Scouting the AFC North: Todd Haley has no beef with Ben Roethlisberger


Sep 16, 2012; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) talks with offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the second half of the game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Despite an obvious rift between Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator and QB Ben Roethlisberger, Haley says that he’s not taking Ben’s recent criticism personally, and that he knows Ben is just a competitor who wants to win and hates seeing his team in the midst of a two-game losing-streak that has the Steelers’ playoff-hopes on life support:

"I think healthy conflict, discussion, banter is good because it gets you to the right place and gets everyone on the same page and where you need to be. Like I’ve said a number of times, when I make a call into Ben’s ear in the game, I’m putting complete faith in him to make it the best call it can be. The same goes for him. When he hears my voice, he has to trust and believe that the play coming is giving us the best chance to succeed.You develop that in these Sunday battles against other teams. That’s where it develops with the trust and camaraderie. That’s what’s occurred. There will be ups and downs because there’s emotion and a lot at stake every week. We put a lot of time, effort and sacrifice into this. I think a little bit of healthy conflict is a good thing."

The Baltimore Ravens are desperately trying to end a three-game losing-skid and lock up the AFC North Division crown on Sunday vs. the New York Giants, and they may be getting a boost as WR Torrey Smith (concussion) was able to take part in Thursday’s practice. If the Ravens are unable to win their home-finale against the defensing Super Bowl champions, they’ll face the task of heading to Cincinnati to the Bengals team who may be fighting for their postseason lives, as well as a shot at the AFC North title.

The Cleveland Browns are trying to end the 2012 season on a high note, but they’ll be facing a red-hot Denver Broncos squad on Sunday, who’s won nine-straight games and have been the benefactors of a Defensive Player of the Year-performance by All-Pro OLB Von Miller, who currently ranks third in the NFL with 16 sacks, and second with 25 tackles for a loss while also forcing five fumbles.

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