The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a disappointing start to the 2013 season. They lost an embarrassing home game to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 and were beaten handily again by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. The team’s biggest issue is clearly its offense. If you ask wide receiver Antonio Brown, he might tell you that one of the main problems is he’s not seeing enough balls.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown confronted Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the second half of Monday’s loss. Tempers flaring on the sidelines is nothing new, but Bouchette said as of Tuesday the two still had not gotten over it.
Brown angrily complained to the coach that not enough pass plays were called for him, several sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Specifics of the argument were hard to come by but sources say that Haley was upset by Brown’s actions and that the two were still seething about it Tuesday. Brown’s complaint to Haley was harsh enough and the reaction to it along the sideline volatile to the point that many people there noticed, although it was not shown nor apparently caught on camera by anyone, including ESPN, which broadcast the game.
Brown was targeted only three times in the first half. That number jumped up to six in the second half, and he finished with a team-high six catches for 57 yards. Emmanuel Sanders was targeted 10 times and Jerricho Cotchery, who looked sluggish and completely lost, saw five targets in the first half and nine total.
In Haley’s defense, the Steelers’ biggest issue was pass protection. Ben Roethlisberger had hardly any time to throw, so he had to make quick decisions. Although, it should be noted that Roethlisberger has described Haley’s offense as “dink and dump” in the past and admitted he was frustrated with it at one point last year.
It’s no surprise there are players who are angry with the play selection on an 0-2 team. Pittsburgh has a lot of things to fix. The losses of center Maurkice Pouncey and rookie running back Le’Veon Bell have hurt the offense as a whole. Bell’s return could help, but it’s not looking good for the Steelers. Reports like the one about Brown and Haley lead us to believe it could get worse before it gets better.