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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Losing Haley would be a setback

According to the Arizona Republic, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has been given permission to interview with the Cardinals for their open head coaching position.

Haley, a former offensive coordinator in Arizona, is held in high esteem by the Bidwell family after helping the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008.

But if he leaves the Steelers after just one season, it will be a big setback.

The team spent an entire offseason last year learning a new offense - most notably new offensive terminology.

If Haley leaves, the Steelers will have their third offense in three seasons. With one of the youngest offenses in the league - outside of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger - that's a lot to throw at young players.

The Steelers have long prided themselves on continuity. It's one of the reasons why the team has had some much success over the past couple of decades. They have largely kept things the same, making things easy for young players to improve by learning the system better.

Now, certainly, the Steelers could offset the loss of Haley - if that happens - by promoting from within. Mike Tomlin's top choice a year ago would have been Kirby Wilson had he not been recovering from burns suffered in an accident in his home.

But at this point, Wilson's offense would likely be different from the one Haley runs. And he would faced with the choice of keeping Haley's terminology or returning to what the Steelers used before.

Plus, prior to injuries to Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger and half of the offensive line, the Steelers offense was producing under Haley in the first half of the season. They led the league in third down conversions, were second in time of possession and their scoring was up about a point-and-a-half from the previous season.

And that was with a group of players still learning the new offense.

Now, certainly, the team didn't finish as well. But the aforementioned injury problems were the main culprit for that.

Much has been made of comments Roethlisberger made regarding Haley's offense, particularly following a loss at Dallas.

But Roethlisberger has always taken shots at the offensive coordinator, whether it was Ken Whisenhunt or even his best buddy, Bruce Arians. He always wants to do things his way, which would include running the no-huddle exclusively.

And the offensive coordinators have had to reign him in.

The fact is, the rift between Haley and Roethlisberger just isn't there. It's a figment of the imagination of people who were waiting for a big blowup between the two that never happened.


Anonymous said...

The Ben-Haley rift is a creation of the media so they have something to cover. Like all the insanity over the Jets and Tebow. For all the coverage the Jets didn't even have that bad of a team. There were plenty of worse teams but the media wanted a story so they made one.

Anonymous said...

Won't they just give the job to Wilson if Haley leaves? That's probably who would of got it if not for the accident right?

Dale Lolley said...

Probably Wilson, but we'll see. He isn't gone just yet.
This could just be a courtesy to Larry Fitzgerald, who loves Haley.

Anonymous said...

I agree ,I would hate to see the Steelers offenseoff to another slow start because of a new OC.
Hopefully Haley comes back for the Steelers 2013 season

Steve-O said...

I agree that Haley's loss would be a setback. Before injuries dominated the 2nd half of the season the Steelera were beginning to look like a balanced and effective team. Still lots of room for improvement but definitely on the upswing. Kirby would be a nice fit but we'd be going through those growing pins again and it's near impossible to win a Superbol that way.

marc said...

haley will stay. there's nothing to work with in arizona, other than fitz. arizona will end up going to a first time head coach who doesn't care what kind of team he's walking into.

Patrick said...

here is some irony for a story Dale. I could see Ben as the reason Haley stays, rather than why he goes. Think about it, would you rather be an offensive coordinator with the Steelers and Ben, or a head coach with the Cardinals, Kolb, and three other clowns at QB?

I doubt he goes anywhere.

I do want to stand by my prediction that K. Lewis goes though (going back to that other thread). He really had a good year and when corners have good years, they get paid. Even though McFadden and Gay weren't worth what they got , the Steelers aren't going to be able to match what K. Lewis gets either.

Anonymous said...

In response to Kirby Wilson possibly becoming the Steelers offensive coordinator, I want to point out that after looking into something and I'm sorry for bringing this to everyone's attention, that there was only one african american offensive coordinator to start the season and that man was Curtis Modkins for the Buffalo Bills. To further take away from that, he very notably wasn't even the play caller as Chan Gailey was. Sounds like there needs to be a rooney rule in place for offensive coordinator jobs as well.

Anonymous said...

Dale, how confident are you in the rumor that Kirby would've been offered the OC job if not for his accident? I don't put much stock in things said during a tragic/emotional period, kind words of hope, encouragement, etc. But this one grew legs, spread, and endures to the point that it now seems credible. Or maybe just repeated so many times that it's accepted as true. I dunno. Came out of left field at the time, when Kirby's career and life were in serious doubt. Wrote it off then as happy talk during a tragic/emotional moment. But nearly a year later and so many of you guys seem to believe it makes me wonder.

Mark said...

It would never happen, but imagine if Haley stayed here, and Fitzgerald (who loves Haley and went to Pitt) decided to join the Steelers.

Dale Lolley said...

Kirby's a bright guy and Mike likes him.

bytor said...

They SHOULD let Ben run the no-huddle as the base offense. He has shown more success than not with it and he has the experience to deal with defensive adjustments. When your passing attack is a lot stronger than your running game as is the case with the Steelers, ball control/clock control isn't the theme. Scoring is the theme and we've been lacking in that department. We already put a lot of pressure on our defense to keep the other offense off the field, why not score more when we are on the field?

Dale Lolley said...

Roethlisberger's final three interceptions in 2012 all came from the no-huddle. Haven't looked at the overall numbers, but I know those ones did.
Not saying he can't be successful in it, but it's not the be-all end-all.

Ronk25 said...

Is this reporter smokin something? Losing Haley would be no loss at all. It would be the best thing that has happened to the Steelers in long time.

Dale Lolley said...

Off your meds tonight?

Anonymous said...

If Wallace is so irreplaceable and vital to the team's success, then why won't they do whatever it takes to keep him? There's a lot of contract restructuring and veteran cuts they could do to free up the necessary cap room.

Anonymous said...

"Off your meds tonight?" LMAO

Anonymous said...

In the first 8 games of the season, the Steelers played 5 teams in the bottom half of the league in scoring defense ... including 3 of the 5 worst defenses in the NFL.

Only in Pittsburgh would people be impressed that their offensive coordinator turned their franchise QB into Matt Cassel, and turned their homerun threat into a punch and judy hitter. And you've got to go back to 2003 to find a Steeler rushing attack this pathetic!

Take my Todd Haley ... please!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see Adams/Colon/Pouncey/DeCastro/Gilbert next year.

Running to the left will be without a doubt the strongest advantage we have in the running game.

Anonymous said...

So it's just a co-opted rumor then? Earliest reporting I can find is from Ed. Please don't tell me you all are running with his ball.

Anonymous said...

I know people seem to like Kirby Wilson but has he really done anything to deserve a shot at OC? Has he been an OC in college? The terrible ranking of our running game doesn't exactly make his RB's look great. Not that he has a ton of talent to work with.

marc said...

so #7 is only good when he runs around with his head cutoff and plays street football? get a clue.

the o-line's inability to run block was the limiting factor. add to that wallace was clueless and there you go.

once the o-line started to run block better, the offense picked up and so did the points. but, then even more injuries hit.

Joe Jones said...

Fire Tomlin. Hire Whisenhunt. or Kelly.

Its not like Haley is a long term fit. He's gone this year or next after someone hires him as HC.

Tomlin proved he cannot make the right decisions on the field.

Tonkin will also be fired if we dont make the playoffs in 13.

Just fire him now with all these great names out there.

I don't see many other teams liking how soft Tomlin is, thus he'd get a job, but prob with the Bills or another unattractive job.

Smart man, awful coach

Anonymous said...

WTFE Joe Jones, you are a Browns fan.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Noll missed the playoffs four straight years.

Bill Cowher missed the playoffs three straight years.

If you think Mike Tomlin is being fired if he misses the playoffs two years in a row then you don't know dick about the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Patrick said...

and Anonymous knows plenty about dick.

but yeh, Tomlin isn't going anywhere for awhile. His poor decisions and game management will catch up with him though. It always does.

Anonymous said...

Gay jokes? Classy, Patrick. You're the best internet tough guy ever. Gotta love how Tomlin's poor decisions catch up with him. Do you mean in the multiple Super Bowls? Mike McCarthy took a one-loss team into the playoffs and got dismantled by the 9-7 Giants. Were you screaming for his head? Of course not, because you only pay attention to the Steelers which means you have no idea what you're talking about when you talk about Tomlin's performance.

Patrick said...

yeh Tomlin made a lot of great decisions this year. Those field goal attempts from 54 yards out, that fake FG against the giants, the way he handled the RB situation.

All spectacular.

Dale Lolley said...

It wasn't Tomlin's best season, to be sure, but he was never in danger of being fired.

Haley's not going anywhere, either.

marc said...

please tell me who you think are the 3 best coaches in the nfl and i will go find a handful of stupid decisions they have made this season.

Patrick said...

marc your suggestion that all coaches make mistakes is not disputed.

Tomlin's mistakes are critical and repetitive. The fact he tried that FG in the Bengals game shows he has learned nothing, not even just the Titans game, but the fact that Suisham can't hit one from over 50. He is 4 out of 13 in his career.

My beef with Tomlin can be summarized quickly. I hate his in game decisions, I hate the fact that among "good" coaches he maintains the lead by a longshot in losses to teams under .500, and he sounds like an idiot one of every two times he speaks to the media. Thats your team representative.

AND all of that while he consistently has an incredible defense and one of the best QBs in the league. I cannot buy that Tomlin is a great coach because all coaches make mistakes. All the tools are in place for him - very good roster, great ownership, and most of all, one of the best QBs in the league, which we should all realize by now, is critical.

I realize injuries were tough this year, but his team is 8-8 and watching the playoffs and that shouldn't of been this year. It was way too familiar to 2009.

marc said...

i don't think he is a great coach and i have never called him a great coach. but he does a good job. cut the inuries in half and they are in the playoffs, no doubt.

i think you give the coaches too much credit. at the end of the day, the players need to make the plays. if i recall correctly, the gameplans for the vast majority of the games this season seemed fine. there were some bad in-game decisions, but ultimately, the players on the field didn't succeed.

my freshman year in college our team was terrible and the coach took a bunch of heat. over the next couple years we ended being conference champions and he got coach of the year. thing is, he never changed one damn thing about practice, etc. the real difference was our execution. plain and simple. the coach had a part in it, but it's the players that make it or break it.