Big Ben says he has ‘no issue’ with Haley

Updated: December 10, 2013, 2:01 PM ET


By
Scott Brown | ESPN.com


PITTSBURGH — A loss that all but eliminated the Pittsburgh Steelers from playoff contention isn’t all that has quarterback Ben Roethlisberger frustrated.

Roethlisberger also is annoyed at the perception that he took a swipe at his offensive coordinator when he told reporters to ask Todd Haley why the Steelers didn’t run the ball more in the second half of Sunday’s 22-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Roethlisberger
In no way shape or form was the [comment] directed negatively at him. I think the offense is as good as it’s been in a long time. We’ve got guys doing some great things. I genuinely am enjoying this offense and what Coach Haley is doing.


— Ben Roethlisberger, refuting the notion that he criticized Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley

“It’s unbelievable,” Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan. “It gets blown up and it’s by reporters that come in there and ask the dumbest questions after a game, and it makes it ridiculous when they only take part of your answer.

“It was taken way out of context. There is absolutely no issue between Coach Haley and I. I love where this offense is right now.”

Roethlisberger passed for 349 yards and three touchdowns against the Dolphins, and he is having one of the best statistical seasons of his career. He set a Steelers passing record for most yards after 13 games (3,724) and also passed Terry Bradshaw on Sunday for most touchdown passes in franchise history (213).

The Roethlisberger-Haley dynamic has been under a microscope since the Steelers hired Haley in February 2012.

The Steelers forced out then-offensive coordinator Bruce Arians after the 2011 season, and Roethlisberger and Arians are close. Roethlisberger and Haley went through an adjustment period in their first year together, but both have said their familiarity with one another has led to a much smoother working relationship this season.

Roethlisberger took issue with speculation that the two don’t get along, something that received a jolt of oxygen when the quarterback was asked about the Steelers’ game plan on offense in the second half against Miami.

“Coach Haley is over there. You could probably ask him,” Roethlisberger said Sunday in the locker room after Pittsburgh dropped to 5-8. “Their scheme, I don’t know, there was no particular reason. We just tried to move the ball. I thought we did a good job passing it there, too.”

Roethlisberger said on his radio show that nothing should have been read into his comments.

“They take one little blurb of a whole sentence and it was not directed at Coach Haley, like ‘Go ask him, I don’t know why we didn’t do it,'” Roethlisberger said. “It was, ‘He’s our coordinator, if you want to ask questions about play calling, go ask him about it. He’s the guy that calls the plays. If you want to ask me about the no-huddle and I’m calling [plays], then you can ask me.’

“But in no way shape or form was the [comment] directed negatively at him. I think the offense is as good as it’s been in a long time. We’ve got guys doing some great things. I genuinely am enjoying this offense and what Coach Haley is doing and where we’re going. We’re getting [better] every week, and I think we can keep getting better.”

  • Covered Steelers for six years for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  • Author of five books, including “Heaven Sent: The Heather Miller Story,” which highlights the friendship a young girl with cancer developed with several Steelers players

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