Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round of the playoff, the team decided to not renew offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s contract. According to running back Le’Veon Bell, Haley’s relationship with Ben Roethlisberger played a big role in the move.
There has been plenty of chatter about internal conflict between Haley and the Pro Bowl quarterback in the weeks since his departure. According to Adam Bittner of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bell revealed that Roethlisberger didn’t agree with many of the play calls that the 50-year-old coach made.
“I feel like it was a lot of third downs Todd would maybe call something that Ben didn’t like,” Bell said. “There’s certain plays that Ben didn’t like. As a player, you’ve always got plays that you like, plays you dislike. It would be a big situation and Todd would call a play that Ben don’t necessarily like, and he tried to go out there and just execute it because the play is called.”
There was a clear disconnect between Roethlisberger and Haley that only grew over their six years together. It all came to a head this past season with the Steelers’ shortcoming in the playoffs after earning a first-round playoff bye. There were signs of conflict, as Roethlisberger stated that he doesn’t have the power to change play-calls on fourth down to quarterback sneaks.
Big Ben shared a similar sentiment after Pittsburgh’s disappointing loss to the New England Patriots in Week 15, saying the team only had one play ready before he threw the game-sealing interception. On top of that, Roethlisberger voiced that the Steelers needed some minor changes to shake things up over the offseason, which was seemingly in reference to Haley.
Nonetheless, Pittsburgh obliged. Randy Fichtner is the new offensive coordinator and could provide a new look to their offensive game plan.