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Old 02-11-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

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/pitt...#ixzz1m8wuuazB
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

The way the media spin it, I think Ben is going to kill Haley.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

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.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

Beware of "WTF" Haley. I predict he will chew Ben alive and spit out his bones. Haley wins this one.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

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.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

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.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

Quote:
Originally Posted by OX1947 View Post
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.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

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.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

Love Starkey calling him "Haley's Comet" Catchy name.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' power struggle fascinates

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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