Relationship between Big Ben Roethlisberger, Todd Haley showing signs of friction and breaking down again

The relationship between Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley tends to run hot and cold, and recently Roethlisberger has been recruiting other members of the coaching staff to serve as buffers of sorts between them during games, sources said.

There was an undercurrent of friction palpable from Roethlisberger’s remarks in describing the instructions that were sent in from the sidelines in the dying moments of Pittsburgh’s loss to New England last week, which is reflective of the recent climate there.

Sources said Roethlisberger approached head coach Mike Tomlin about a month ago and requested to have a buffer between him and Haley on the sidelines, another set of eyes and a sounding board he could turn to. Specifically, he asked that quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who he is close with, no longer stay in the coaching booth in the press box during games but instead join other offensive coaches down to the sidelines. Tomlin quickly obliged, and the Steelers have been operating in that fashion since last month, sources said.

Roethlisberger and Haley have had an icy go of it in recent years, and it’s been an up-and-down season for Pittsburgh’s passing game at times, specifically in the first half of the season.

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DeAngelo Williams gets into heated argument with NFL Network hosts over Patriots-Steelers

DeAngelo Williams doesn’t like that the Patriots are favored over the Steelers, and, for some reason, he decided to take it out on the cast of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football in what turned out to be a pretty awkward interview.

While there’s plenty of awkwardness early on in the segment, skip to the 7:30 mark for the good stuff…

What Does DeAngelo Williams Expect From Patriots/Steelers

Williams resorts to playing the “You never played” card, but unbeknownst to him, Kyle Brandt was a running back at Princeton. So he moves the goalposts to “You never played in the NFL,” which doesn’t really help his argument that the Steelers ought to be favored over the Patriots despite the fact that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have owned Pittsburgh in recent years.

The Steelers and Patriots kick things off at 4:25 ET on Sunday. We know which team Williams will be rooting for.