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Big Ben defends relationship with Steelers' Todd Haley

The debate about the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive system and play-calling isn't going away.

When Ben Roethlisberger referred those questions to offensive coordinator Todd Haley following the Week 14 loss, multiplereporters were left with the impression that the quarterback was frustrated.

An exasperated Roethlisberger insisted Tuesday that his relationship with Haley continues to be misunderstood by the media.

"It's unbelievable," Roethlisberger told KDKA-FM, via "It gets blown up and it's by reporters that come in there and ask the dumbest questions after a game, and it makes it ridiculous when they only take part of your answer.

"It was taken way out of context. There is absolutely no issue between Coach Haley and I. I love where this offense is right now."

NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gene Collier were left with the impression that the context was an irked quarterback second-guessing Haley's play-calling.

That was not the case, Roethlisberger maintained.

"They take one little blurb of a whole sentence and it was not directed at Coach Haley, like 'Go ask him, I don't know why we didn't do it,'" Roethlisberger added. "It was, 'He's our coordinator, if you want to ask questions about play-calling, go ask him about it. He's the guy that calls the plays. If you want to ask me about the no-huddle and I'm calling [plays], then you can ask me.'"

Roethlisberger's public comments appear to be at odds with his private feelings on the matter.

He declined to answer when asked if changes are needed.

Steelers sources told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport a month ago that Roethlisberger was "incredibly frustrated" with the direction of the franchise and the offensive coaching staff. Rapoport was later told that Big Ben was miffed by the decision to bring back Haley's ill-fitting offense for a second season.

Despite loud protestations to the contrary from Roethlisberger and Haley, the perception that their relationship is dysfunctional won't go away.

*The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped all the Week 14 games. *

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