Brown Elated With Haley

Wednesday was the day for short news items concerning the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here's Jim Wexell's notebook.

LATROBE – Members of the national media visited the St. Vincent campus today and their theme seemed to be new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his reputation for lacking patience and understanding, particularly in comparison with former coordinator Bruce Arians.

Those reporters hit a brick wall, though, when they looked to Pro Bowler Antonio Brown for some answers.

Brown, it turns out, likes the new coordinator much better than the old one.

"There's definitely a big difference," said Brown. "Todd's really a cool guy – shaking hands, communicating with guys, putting in extra time with guys, visiting with guys. Bruce wasn't really that type of guy. He didn't really shake guys' hands or communicate with them too often. He just went about his business.

"A guy like Todd is more team-oriented and more communicative with the players and more about trying to make it work and working together with all the men. So he's getting to know everyone and that's something special to be a part of.

"He's a great guy, definitely not what people made him out to be."

Those who made Haley out to be some type of an ogre may not have taken the talent he coached into consideration.

Haley had been a part of five coaching staffs before coming to Pittsburgh this season. Those teams' records the year before Haley arrived were 1-15, 5-11, 10-6, 5-11 and 2-14.

Only one team, the Dallas Cowboys, had a winning record before Haley showed up, and those Cowboys dipped to 6-10 in Haley's first season.

Is it possible those teams needed a little heat from coaches? Is it possible that any Haley tantrums were warranted?

Brown was asked if Arians' temper ever erupted on the field, per Haley's reputation.

"B.A. always blew up," Brown said. "He was just not as friendly as Todd with the handshakes and being communicative with guys. He was argumentative and did things his way."


Not only is Ben Roethlisberger getting along with Haley, but the quarterback has looked sharp and decisive throughout training camp. Roethlisberger's relationship with the new coordinator and the worry that he wouldn't grasp the new offense were the most overblown stories coming out of Pittsburgh this calendar year.

Until now.

A report yesterday quoted Roethlisberger as saying he has a "little torn rotator cuff" that occurred during the first game against the Baltimore Ravens last season.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he had any concern about it.

"None," Tomlin said.

Tomlin was asked if Roethlisberger has been limited in any of his repetitions or any of his throws this camp.

"None," Tomlin repeated.

Roethlisberger threw after practice, a practice in which he also played with the scout kickoff coverage team. He showed no signs of injury.


Heath Miller took a break on the third and final team scrimmage yesterday. Lining up in his spot with the first team was seventh-round draft pick David Paulson. The rookie ran an out against Troy Polamalu and Roethlisberger hit him with a strike. Paulson made the catch and turned up the field for a 15-yard gain.

Another of the rookies who grew up rooting for the Seahawks against the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, Paulson, a Seattle native, said that, no, catching a pass from Roethlisberger in front of Polamalu was not a dream.

"But it was a good play," the quiet rookie said with a big smile.

Paulson said "there were some tight ends down today," but Leonard Pope lined up with the second team and Tomlin said there weren't any injured tight ends "to my knowledge."

Paulson, of course, understands that positional rotations can sometimes move a player onto the first team temporarily and with no good reason, but he's pleased with his progress through the first week of camp, particularly for a player coming from a spread offense at Oregon.

"I'm getting the hang of it," he said. "The blocking is a little bit different, a little more in-line stuff. I'm just trying to listen to the coaches and the veterans. Learning the footwork is probably the biggest part. If you get your footwork down you can get yourself in the right position, so that's what I'm really focusing on."


Punter Jeremy Kapinos and cornerback Terry Carter remain sidelined. LaMarr Woodley was given the day off as a precautionary measure.

Running backs John Clay (groin) and Chris Rainey (heat) suffered minor injuries.

As Tomlin had promised, safety Damon Cromartie-Smith was activated from the PUP list Wednesday.


Maurkice Pouncey said the players call first-round draft pick David DeCastro "Mr. Personality" because "he looks like a military dude. He's too serious some of the times. … He went to that smart school, so it was probably school, school, school and then football. He probably didn't learn how to have a good time in college."

So one reporter approached DeCastro and said, "Pouncey thinks you concentrated on football at school."

"Uh, yeah, I kind of did," DeCastro said with a cold stare. "That's kind of why I went there."

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