Big Ben not thrilled with new coach

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger calls a play against the Denver Broncos during...

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger calls a play against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter of their NFL AFC wildcard playoff football game in Denver, Colorado, Jan. 8, 2012. (REUTERS/Marc Piscotty)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:46 PM ET

Ben Roethlisberger is hoping new offensive coordinator Todd Haley doesn’t toss the Steelers’ offensive schemes into the trash bin.

Of course, Roethlisberger wanted the team to keep Haley’s predeceasor, Bruce Arians, and that didn’t happen either. And, if first impressions mean anything, it sounds like Big Ben is going to be oh-for-two.

“We’re going to start with a clean slate and do what gives us the best chance to win,” Haley told his introductory news conference. “I am sure (Roethlisberger) will figure out we are trying to make him as good as he can possibly be.”

Roethlisberger thought the Steelers were already pretty good. Haley evidently begs to differ. While ranked just 22nd in offence last year, Roethlisberger is concerned scrapping the offence will set back the development of young receivers Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders.

“I would hate to just throw everything out and start over because I feel it would set us back two or three years because these guys are just starting to get it. I hope we don’t have to start over ... I would hate to have to set certain guys back who are doing so well right now,”

What Roethlisberger wants probably isn’t high on Haley’s list of concerns.

“We’re not into sensitivity,” Haley said, of his coaching style. “One of the first things I will say to these guys is we aren’t going to be into a lot of sensitivity. If you are sensitive, this is probably not the best place to be.”

This relationship could get interesting.

Not to mention, perhaps, loud?

Roethlisberger and Haley hadn’t spoken yet this week, even though the two passed within spitting distance of each other, at the club’s headquarters. Highly regarded for his game planning and strategy, Haley is brash, head-strong and never has been able to harness a volatile temper. Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about him.”

Steve Breaston, who played for Haley in both Arizona and Kansas City, once referred to him as: “not always a butthole.”

And, Haley, not being into sensitivity, just might consider that the nicest thing anyone has ever said about him.

A BUSTED ROUTE

Former receiver Andre Reed was up for the Hall of Fame again last weekend. It was his sixth time among the final 15. For the third consecutive time, he reached the final 10. And again, he didn’t get in.

“I’m so exhausted with it,” he told Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News. “I’m at a loss for words because I’ve said as much as I could say, politically, the way I want to say it. I’m not going to go out and bash anybody. That’s not how I work.”

A BILL FOR LIFE

Bills GM Buddy Nix told the team’s web site he’s working on a contract that will keep running back Fred Jackson with the club for the rest of his career.

“Fred and I have talked,” Nix said. “We want to extend Fred. I’d like for Fred to finish his career as a Bill. He’s meant a lot to us. I’ve got great respect for him. We do want Fred back and we do intend to try to work out a deal with him. I’ve told him that. What we said is what we’re going to do.”

QUICK HITS

Baylor and Stanford have both scheduled pro days on March 22. Scouts can be resourceful at finding ways to catch the objects of their affection, but unless someone has figured out how to be in two places at once, nobody will see both Robert Griffin III and Stanford’s Andrew Luck work out ... Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent surgery Friday to repair ligament damage in his ankle. Gronkowski is expected to be ready to test his new dancing shoes when Organized Team Activities begin ... Released by the Raiders, cornerback Stanford Routt will visit with the Bills Sunday and the Titans, who might be looking to replace potential free agent Cortland Finnegan, next week ... And, finally, a social note: Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is engaged to marry New England quarterback Tom Brady’s sister, Julie. The Boston Herald reports, she is a school teacher with a five-year-old daughter and has never been married. “He’s really lucky,” a friend of Youkilis told the Herald. “She’s a really nice person, but all the Bradys are nice people.”

ANOTHER BENGAL ARRESTED

Maybe it’s something in the water.

There are three certainties in life; death, taxes, and a Bengals player arrested in the off-season. This time it’s linebacker Rey Maualuga, charged with assault Friday, after a bar owner was punched in the face.

Sammy Laham, manager of the bar Luxe, told police that Maualuga responded to being told it was time for his group to go by punching the messenger.

What Maualuga was doing in a bar in the first place is interesting. The incident comes three days after his probation for drunk driving ended. That came Feb. 2, 2010 and he checked into the Betty Ford Centre for treatment of alcohol abuse.

Evidently, he has now learned to abuse more than alcohol. Laham said he walked over to ask Maualuga’s group to leave.

“Our security went over to see what was going on, to break them up,” said Brittany Knight, who witnessed the incident. “Sammy went over as well, and Rey was leaning up against the bar and he stepped forward and swung. I saw my manager walk by and I saw his eye and it was bleeding and cut up. He said, ‘I can’t believe I just got hit’ and I was shocked.”

Last off-season the Bengals had three players arrested within one week. They’ve had more than 40 players arrested since 2000, easily the most of any NFL team. Maualuga is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 27.


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