View Full Version : Haley's effect on Ben

09-25-2012, 12:32 PM
To my untrained eye, Ben is playing much smarter this year. He's taking what the defense gives him and not always trying to force big plays when the initial read isn't there.

We haven't seen much of the deep ball yet, but he's been very efficient and the offense is benefitting from it. 8 TD passes and 1 INT, along with plenty of yards and a high completion percentage, have him as the 2nd rated passer in the league behind Ryan.

This offense will be nigh unstoppable if we can get any kind of running game going.

Fire Arians
09-25-2012, 01:40 PM
he does look like he's playing a lot smarter this year. if anything's positive about the first 3 games, it's ben playing at a high level and that will win us more games than not, imo

09-25-2012, 01:47 PM
he does look like he's playing a lot smarter this year. if anything's positive about the first 3 games, it's ben playing at a high level and that will win us more games than not, imo

I have to agree. He is also getting a better pocket presence. Stepping up and not scrambling around so much but when he needs to he bust out into vintage Big Ben.. Hopefully the trend continues!

09-25-2012, 02:54 PM
Anything, and I do mean anybody, is better that Ariens right now,
This is the final change Ben needs.
I just hope Ben embraces it, builds his skills upon it.
Oh sry, did I not say "hey, you're not Manning, you're just paid like him..."
Fine, he don't need to be, Ben just needs to be Ben. -it's that final big push baby -u can do it for us all.
I wanna see Haley's "effect" on the entire "O" (with Ben), 'cause that is what obviously needs to be addressed.
everything else is just "Glamour" magazine crap, with useless jamin' oooo , ahhhh,,,. ?
comon' already, ! get this "O" in line. ! On the hand, it may take Haley a year or 2 to finally get in stride - I dunno ?
and STOP makin' excuses 'cause of our Steelers "D".


09-25-2012, 04:50 PM
I still honestly think that if it wasn't or Arians, this team could have won 3 consecutive super bowls. 08-09-10.

Arians handicapped this team so much.

I am happy with Haley, just would like to see the running game pick it up.

09-25-2012, 11:59 PM
I still honestly think that if it wasn't or Arians, this team could have won 3 consecutive super bowls. 08-09-10.

Arians handicapped this team so much.

I am happy with Haley, just would like to see the running game pick it up.

Completely agree.

As far as Ben goes, he has the #2 QB rating right now and the play calling definitely has something to do with it. Quick passes, better designed screens and passes out of the backfield, hiding whether we are running or passing, and using Heath all contributes to that IMO. The O line is also pass blocking extremely well and that helps a lot. IMO Ben has always had this capability, it was just never used. When we had the Bus and/or Parker we ran the ball (good choice) and when we had Airhead we didn't game plan at all. Unless LeBeau starts calling some man coverage, then Ben will have the ball in his hands A LOT and will be our only chance at winning. He can't do it alone though as Sunday proved, and that was against a bottom feeder who got completely embarrased by another bottom feeder (Dolphins) the previous week.

09-26-2012, 09:36 AM
being in better shape is probably helping him as well. still waiting to see Rainey bust one. he's had some okay plays but some for losses or no gains as well

certainly not missing the backwards screens

GMU Steeler
09-26-2012, 11:18 AM
Ben's been great and I think Haley has had a lot to do with that. And I am real glad to see that not just as a Steelers fan but also because Todd is a cousin of a family friend and from what I am told he really got a raw deal on many levels in KC.

Hawaii 5-0
09-27-2012, 02:40 AM
Big Ben adapting to Haley's offense

September 27, 2012
The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - Ben Roethlisberger wasn't sandbagging. At least, not intentionally.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback really did have concerns about how long it would take to develop the rapport necessary to execute Todd Haley's gameplan without drawing the ire of his sometimes combustible new offensive coordinator.

Turns out, it took less than a month.

While the Steelers (1-2) are off to a sluggish start, the arranged marriage between Roethlisberger and Haley is blossoming. The quarterback ranks second in the NFL with a 109.2 rating and is tied for the league lead with eight touchdowns while completing 68 percent of his passes, five points above his career average.

So much for the concerns about whether Roethlisberger and Haley could co-exist. The two certainly look like they're on the same page through the season's first three weeks.

Whether he's running things out of the no-huddle, firing off a quick hitter to one of the deepest receiving corps in the league or using his legs to extend plays long enough to make something happen, Roethlisberger looks like he's been working with Haley six years, not six months.

"He's made very good decisions," Haley said. "When you see us in quick mode, when the ball is coming out on three-step timing, he's been tremendous."

Even if Roethlisberger's been forced to holster a bit of his inner gunslinger. Defenses have challenged him to stay patient, taking away the deep stuff and making Roethlisberger settle for shorter passes instead of allowing him to let it fly.

Rather than trust his arm, Roethlisberger is trusting the system. The results have been spectacular.

"I think he's playing as good as any quarterback in the league," wide receiver Mike Wallace said.

One who isn't afraid to just make things up as he goes. When Oakland went to press coverage on fourth down in the first quarter last Sunday, Roethlisberger used a hand signal held over from Bruce Arians' tenure as offensive coordinator to communicate with Wallace about a specific route.

Wallace turned the play into a first down, one of two instances Roethlisberger went old school during a 34-31 loss. The quarterback raised some eyebrows after his 384-yard, four-touchdown performance by hinting he ditched Haley's playbook in the second half.

Turns out, he didn't, clarifying on Tuesday he talked to Haley afterward about the hand signals, which are now a permanent part of the offense.

"I know there's some people out there that were saying that I'm resistant to Todd," Roethlisberger said. "It's one of those things, we went to Todd and it's in the playbook now."

Call it a show of the growing confidence Roethlisberger and Haley have in each other. At times, Roethlisberger has been almost surgical in his approach. Save for a couple of late-game gambles in a season-opening loss to Denver, the quarterback and the coordinator have been in sync.

"He knows when he's hearing my voice in his headset and giving him a call that I'm putting him in the best position for him to succeed," Haley said. "I have to trust him that when I make the call, he's going to make it work. At this point it's been really good and I expect it to continue."

Having a seemingly endless number of targets, helps. The only skill position player who hasn't caught at least one pass this season is rookie tight end David Paulson.

When defenses have put most of their attention on Pro Bowlers Wallace and Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger has no trouble hitting fullback Will Johnson wheeling out of the backfield. The team's third-longest play from scrimmage so far isn't a bomb to Wallace but a 26-yard toss from Roethlisberger to a player who wasn't even in the league a year ago.

"Ben's in complete control out there," left tackle Max Starks said. "Instead of trying to feel his way through and trying to understand this or that, when he goes out there, he knows what he wants to do."

Maybe it's just the final step in a nearly decade-long process that's seen Roethlisberger win a pair of Super Bowls but also make his fair share of headlines for his off-the-field transgressions.

The precocious kid who derailed a title defense in 2006 by wrecking his motor cycle and was suspended four games in 2010 for violating the league's personal conduct policy turned 30 last spring. He earned his bachelor's degree from Miami (Ohio) in May and is expecting his first child with wife Ashley this winter.

While not exactly thrilled with the way the team handled Arians' departure - the Steelers said Arians "retired" in February only to watch him get hired by the Indianapolis Colts a few weeks later - Roethlisberger didn't pout.

Though he and Haley aren't unlikely to be BFFs anytime soon, they're starting to produce the kind of numbers that are reminiscent of the eye-popping totals the Arizona Cardinals put up in 2007-08 when Haley was calling the plays and Kurt Warner was turning Larry Fitzgerald into a superstar.

The Cardinals ended that 2008 season in the Super Bowl, where all Haley could do is watch from the sideline as Roethlisberger led the game-winning touchdown drive in the final moments to give the Steelers their sixth championship.

Now Haley and Roethlisberger are on the same side in Pittsburgh's pursuit of a record seventh ring, the fiery coordinator and the sometimes stubborn quarterback creating harmony one play at a time.

"Ben can be explosive and he's off to that start right now and it's pretty awesome to see," Starks said. "It's awesome to see that maturation when he's on all cylinders."


Hawaii 5-0
09-30-2012, 07:25 PM
Big plays will be back in due time for the Steelers, Haley says

September 30, 2012
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The big play was a signature of the Steelers the past several years under former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. They did it as well as about anyone in the NFL.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and speedy receiver Mike Wallace developed a special chemistry. Wallace had a reception of 40 yards or more in six consecutive games last season, which was the longest streak in the league since 2000.

Antonio Brown, the receiver opposite Wallace, also demonstrated big-play capability with three receptions of 40 yards or more last season.

The offense has been effective this season, with a high-ranked passing game that has helped the unit possess the ball for an average of 36 minutes per game, but big plays have been absent from the team's repertoire under first-year coordinator Todd Haley.

The Steelers have one play of 30 yards or more in the first three games, a 37-yard touchdown pass to Wallace in the game against the New York Jets.

When it comes to big plays down the field, the Steelers are among the worst in the league. Twenty-seven of the other 32 NFL teams have recorded plays longer than 37 yards.

The longest play from scrimmage in the Denver game was a 27-yard reception by Brown.

The longest in the Raiders game were a pair of 22-yard receptions by Wallace. One was a touchdown that came on a broken play when Roethlisberger had to scramble out of the pocket.

Haley and his players aren't worried about the lack of big plays, though. They believe it's only a matter of time before they happen.

"I know we'll make them," Haley said. "We have the people to do it. We have the quarterback to do it. Those tend to come in bunches. I'm happy with the way we're moving the football. We're moving the chains. The big plays will come. We're not forcing the issue."

The Steelers own the No. 6 passing offense in the NFL and the No. 12 scoring offense. They have been able to move the ball and up and down the field, mostly by piling up the yardage through the intermediate passing game. They certainly haven't been doing it with the running game.

The longest run from scrimmage is 13 yards. Every other team in the league has a longer rushing play from scrimmage.

The intermediate passing game has been particularly effective. They had 16 plays that gained between 10 and 29 yards against the Raiders, all pass plays, all part of a 421-yard output by the offense.

They have 41 plays between 10 and 29 yards in the first three games. Those plays have helped the Steelers sustain drives and are among the reasons they have dominated the time of possession.

"A lot of different guys are being given the opportunity to make plays, not just one necessarily," Brown said. "When you get a collective effort, when everyone is making plays, then that's all that matters."

Roethlisberger said the past two opponents have played more zone defense than usual because they had injuries in their defensive backfield. The Jets were missing Pro-Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis in the game at Heinz Field two weeks ago. The Raiders were missing their two starting corners for the game in Oakland last week.

As a result, both teams were giving their cornerbacks help from their safeties.

"You feel like they've been taking it away," Roethlisberger said. "We called a couple of deep ones. Whether they weren't in the right defense or they doubled our deep guy ... We still have some opportunities to go deep."
Roethlisberger said Haley does not have as many deep passes in his playbook as Arians, but it's not a big difference.

The lack of a running game has something to do with it, too. Opposing defenses have not had to bring defenders near the line of scrimmage to stop the run. With starting running back Rashard Mendenhall likely to return for the upcoming Oct. 7 home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Wallace said the receivers will be able to stretch the field more.

"With [Mendenhall] back, we'll get more guys into the box," Wallace said. "He'll open up some big plays. I don't think we've been calling deep plays like that. Once coach gives us a little more opportunity, I think we'll do a good job with it."

Wallace believes that time is coming. He missed offseason workouts with his teammates and all training camp because of a contract holdout. Now that Haley is developing a better understanding of Wallace's game, Wallace believes the offense will continue to evolve.

"It's a feel thing," he said. "Even though coach has been here the whole time, I wasn't here. I think he's still feeling his players out. I think in a couple of more weeks he'll have a better grasp of what everyone can do. I think we'll try some different things. But right now, I like the way we're moving the ball, the time of possession.
We just have to get the wins."

Truth be told, the offense is near the bottom of the list when it comes to things coach Mike Tomlin should be concerned about as the team prepares for the Eagles. Haley has a few issues he would like to work out, including a better success rate on first downs, but for the most part he is pleased with the overall performance from his unit. He also praised Roethlisberger for going through his progressions and not forcing passes downfield when his receivers are covered.

"Most plays we have designed there is a shot aspect of it," Haley said. "If you're not taking the shot, it just means Ben is going through the reads properly and doesn't feel good about the shot and gets the ball to the second and third receiver. I think that's why you're seeing the ball spread around a good deal. A lot of it is what you're seeing on defense. If it's not there, the quarterback is taught to get the ball to the next guy, and he's doing a very good job of doing that."

Left out

There have been 63 plays from scrimmage of 40 yards or longer this season, but the Steelers are one of four teams without one.


Hawaii 5-0
10-09-2012, 01:54 AM
Steelers' passing game shortens up under Haley

OCTOBER 9, 2012
By JOHN DUDLEY, Erie Times-News

PITTSBURGH -- After four games, new coordinator Todd Haley's stamp on the Steelers' offense is becoming clear. Ben Roethlisberger is throwing fewer deep balls and the Steelers are getting fewer big plays. In Sunday's 16-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers' longest gain from scrimmage was 20 yards.

In their four games, the Steelers have had 12 plays covering 20 or more yards, putting them on pace for 48. They had 60 plays that long in 2011.

Roethlisberger is averaging 7.1 yards-per-pass attempt, nearly a full yard lower than in 2011, and his receivers are averaging 10.8 yards per catch, nearly two full yards below last season.

His 65.6 completion percentage is his highest since 2009.

One by-product of the shorter passing game is that receiver Mike Wallace has been less a focal point of the offense. Although Wallace has three touchdown catches, he caught only two passes for 17 yards Sunday and is averaging 13.2 yards per catch, five yards below his career average.

Wallace didn't speak with reporters after Sunday's game but said last week that he is "excited about the opportunities we're getting in the short passing game, but I'm ready to turn it up a little bit."

Roethlisberger said he understands Wallace's frustration and added that he hopes he remains patient as the new offense evolves.

"It's a frustrating day when you get a great defense because you want to do so much and there are so many plays you feel that you've left out there," Roethlisberger said. "That's what I just told him. We can be frustrated right now, but let's move on. And he'll move on. He'll be fine.

"He's frustrated because he holds himself to a high expectation, high standards. And that's good. You want that."

A more positive by-product of Haley's system is that Roethlisberger seems to be getting better protection. He wasn't sacked at all Sunday and has gone down nine times this season, putting him on pace for 36 sacks, which would be the second-lowest total since his rookie season and only the second time in the past six seasons in which he hasn't been sacked at least 40 times.

"We protected the quarterback," coach Mike Tomlin said.

Keeping Roethlisberger upright was a focal point of the decision to bring in Haley, whose system would allow Roethlisberger to dump off the ball more quickly to receivers on screens and quick outs and let them make plays in space.

A prime example was two plays to Rashard Mendenhall on quick outs, one a designed screen and one a checkdown, that resulted in a touchdown and another in a first down.

Both times Roethlisberger made a quick drop and got rid of the ball right away, never giving the Eagles' pass rush time to clamp down.

The 13-yard touchdown was ruled a lateral because the pass went backward, costing Roethlisberger what could have been one of his longer completions of the game.

"Yeah, I'm going to protest that," Roethlisberger said. "We're in Pittsburgh, so we call it a run."


10-09-2012, 07:20 AM
Zero sacks v. Philly. Arians would have had Ben in a bodycast. Early in the game, when he threw that little screen to Miller, I openly professed by man love for Todd Haley to my wife.

10-09-2012, 08:41 AM
I still honestly think that if it wasn't or Arians, this team could have won 3 consecutive super bowls. 08-09-10.

Arians handicapped this team so much.

I am happy with Haley, just would like to see the running game pick it up.He's working the running game in. He's not going to lose a football game to force the run. His best RB for the first 3 games was the third down and short yardage back with an injury that is obviously slowing him down. We don't know that Mendenhall is 100%. All we know is that he is healthy enough to play and he looks good like himself when he is carrying the ball, good and bad, (tuck the friggen ball away Mendy!). They may still be concerned with running the wheels off of him at this point.

10-09-2012, 03:49 PM
VERY GOOD!!!!!:tt03: :tt04: :tt02:

Fire Arians
10-09-2012, 04:02 PM
Zero sacks v. Philly. Arians would have had Ben in a bodycast. Early in the game, when he threw that little screen to Miller, I openly professed by man love for Todd Haley to my wife.

Bruce "I don't gameplan against defenses" Arians

10-09-2012, 11:40 PM
Bruce "I don't gameplan against defenses" Arians

If the defense can put forth that effort for the rest of the year, this is a Super Bowl contender, no doubt.

The early storm has been weathered. Time to hunker down for the 2nd quarter of the season.