Originally posted on Bleed Black & Gold  |  Last updated 5/11/12

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 13: Head Coach Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs yells at a referee during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2009 Kansas City, Missouri. The Bills defeated the Chiefs 16-10. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Todd Haley has handed out the Steelers new playbook.  From the reaction of the players it is nothing like the playbook Bruce Arians has put out in the past.  Ben Roethlisberger compared it to learning “Rosetta Stone”.  That is expected when a new coordinator comes in.  You get his playbook rather than the one you were using.

There were two comments though that stood out to me with the players talking about the new playbook.  One was from Ben Roethlisberger and the other from Emmanuel Sanders.

Roethlisberger when asked about the similarities in the playbook:

“The similarities would be on a shorter list. Off the top of my head, from what I’ve seen so far, there’s a 90 percent change.”

Emmanuel Sanders tweet about the depth of the playbook:

This new playbook is something serious!!!!! Bout to go old-school and make some flashcards.

Both liken the playbook to a completely new world.  It makes this playbook seem more in depth and brand new.  A playbook from a new coach should be new but not 90% new.  If the Steelers had a good playbook before it would be 50-60% new.  The overall scheme may change some but the plays even with new terminology should not be that different.  It should not be that out of the ordinary.  These two guys saying it is tells us even more about Bruce Arians.

Fans have been complaining for years about how predictable Bruce Arians was with the Steelers scheme.  We all knew what type of play was coming when the Steelers would line up on offense.  So did our opponents.  They knew where the ball was going before the ball was even snapped.  It showed in our offense.  It showed in Roethlisberger’s grimace when he would get hit.  We have all of these weapons and yet we can not score points.  This makes sense as to why now.

People questioned the offensive line.  They questioned Ben Roethlisberger.  They questioned the wide receivers.  The main question they asked was why does Ben hold on to the ball so long and take hits?  Yes the offensive line was inconsistent.  Yes Ben likes to be a hero.  No the receivers did not get open.  Now we understand though that the receivers may have not been able to get open because Arians playbook was so easy to figure out that it took more time for them to get open.  If the defense knew what was coming they could roll the coverage to the play.  If no one is open Ben had to hold the ball so he got hit more.  So even though you can put some blame on the players most of it should go to Arians.

There were so many times when I sat on the couch and said that guy missed his hot read.  Ben should have hit him right off the bat.  The blitz was coming.  Now seeing how much these guys think Haley’s playbook is so in depth it makes me wander if they did miss their hot read or not.  Was there even a true hot read?  Or, was a bubble screen Arians way of having a hot read?

How easy and how much lack of depth was there in Arians playbook?  Roethlisberger is looking for his position coach to not throw to much at him at one time in the new playbook.  That is fine this early but the fact that he needs to really take it slow shows how little was actually in Arians playbook.  Sanders wanting to get flash cards to learn the plays says even more.  Sanders is a film room junkie.  While injured he eluded to making his friends angry because he would watch the live game like he was watching film.  He is a student of the game.  For him to be this taken a back by the playbook says we needed a new playbook.

So while these guys may take some time to get used to the new playbook it will help them in the end.  They are going from a predictable offense which seemed to be pretty vanilla to and offense run by Haley that will play to their strengths.  They will get better routes.  They will read coverages and they will find holes in the defense.  That will give them the ability to get open faster.  It will make the line look better.  It will get the ball out of Roethlisberger’s hands faster so he gets hit less.  Thus we will score more points.  The pressure can be taken off of the defense a little bit.  They can get some rest.  It will make the entire team better.

So even if it takes all summer to learn.  It seems like Haley’s new playbook is going to be worth it.  This offense will be better under Haley.

 

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