Steelers notebook: Tomlin: No rift between Roethlisberger, Haley
CINCINNATI — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn't aware of problems between quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Even if they happen, he isn't concerned.
“I'm not worried about those interactions. If it hadn't happened already, I'm sure at some point it will, and it won't be catastrophic,” Tomlin said in an interview aired during the NBC Sunday night telecast. “I'm sure we'll all move on.”
Tomlin praised Roethlisberger for sustaining the offense despite lacking a running game. The Steelers entered Sunday's game 31st in rushing.
“I think we're doing a nice job, even in the midst of running the ball as poorly as we are, because we're minimizing negative plays,” Tomlin said. “And if you minimize the negative plays, that means your quarterback is upright. That's one of the goals that we had here for this season.”
• Center Maurkice Pouncey was optimistic he could play despite the knee injury suffered last Thursday in Tennessee, but it turned out he couldn't go, leaving the Steelers without two starting offensive linemen. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) is out for a while. Doug Legursky started at center for Pouncey, and Mike Adams made his first start at right tackle. Former Pitt offensive lineman John Malecki, activated off the practice squad Saturday, was in an NFL uniform for the first time after being cut by five teams.
• For the first time this season, Mike Wallace looked as if he missed all of training camp. The usually sure-handed receiver dropped four passes, including a would-be touchdown pass late in the second quarter.
• Jonathan Dwyer, held out of two games after losing a fumble in Oakland, started at running back because of injuries to Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle). Baron Batch backed him up. Also inactive were quarterback Charlie Batch, linebacker Chris Carter and safety Troy Polamalu. Will Allen made his second successive start in place of Polamalu.
• Antonio Brown has run the ball and returned kickoffs and punts. On Sunday, he threw the first pass of his career — a perfectly lofted throw that a wide-open Batch let slip through his fingers.
• The Steelers were flagged for holding penalties on their first three kickoff returns. That made it six of their past eight returns in which they were penalized.
— Ralph N. Paulk and Alan Robinson
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