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Brown Tells Haley “Give Me The Damn Ball!”

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When Todd Haley was hired as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the first question anybody asked was, “Who will be the first to lose it?”

Haley has a long storied history of making some of his players extremely angry. When he coached for Dallas, he didn’t get along with Terrell Owens (not that many could). In Arizona, he infuriated Kurt Warner to the point the normally mild-mannered quarterback snapped. As head coach of Kansas City, running back Larry Johnson outright refused to play for him.

With that in mind, Steeler Nation figured it was only a matter of time until Ben Roethlisberger would inevitably lose his cool with his new OC. Well, a member of the Steelers finally blew his stack but it wasn’t Ben.

Congratulations if you had Antonio Brown in your office pool.

Word spread across local media yesterday that AB and Boss Todd had a blow out some time during the Black and Gold’s Monday night loss to the Bengals. Evidently Brown’s actions were vociferous enough that both parties were still stewing on Tuesday. The crazy part of the story is whatever happened allegedly didn’t happen behind closed doors at halftime but rather on the sideline during the game.

If only Monday’s game had been a national game featuring approximately 27 different cameras covered by a network allegedly dedicated to sports perhaps we would have footage of the altercation…

As it stands, we’re only left with a he said/he said situation. The gist of AB’s bitching was that he felt he wasn’t being thrown to enough. Looking at the stat sheet, it doesn’t appear he was being horribly neglected. Brown was targeted 9 times, tied with Jerricho Cotchery and only one less than game leader Manny Sanders. I can see the team’s supposed #1 receiver thinking he should get more chances than the freakin’ Cotch Rocket but when you have patterns with 3-4 possible receivers, Ben’s first priority has to be hitting the open man.

The Haley-Brown confrontation may explain one of the most infamous plays in recent Steeler history. In the second quarter, the Steelers faked a hand-off and ran an end around. In itself that’s not so unusual as WR end arounds have been a staple of Boss Todd’s offense. What was unusual is that where a speedster like Mike Wallace or Sanders would normally take the hand-off, it went to Cotchery instead.

Cotchery, who is not only the team’s slowest wide receiver, he’s probably slower than a couple of the tight ends. Not surprisingly, the play lost five yards.

Was Brown on the sideline being punished? Did Mike Tomlin put him in time out after hearing him go off on the OC? Whatever the reason, it would explain why Cotchery ran a play much better suited to AB.

There is some irony in Brown being the first guy to moan about Haley’s playcalling. He was the first active player to go on record about the locker room being “divided” during the off-season. Nothing unites a team faster than an overpaid wide out crying about his catch totals.

This season is spiraling out of control more and more with each passing day.