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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Report: Big Ben meets new OC

ESPN.com news services

Ben Roethlisberger has met with new Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, citing multiple team sources.

The two men "recently" met, sat down and talked, according to the report.

On Monday, Roethlisberger told a newspaper he had yet to meet with Haley, who replaced longtime Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

"He still hasn't called yet," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, referring to Haley, who was hired Feb. 9 by the Steelers. According to the newspaper, Roethlisberger had a "discouraged" tone to his voice.

Roethlisberger acknowledged last week that he has been talking to people around the league about Haley, and the response has been "good, bad and indifferent."

"I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion," Roethlisberger said last week.

The Steelers let Arians' contract expire and then termed his exit from the team as a retirement. Arians, however, later accepted a job as the Indianapolis Colts' offensive coordinator.

Pittsburgh ranked in the top half of the NFL in offense for three seasons prior to 2011, when it finished 12th and was a disappointing 21st in scoring.

Haley was fired Dec. 13 as coach of the Chiefs after going 19-26 in two-plus seasons and leading the team to the 2010 AFC West title. He finished third in Associated Press coach of the year voting that season with the league's top rushing offense.

As offensive coordinator of the Cardinals two years before that, Haley's offense was second in the NFL in passing.

At his introductory news conference earlier this month, Haley addressed the transition that Roethlisberger is facing and said he doesn't anticipate problems working with his new quarterback.

"Transition is always a little -- I wouldn't even say difficult -- but there's an uncomfortable aspect to newness," Haley said. "But that's not always a bad thing. I think it'll be a great thing in this case, and he's going to figure out that we're just trying to make him as good as he can possibly can be.

"Not many players that I've known have ever had an issue with that."

Information from ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press was used in this report.