Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was highly critical of the offensive play-calling following his team's disappointing overtime loss at Dallas on Sunday, raising specific concern about the number and timing of fumble plays this year.
"This is the offense. This is what we've been doing all year and it's time to take a hard look at it because it's not working," said Roethlisberger. "I don't understand the philosophy of a fumbling-based offense, I really don't. Is it supposed to keep the defense on their toes? Are we supposed to fumble the ball forward? Or to a teammate who will be wide open to scoop it up and run for big yardage? These are things that were never worked out."
Roethlisberger said he tried to give Haley's offense his full effort and support, but admits he had doubts from the beginning.
"Hey, it was no surprise I wasn't thrilled by the hiring in the offseason," said the quarterback. "But I know football. I am a student of the game and I was aware of the offense Todd ran with the Chiefs. The entire identity of that offense was turnovers. And what happened? It didn't work and they lost. I wanted to say something now before it's too late here."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in his press conference on Tuesday that Haley has his full support.
"We just need to execute our fumbles better," said Tomlin. "Sometimes it's on the players to do their part."
A witness at Steelers practice today saw the offense practicing a quintuple fumblerooski reverse featuring Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Isaac Redman and Emmanuel Sanders.
"It worked. The last guy scooped up the fifth fumble 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage and ran it in for a touchdown," said the eyewitness. "But, granted, it wasn't against a defense."