Big Ben apologizes to Todd Haley for play-calling rip

  • By Marc Sessler
  • Updated: Dec. 19, 2012 at 02:43 p.m.

Ben Roethlisberger never meant to cloud a playoff run with whispers of discord and in-fighting.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback on Monday apologized to offensive coordinator Todd Haley and the Rooney family for publicly questioning his coach's play-calling following a Week 15 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review first reported the meeting, but believes Roethlisberger remains frustrated inside Haley's scheme. Under the tutelage of former coordinator Bruce Arians, Big Ben grew into one of the smartest passers in the league. Roethlisberger evolved from a first-read passer into a player able to scan the field for his second-, third- and fourth-read targets.

Roethlisberger "has reverted back to a one-read guy" under Haley, according to Kaboly, and therein lies much of the player's frustration.

The Steelers face a must-win game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. A victory keeps Pittsburgh alive and kicking for one more week in the AFC playoff picture. A loss eliminates the Steelers and creates plenty of newfound free time to ponder Haley's offense -- Big Ben's place in it -- and how to iron out these issues and quiet these grumblings on a team unaccustomed to drama.