Haley, Roethlisberger Didn’t Agree on Third Down Calls

The Steelers weren’t playing in Minnesota yesterday, but you didn’t have to look far to find one on TV. Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell joined several shows throughout the week for Fox Sports, ESPN, and NFLNetwork. While Brown didn’t make any headlines with his on-air time, his teammate made enough for both of them.

While talking with ESPN Radio personality Stephen A. Smith the topic of former offensive coordinator Todd Haley was brought up. Then came the questions about the relationship between Haley and Ben Roethlisberger.

“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.”

It explains why the Steelers often struggled to convert third downs, especially early in the season, and in the first half of games. Often times the Steelers would figure it out in the second half of games when apparently Haley stopped forcing play calls that ultimately didn’t work in critical situations.

Now with good friend Randy Fichtner as the coordinator Roethlisberger should feel better about the calls. The likelihood of Roethlisberger being able to have more freedom at the line of scrimmage could also come into play next season.

“Randy’s only kind of going to give Ben what he wants, you know, make him comfortable,” Bell said. “Because third downs, that’s the biggest thing, that was our Achilles’ heel was third downs and red zone.”

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