Pittsburgh Steelers deny coach kicked, yelled at Patriots fan

— -- The Pittsburgh Steelers, after conducting an internal investigation, deny that tight ends coach James Daniel got into an altercation with a New England Patriots fan during Thursday's season opener.

"We have conducted an internal inquiry into the alleged incident involving Assistant Coach James Daniel at the Patriots stadium Thursday night," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "After interviews with Coach Daniel as well as other personnel who witnessed the alleged encounter, we find no corroboration that Coach Daniel was involved in any physical altercation with a fan."

Daniel was alleged to have kicked a Patriots fan in the back of the leg and then yelled at the fan in front of witnesses while the coach was on his way to the locker room at halftime. League sources told ESPN that the NFL also was looking into the incident.

By the time Daniel returned to the coaching booth after halftime, police and NFL security were waiting for him. Once the coach was identified by witnesses, and police approached him about controlling his behavior, Daniel began shouting at the police officer, according to witnesses.

"Coach Daniel has worked as an assistant coach for the Steelers for the past 12 seasons," Rooney said in the statement. "We have a high level of confidence in his character and are confident that any further investigation of this incident will reveal he was not part of any assault or misconduct involving a Patriots fan."