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Ward: Blame Roethlisberger, not Haley


Former Steelers great Hines Ward has a little more “elevator music” for the folks responsible for the current mess in Pittsburgh.

And Ward’s current target is a guy who may not comfortably fit in most small-to-moderate elevators.

At a time when calls are increasing for offensive coordinator Todd Haley to hit the road, Ward says that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger deserves plenty of blame -- especially as it relates to the implementation of the no-huddle offense that Roethlisberger wanted to use more extensively.

“I put the blame on Ben Roethlisberger,” Ward said on Wednesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. “Todd Haley’s not calling the plays [in the no-huddle], Ben is.”

Ward’s right, but Haley is still the architect of the offense, crafting the plays that are available to Roethlisberger in the no-huddle attack, and supervising the entire process of getting the right players in the right position at the right time to score as many points as possible.

For now, it’s unclear what changes will be made if the Steelers continue to struggle. The organization prides itself on continuity at head coach, with only three of them since 1969. But it’s easier to keep coaches when the team is thriving. In the 36 years before Chuck Noll was hired, the Steelers had a revolving door at the position, with 11 coaches lasting three years or fewer.

Regardless of how it plays out, it’s the first major test for the grandson of team founder Art Rooney, who will have to decide whether the patience of the past still represents the best approach for a franchise that may need a much greater sense of urgency and accountability.