That supposed frosty relationship between quarterback and offensive coordinator has thawed this spring. At least, it would seem that way by listening to Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley speak -- and they speak to each other often apparently. After Haley was hired last year, the story became how long it took for the new coordinator and the old quarterback to finally speak to one another. This year, they can't stop. Roethlisberger zipped some passes before the afternoon practice Tuesday, six days after Dr. James Bradley performed surgery on his right knee to remove some loose cartilage with an arthroscope. "It feels great," Roethlisberger said. "I saw [Dr.]Bradley this morning. He was pleasantly surprised with the range of motion and where we're at with the swelling. It feels great. I've been off crutches for a couple days now and moving around pretty good. I think I could play Sunday if I had to." And if he played, there would be some differences in the offense thanks to Haley taking suggestions from players this year. It's not so much what plays are called, but how they're called. "It's more than just me. I think it's everybody," Roethlisberger said of the input Haley has taken from players. "Just the simple fact that he came to me and asked what I thought about it, changing the names of things to kind of make more sense to all of us." Roethlisberger acknowledged in the middle of last season that, when calling an audible, he would often change the name of a play to what it was called when Bruce Arians was the coordinator so his teammates would quickly understand it. This spring, Haley has been amenable to naming certain plays as they were named under Arians. "Usually, I talk to a lot of the guys," Roethlisberger said. "I ask the tight ends and wide receivers, 'Does this hit you? Does it make sense to you if we call it this?' If it doesn't, then we will go try to change it. We want everything, when it's on the fly, to make as much sense as possible ... "When Todd came in, it was the exact same play that we had the past couple of years but it was called something completely different. It was just hard for us to make sense of something completely new. So we've gone back to what is familiar to a lot of guys. Some things we've kept the same. But we've moved some terminology around just to make it simpler for the young guys and even for some of us old guys." Haley, permitted to speak to reporters for the first time since the end of last season, acknowledged he has tweaked some things at the behest of the players. "I think the hardest thing for everybody is the terminology. I've said a number of times that I'm not a system guy. Your players change, hopefully just year by year, but in our case week by week at times. You've got to play to their strengths and you've got to do what they do well according to how defenses try to play against you.
Steelers' Roethlisberger, Haley making strides
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Jun 13