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Steelers notebook: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley says he wasn't yelling at Roethlisberger

Chris Adamski
| Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 6:06 p.m.
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talk on the sideline during the Sept. 17, 2017, game against the Vikings.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talk on the sideline during the Sept. 17, 2017, game against the Vikings.
Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant scores on a 2-point conversion to tie the game during the fourth quarter against the Colts Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant scores on a 2-point conversion to tie the game during the fourth quarter against the Colts Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

It wasn't just irrational fans or internet trolls who suggested offensive coordinator Todd Haley was spewing profanities at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Sunday's game. Haley said he was charged similarly from within his family.

“My daughter sent me the clip and said, ‘Dad, why were you yelling at Ben?,' ” Haley said Tuesday. “I wasn't yelling at Ben. I was yelling at an unnamed coach that I will not talk about right now.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin?

“No.”

The clip of Haley screaming obscenities made the rounds on social media, with many assuming Roethlisberger was Haley's target. It was during a sequence in the Steelers' 20-17 victory at Indianapolis in which the offense burned a timeout and was called for delay of game while trying to run a 2-point conversion play.

After the game, Roethlisberger added fuel to the fire by saying Haley wanted to kick the extra point in lieu of going for two.

“We lined up wrong, not just one guy, but multiple guys lined up wrong,” Haley said. “When we had the timeout, everybody didn't come to the sideline, and the same couple of guys lined up wrong again. So it was one of those in-the-moment things that obviously we do not want to happen, but it happened.

“The good thing is we backed up 5 yards and we were able to get it done, so that ended up being a positive and one that we've got to learn from and know it can't happen.”

Bryant misses practice

Martavis Bryant was not at practice Tuesday, the only day the team will practice this week. According to the official injury report released by the Steelers, the reason was “illness.”

It was the fourth instance over the past 49 days (five total days missed) that Bryant was excused from practice or meeting days for illness: two midweek practices in advance of the Steelers' Week 4 game at Baltimore, the Saturday walkthrough in advance of the following week's game against Jacksonville, the day after the Steelers' Week 7 win against Cincinnati (after which Bryant made his infamous Instagram post) and now Tuesday.

McDonald does not practice

In addition to Joe Haden — already ruled out for Thursday's game — tight end Vance McDonald also did not take part in practice. Earlier in the day, McDonald was spotted with a walking boot to aid recovery from an injured left ankle.

Safety Mike Mitchell (ankle) and linebacker James Harrison (back) were limited in practice. For Harrison, it was the first time he practiced in more than two weeks.

Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was a full practice participant two days after leaving the win against Indianapolis briefly because of a foot injury.

Will offense every break out?

The Steelers are 19th in the NFL in scoring offense and have yet to reach their stated goal of 30 points in any of their nine games.

Then again, at 7-2, it hasn't become much of an issue, said All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown.

“We're just getting the job done,” Brown said. “It's not as fashionably well as the way we want it, but a win is a win. And that's our business, winning.”

Heyward, Posluszny honored

Among the nominees for the NFL's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award announced Tuesday were Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward and former Hopewell and Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny.

The award honoring the Steelers founder is in its fourth season and is presented to a player for his outstanding sportsmanship on the field, including fair play, respect for the game and integrity in competition.

One player from every team was nominated for the award, with the list pared to eight finalists before players vote on the winner.

Heyward is in his third season as a defensive captain and seventh season in the league. Posluszny has been a captain for two teams, including his current team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Staying in primetime

The league announced the Steelers-Green Bay Week 12 game Nov. 26 at Heinz Field will remain at the previously scheduled 8:30 p.m. kickoff time. Though the Steelers and Packers are two of the more marketable teams in the league, Green Bay is without franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers and faced the prospect of a three-game losing streak but held on to beat Chicago this past week. Otherwise, the game might have been “flexed” to an afternoon time slot.

The Steelers are in the midst of four consecutive games scheduled for primetime and a stretch of seven of eight games that are in national broadcast windows. However, the Week 14 game against Baltimore on Dec. 10 is eligible to be flexed out of the Sunday Night Football window.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at cadamski@tribweb.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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