If you would’ve told me that after the Pittsburgh Steelers started the year 2-6 that offensive coordinator Todd Haley would be back for another season, I would’ve said you’re full of it.
But after a 6-2 finish, I no longer think you’re full of it. In fact, I’m on board with Haley staying put.
Even though it garnered the same results two seasons in a row, there’s major differences between the two seasons.
In Haley’s first season with the Steelers the relationship between Ben Roethlisberger and Haley wasn’t a smooth one. The two bumped heads for the majority of the season. It was a combination of Roethlisberger being upset over Bruce Arians’s departure and Haley being a hot-headed, outspoken, non-Arians like coach.
Haley’s play calling was geared toward quick releases or screens so that Roethlisberger wasn’t holding on to the ball for too long, something he does quite often.
Any issues that the offense had in the 2012 season stemmed largely from the relationship between quarterback and offensive coordinator.
Now let’s look at this season. Year number two for Roethlisberger, Haley and company. The offense started the season flat. A slow start from the offense contributed to the 0-4 start and the moans and groans could be heard from Steelers Nation over Haley.
Slowly but surely though, Roethlisberger and the offense began to click and toward the later part of the season it really looked to be in a groove. Maybe that’s because Antonio Brown had a terrific year or that Roethlisberger shaped up after an uneasy start to the season. Nonetheless, the offense looked good late in the season.
Despite looking good, the result of the season as whole wasn’t what the Steelers had hoped for. Another 8-8 finish and no playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Even though the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs, it doesn’t make sense to get rid of Haley. After a chaotic first season together it appears Roethlisberger and Haley have worked out the kinks and got on the same page. During the offseason Haley agreed to “tone it down” and give more freedom to Roethlisberger. Rightfully so, it’s clear that Roethlisberger’s the glue holding the offense together.
The Steelers used the no-huddle offense late in the season and saw a lot of positive results. That’s Roethlisberger’s doing and giving him more freedom is something the Steelers have to continue to do. Now that the offense appears to have found life, firing Haley doesn’t make sense. It would only harm the momentum this offense had finishing out the season if Haley were let go.
According to multiple reports form the NFL Network, Haley is expected to stay in the Steel City for another season. It’s not a bad move and the offense should only get better in Haley’s third season with the team. Here’s to hoping the saying, “the third time’s a charm” holds true for Haley and the Steelers’ offense.
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