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Todd Haley not offended by Big Ben's recent criticism

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn't take Ben Roethlisberger's recent criticism personally, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday.

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"That was an emotional game," Haley said. "Whatever was said can't be taken too much to the heart because that's the way this game is. Guys will get into it in locker rooms, in the building, on the practice field. It's the mindset you get into when you're getting ready to compete and coach a big game.

"There's emotion involved. I wouldn't really pay much attention to anything that's said in an emotional state of mind."

Roethlisberger apologized to Haley and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after questioning the use of tight end Heath Miller and the second-half play-calling during last week's 27-24 overtime loss to the Cowboys. This is just the latest of the Big Ben-Haley drama that has permeated since the Steelers changed from Bruce Arians' downfield attack to what Roethlisberger called dink-and-dunk.

Haley has had his run-ins with players before and doesn't necessarily believe that's a bad thing.

"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," Haley said. "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 conflict better be healthy considering it's still going on in Week 16. We'll see what everyone thinks if the Steelers don't make the playoffs.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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