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mesaSteeler
05-26-2012, 03:46 PM
Pope gives Haley playbook his blessing
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pope-gives-haley-playbook-his-blessing/article_41257ce6-a661-11e1-badf-001a4bcf6878.html
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 8:00 am | Updated: 4:14 pm, Fri May 25, 2012.

By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | 0 comments

PITTSBURGH – Leonard Pope has no doubts that Todd Haley’s offense will work. He’s sure of that because he’s experienced it firsthand.

A 6-foot-8 tight end signed by the Steelers during agency, Pope played in Kansas City the past three years when Haley was the Chiefs’ head coach. He was there in 2010 when KC had a quarterback (Matt Cassel), running back (Jamaal Charles) and wide receiver (Dewayne Bowe) go to the Pro Bowl.

Before that, Pope played in Arizona when Haley was the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator.

“A lot of guys might be having a hard time learning the playbook right now,” Pope said. “But we’re early in OTAs. It may be different from what they’ve done here in the past, especially the terminology part. But it’s still football.”

This week as the Steelers took part in the first three of 10 organized team activity workouts, Haley’s playoff book received a lot of attention. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger used the word “frustrating” to describe the transition from former O.C. Bruce Arians to Haley.

However, Pope says there’s nothing to worry about. In time, the Steelers’ offensive players will learn the terminology and understand the concepts.

“Todd knows what he’s doing,” Pope said. “Will we be more of a running team than the Steelers have been in the past? Will we throw it more? I don’t know. But I will say that Todd will know what his best options are each game and he will use them to the best of his ability.”

Terminology aside, there have already been some noticeable changes offensively.

There seems to be an extra emphasis on the running backs, not only with rushing the football, but also catching it.

For the wide receivers, they’re running different routes than they did during the five-year Arians era.

And Haley definitely has plans to use a fullback, something Arians rarely did. Back-up tight end David Johnson is now strictly a fullback.

"It's tough on everybody to learn a new offense and to learn a new system and new verbiage. We're just trying to get the hang of it,” running back Isaac Redman said. “This new offense is supposed to be easier on the offensive line, and we have a couple of new O-linemen coming in, so hopefully that will open it up.

"We're trying to get the ball to the running backs a little more this year, so we’ll see how that goes.”

“I’m loving the offense right now,” added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. “It’s based off play action. We have a lot more of the offense to put in, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

Because of his close relationship with Arians, Roethlisberger was upset when the Steelers decided to change offensive coordinators. After he got his hands on Haley’s playbook, Roethlisberger likened it to the Rosetta Stone. This week due to reports of friction between the star QB and the new O.C., Roethlisberger told the media that “there’s no trouble between us.”

Offensive lineman Willie Colon, who’s been switched from tackle to guard, believes the change will be good.

“I am not against change,” he said. “It helps us explore different dynamics of what this offense can be. We know we can be a running team. We have dynamic receivers and a great quarterback.

“From just being around (Haley), you can tell he's a passionate and strong-minded coach. He brings a great sense of balance. That’s going to feed both our strengths, so that’s going to be exciting.”

© 2012 Timesonline.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Steelersfan87
05-26-2012, 07:20 PM
“A lot of guys might be having a hard time learning the playbook right now,” Pope said.

...

"It's tough on everybody to learn a new offense and to learn a new system and new verbiage. We're just trying to get the hang of it,” running back Isaac Redman said.

:eyecrazy:

tony hipchest
05-26-2012, 07:30 PM
“A lot of guys might be having a hard time learning the playbook right now [i.e. ben and redman],” Pope said. “But we’re early in OTAs. It may be different from what they’ve done here in the past, especially the terminology part. But it’s still football.”

:hatsoff:

redman i can understand... kinda. he is barely a shade brighter than willie parker, and far from batch or mendenhall on the IQ scale.

if QB is exponentially more difficult position to learn a new playbook, then RB is BY FAR the simplest. see hole. hit hole.

now he will be asked to run a route or 2 or be replaced on those downs with one of our backs that is probably more capable.