthy.

Ben "runs around" (and makes great plays doing it) because he is being chased, not for the hell of it. Rooney knows that and if he doesnt then we have bigger problems. So many say that Rooney is the owner and Ben is just another player and how Ben is not owed anything, fact is the Steelers cant win a championship without him and would have 4 titles without him, not 6. Rooney understands that also, he's not doing what he's doing to piss Ben off, he just wants Ben to play at his highest level. The "jungle ball" is actually what won is many games, especially in the 4th quarter and often times he was injured. As far as Hailey "winning" the "war" with Ben, thats a no. 2x SB champ franchise QB's do not get "schooled" by guys who havent won jack sh*t. All that said, Ben said it wont be a problem as did Haley, all these future problems are based on media drama.

zcoop
02-13-2012, 10:03 AM
Ben "runs around" (and makes great plays doing it) because he is being chased, not for the hell of it. Rooney knows that and if he doesnt then we have bigger problems. So many say that Rooney is the owner and Ben is just another player and how Ben is not owed anything, fact is the Steelers cant win a championship without him and would have 4 titles without him, not 6. Rooney understands that also, he's not doing what he's doing to piss Ben off, he just wants Ben to play at his highest level. The "jungle ball" is actually what won is many games, especially in the 4th quarter and often times he was injured. As far as Hailey "winning" the "war" with Ben, thats a no. 2x SB champ franchise QB's do not get "schooled" by guys who havent won jack sh*t. All that said, Ben said it wont be a problem as did Haley, all these future problems are based on media drama.

I keep reading this term "Jungle Ball" here. Could someone who uses it tell me what the hell it means? I've been around football for a half century and have never heard of it until now. What the hell does it mean?

Thanks in advance for your definition.

tony hipchest
02-13-2012, 10:06 AM
I keep reading this term "Jungle Ball" here. Could someone who uses it tell me what the hell it means? I've been around football for a half century and have never heard of it until now. What the hell does it mean?

Thanks in advance for your definition.

"street ball" or unorganized playground ball, where there are no real plays, everyone just run around and get open.

zcoop
02-13-2012, 10:10 AM
"street ball" or unorganized playground ball, where there are no real plays, everyone just run around and get open.

Thanks, in other words Sandlot ball.

tony hipchest
02-13-2012, 10:11 AM
exactamundo!

by calling it "jungle ball" i think they are just implying that ben a giant chimpanzee who is incapable of thinking or surviving w/o the uber genius Saint Father Arians.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-13-2012, 10:31 AM
You can scream "Fix the O-Line" until you're blue in the face. The O-Line needs improvement, but don't ask for the impossible. They're not going to block a pass rush for for 6-7 seconds. The average time Ben spends holding onto the ball playing Cowboy. Extending the play is great. But Ben has regressed into relying on it all the time. We saw against New England that Ben can be a quick release guy. But we haven't seen it since. So it makes you wonder if it's inability or plain unwillingness.

Interesting thought. Is it scheme or the player that doesnt allow for the ball to be released quickly in the Steelers past offense?

Edman
02-13-2012, 10:49 AM
Interesting thought. Is it scheme or the player that doesnt allow for the ball to be released quickly in the Steelers past offense?

It's scheme. Airhead is a jackass.

steelfury02
02-13-2012, 12:42 PM
3rd and 1, empty set

Bruce: Everyone run at least a 20 to 30 yard route

Ben: Yea - they'll be expecting us to go for the easy first down

Mike: Uh, guys - you do realize that if you blow this down our defense will be on the field yet again. We're only up by a touchdown and at least a field goal would give us some breathing room

Rooney: I second that statement

Bruce: My statement, right?

Rooney: You're still here?

3rd and 1 empty sets says it all ladies and gents - combine it with pressure and long developing routes and there you have it. Not too hard to figure out.

Ben just doesn't want to admit that he is getting beat up and is in fact slowing down.

Fire Arians
02-13-2012, 12:47 PM
WHAT POWER STRUGGLE, THEY DIDNT EVEN ****ING MEET YET FOR GODS SAKE

tanda10506
02-13-2012, 02:17 PM
exactamundo!

by calling it "jungle ball" i think they are just implying that ben a giant chimpanzee who is incapable of thinking or surviving w/o the uber genius Saint Father Arians.
:rofl:

QCbeauBlak
02-13-2012, 04:56 PM
These trash stories are REALLY piling up now. It's funny because everyone knows this isn't the Cowboys or Jets; Steelers aren't about all the drama and hype. But these writers finally see that this team is going through transition and they want to get all NY media on us all the sudden?

c'mon son..

A lot of people want to make everything out like a soap drama, but can't we just take answers at face value and keep it moving? Tomlin shoots straight, Colbert tries to shoot straight but it's kind of hard when you're constantly asked about decisions in the works or things that just have to stay under wraps til the appropriate time. Ben is the only diva and WE ALL know that for sure. But Ben will be okay. Like we are all seeing with Payton now, Ben is a PLAYER and his "opinion" isn't worth a damn. He will get with it or look like a fool if he under performs.. total none story..

HAWK
02-13-2012, 04:59 PM
Interesting thought. Is it scheme or the player that doesnt allow for the ball to be released quickly in the Steelers past offense?

It's gotta be scheme.



As far as the "power struggle" I'm starting to feel sorry for Ben and Haley. The media have already spoken for them and everyone already hates each other.

If I were either of them the first thing I'd say is I'm sorry the media has tried to make me/you look like a$$holes. Now let's work.

Atlanta Dan
02-13-2012, 07:45 PM
This story is not going away - national media has picked up on it based on this CBS Sportsline story

Rooney II's meddling with Tomlin's staff is very un-Steelers-like

There have been cracks in the Steeler veneer, but not like this. The current owner of the team, Art Rooney II, has made Tomlin appear weak by forcing changes on his staff.

Rooney II by many accounts is a good man like the Rooneys before him, but there might be a little Jerry Jones in him. Rooney was quoted after the season ended as saying he wanted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to "tweak his game." Not sure what that means, but Roethlisberger has Super Bowl appearances and is one of the elite throwers in the sport. Just can't see John Mara telling Eli Manning to tweak his game.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/17245562/rooney-iis-meddling-with-tomlins-coaching-staff-is-shockingly-unsteelerslike

Of course the author of this piece says "the offense wasn't the problem" so go figure how much he knows:noidea:

tony hipchest
02-13-2012, 07:56 PM
This story is not going away - national media has picked up on it based on this CBS Sportsline story

Just can't see John Mara telling Eli Manning to tweak his game.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/17245562/rooney-iis-meddling-with-tomlins-coaching-staff-is-shockingly-unsteelerslike

Of course the author of this piece says "the offense wasn't the problem" so go figure how much he knows:noidea:

it seems all the national media is running with this. of course the lazy author doesnt know what "tweak his game" means cause he cant even recognize how eli has tweaked HIS.

the biggest change in eli is that while he was an interception machine last year and early this season, he now gets rid of the ball W?O throwing interceptions and he doesnt get sacked 50 times in a season, losing fumbles 8 times.

THATS why they won a superbowl. i can imagine mara might have something to say (namely by firing coughlin) if eli kept up his old act, and was getting sacked running around like a headless chicken 8 times a game.

stb_steeler
02-13-2012, 08:19 PM
"street ball" or unorganized playground ball, where there are no real plays, everyone just run around and get open.

Also known as dark ball.....playing at night with no lights! :toofunny:

zcoop
02-13-2012, 08:28 PM
This story is not going away - national media has picked up on it based on this CBS Sportsline story

Rooney II's meddling with Tomlin's staff is very un-Steelers-like

There have been cracks in the Steeler veneer, but not like this. The current owner of the team, Art Rooney II, has made Tomlin appear weak by forcing changes on his staff.

Rooney II by many accounts is a good man like the Rooneys before him, but there might be a little Jerry Jones in him. Rooney was quoted after the season ended as saying he wanted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to "tweak his game." Not sure what that means, but Roethlisberger has Super Bowl appearances and is one of the elite throwers in the sport. Just can't see John Mara telling Eli Manning to tweak his game.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/17245562/rooney-iis-meddling-with-tomlins-coaching-staff-is-shockingly-unsteelerslike

Of course the author of this piece says "the offense wasn't the problem" so go figure how much he knows:noidea:

It won't die because our organization needs to come clean. Arians was fired, not retired and Rooney did the firing. It's his team but he needs to come clean and cut the shit when he trumps his staff. The media is like a shark, when it smell blood, there is a frenzy.

We need to put this shit to rest so we can concentrate on the business.

tony hipchest
02-13-2012, 09:01 PM
the rooneys have nothing to come clean about. everybody knows bruce has talked about retiring in the past coupla years and was on a 1 year contract. he wasnt offered a new one. end of story.

Art II was the first to squash the rumors of bruces retirement and put it out there that he simply wasnt extended a contract for his services.

simple.

jim wexel has been going off on the local media and especially mike florio. it definitely makes for some good twitter reading. here one of the posters on his site makes a very valid point-

James C Wexell@jimwexell

Great post on SCI board after PTI parroted Haley-shoved-down-throat nonsense: "Lazy local speculating turns into national opinion making."

this shit has gone viral. does anyone really care who in the NYJ organization sent brian shottenheimer packing? sure he accepted a new job, but it was made pretty clear to him he wouldnt have one in NYC if he didnt.

zcoop
02-13-2012, 09:30 PM
the rooneys have nothing to come clean about. everybody knows bruce has talked about retiring in the past coupla years and was on a 1 year contract. he wasnt offered a new one. end of story.

Art II was the first to squash the rumors of bruces retirement and put it out there that he simply wasnt extended a contract for his services.

simple.

jim wexel has been going off on the local media and especially mike florio. it definitely makes for some good twitter reading. here one of the posters on his site makes a very valid point-



this shit has gone viral. does anyone really care who in the NYJ organization sent brian shottenheimer packing? sure he accepted a new job, but it was made pretty clear to him he wouldnt have one in NYC if he didnt.

It's gonna be viral for a while playa.