Pittsburgh Steelers News: New Offensive System Causes Concern

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Ben Roethlisberger
He’s had his off-the-field issues, but there’s no arguing what Roethlisberger has done between the lines. He’s been to three Super Bowls in his young career, and is one of the toughest players in the league.

After a shocking loss in the AFC Wild Card game against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been searching for answers to a confusing puzzle.

The defensive game plan was simple, contain Tebow.

It was an incredibly simple offense that you just don't think can work in this league, said safety Troy Polamalu, But it worked for them with the kind of talent they had.

Now after five months, that playoff loss still haunts Steelers nation.

With the offseason hiring of former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley comes an entirely new offensive scheme that is leaving some, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, with concerns.

We've made some strides. Every day is a little bit better, Roethlisberger said. I'm not saying I could go out and call a game myself right now but I understand when (Haley) calls a play I know what's going on for the most part.

Since Roethlisberger's rookie season, the Super Bowl winning quarterback has virtually been in the same offensive system under both coordinators Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians.

Change is not always comfortable, and we said that right out of the gate, said Haley, the team's new offensive coordinator. Sometimes when there are changes, that's a way to keep guys on their toes and keep their focus on the understanding of what the goal is - and that is to win Super Bowls.

Football is football. Terminology is the issue, really.

According to Haley, he plans to design plays to keep Roethlisberger in the pocket as much as possible.

He wants the Steelers to have more of a vertical approach, rather than the simplified ground-and-pound scheme. The new offensive strategy all begins at the offensive line.

With their first-round pick in this year's draft, the Steelers selected Stanford guard David DeCastro, who provided protection for media sensation, Andrew Luck.

In addition to DeCastro, the Steelers selected Ohio State tackle Mike Adams in the second round.

Following OTAs last week, the Steelers have begun their four-day mini-camp to progress their new system.

This will be a real big week for us because what we are going to do is backtrack and redo exactly what we did again, Haley said. It will be the third time they are hearing.

Roethlisberger, who is still reluctant about this sudden new change within the organization, has expressed his concerns with the new strategy, but it optimistic that it will prevail.

Haley, who has been known for adapting his offenses to his playable roster, believes that the new game plan will only make Roethlisberger that much better.

He's in here, he's working hard, he's into it, said Haley. Even the days when he hasn't practiced, he's over my shoulder, talking, commenting, discussing. That's what I've seen out of all the good quarterbacks -- really good quarterbacks -- that I've been around act like.

The Steelers new offense will be put to the test on Thursday Night Football in a rematch game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on September 9.

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