Offensive coordinator Todd Haley brushed off critical comments from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after the Pittsburgh Steelers' overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, chalking Roethlisberger's displeasure up to frustration after the tough game.
Haley assured the media that he and Roethlisberger were on the same page, and that there was a high level of trust between the two:
"That was an emotional game," Haley said. "Whatever was said can't be taken too much to the heart because that's the way this game is. Guys will get into it in locker rooms, in the building, on the practice field. It's the mindset you get into when you're getting ready to compete and coach a big game. There's emotion involved. I wouldn't really pay much attention to anything that's said in an emotional state of mind."
Haley went on to call Roethlsiberger "elite," and said that occasional "healthy conflict" between the coach and his players sparked a more successful working environment.
Roethlisberger had responded to a question about the lack of passes to tight end Heath Miller late in Sunday's game by saying that he didn't feel the team had called the right plays to utilize Miller, and that he would have rather run more plays from a no-huddle than he was allowed.
In Haley's first year as offensive coordinator, there's been a slight uptick in points scored, and Roethlisberger is having one of his best statistical seasons with 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions. The team has had to bank on his arm with very little production coming from the run game.