When the Pittsburgh Steelers gather for Tuesday's organized team activities, they'll be asked to tread new ground. After five seasons running Bruce Arians' offense, Ben Roethlisberger and Co. will begin to install a new attack under coordinator Todd Haley; a look the quarterback described as "a 90 percent change" from the scheme run for so long in the Steel City.
An awkward offseason transition from Arians (now the Indianapolis Colts' coordinator) to Haley generated press in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger and Arians were close, everyone knew that. After Haley and Big Ben endured a chilly start, there were whispers the quarterback was unhappy, but Roethlisberger confirmed the two men are on good footing.
"People blew it way out of proportion," Roethlisberger told KDKA-TV on Monday. "It's something new, we're getting to know each other ... There's no trouble between us at all."
Under Arians, the Steelers increasingly defied their grind-it-out image in favor of a passing game that burned defenses with sets that heavily featured their talented young wideouts. Haley's attack doesn't promise a four-quarter air show, but Roethlisberger is ready to buy in to the plan.
"When you get a comfort level of like eight years of the same thing and then you change it, it's just something different, so I'm not saying I don't like the playbook or anything like that," Roethlisberger said. "Some of the stuff is really -- some of the concepts are awesome, it's just getting an understanding of something new."
Offseason dramas in Pittsburgh rarely bubble over into the regular season. It's May and there's plenty of time for Big Ben and friends to install the new look. We don't expect them to skip a beat.