With Rashard Mendenhall likely to miss the first six weeks of the season and Mike Wallace a complete mystery, the Pittsburgh Steelers have bigger issues on offense than the perceived chilliness between Ben Roethlisberger and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Besides, Big Ben -- probably tired of the subject -- says the initial awkwardness between the two has washed away.
"Good. It's the same as the offense," Roethlisberger told TimesOnline.com when asked about Haley. "Every day, we're learning. We've been able to tweak things and communicate with each other."
Roethlisberger returned to practice Tuesday after missing time with a sore foot. He's adjusting to life under Haley after spending five productive seasons under Bruce Arians. The coach and quarterback were tight, and Big Ben didn't appreciate the way Arians, now tutoring Andrew Luck as the Indianapolis Colts' OC, was scattered to the wind.
Roethlisberger was hesitant to embrace Haley's offensive scheme, which (in theory) will return the Steelers to its so-called ground-game roots.
"It's different. Different doesn't mean good or bad. It's just different," Roethlisberger said. "We've worked hard in both the spring and here to really get a head start and really get going on this offense. Our relationship is good, and we're really coming along with the offense. We've made progress every day."
Nobody is winning games in today's NFL by moving away from the pass. Expect tweaks, but if Wallace returns -- and even if he doesn't -- Roethlisberger and the Steelers won't abandon the pass. That's a simplified myth. Haley threw the ball plenty while running the Arizona Cardinals' offense, and when you have a top-flight passer at your disposal, you let him guide you.